Corey Heim has solidified himself as one of the breakout young stars of the short track racing world. The 16-year-old from Marietta, Georgia picked up his first Super Late Model win last fall and nearly won the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway (VA) in a Late Model Stock. Now, he heads to this weekend’s PASS Commonwealth Classic at Richmond Raceway looking to earn himself a marquee win.
Despite having never raced at the .75 mile oval in his young career, he feels prepared for the task this weekend. Like several drivers today, he has used iRacing to get acclimated to the track before his team pulls onto the property.
“Luckily, iRacing has a lot of software at Richmond and I’ve talked to some drivers that have raced there before and they said it’s realistic from iRacing to real life. I’ll probably just do a lot of Super Late Model on iRacing at Richmond testing and practicing and stuff like that and seeing how much experience I can get from the simulator and transferring it to real life.”
Racing at a .75 mile oval brings new challenges to teams and drivers that do not normally race at track bigger than a half-mile. Heim has talked to several drivers who have competed at Richmond in recent weeks and they all agree on the most challenging part of racing there.
“They said the aero might be a big deal so that might be a big deal for me because I’m not that experienced with a lot of the aerodynamic, how I run different lines and stuff like that,” he said. “Luckily I have a few people that are letting me know how to handle things like that, but the aerodynamics that will probably be hardest for me.”
The PASS Commonwealth Classic will be the first time the new Five Star Gen 6 body will hit a racetrack east of the Mississippi River. The first race that featured the new body was the Chilly Willy 150 at Tuscon Speedway (AZ) back in January, which was won in the new body by Michael Scott. With several drivers utilizing the new body for this weekend, Heim is unsure of how they are going to perform at Richmond.
“I’m not really sure yet,” he stated. “I know they’re going to be pretty good, but I don’t know if they’re going to be dominant necessarily. They’re going to keep up, I’m assuming at the very least. I did watch that Chilly Willy race and I know that one of those new Five Star bodies won that race. I know they’re good enough to keep up at least but we just got to wait and find out.”
A win at Richmond would be a big deal to Heim, who has attended several NASCAR races at the track. He says it would be a win that he will remember for the rest of his life.
“It would mean a lot to me,” he said. “I’ve been there several times to watch races and a couple times to hang out with people. To win at Richmond would be a big deal for me. It would stick with me for life and be one of those things that I can say for my entire life that I’ve won a race at Richmond.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (MI & IN) - Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo