The newest member of the Super Late Model youth movement was discovered this past weekend at the 42nd Annual Rattler 250. In his Super Late Model debut, Georgia teenager Corey Heim made the best of the legendary race at South Alabama Speedway, moving forward from his 13th starting spot and staying at the front for an impressive fifth-place finish.
Though he and his No. 78 team had lofty expectations this past Sunday, the result ended up surpassing their original goal for the day.
“My crew chief said he would be fine with a top ten. We had a pretty decent car all weekend, we were top ten pretty much all practice and qualified thirteenth,” Heim told Speed51.com. “But it all worked out for the race, we made really good calls during the race, we followed the strategy of the 12 (Harrison Burton) and a couple of other cars. It worked out really well for the finish and I'm really happy with it.”
“It was almost surreal,” he said. “I think about 75 laps in I was behind Lessard, Pollard, Burton and all those guys. I was running right with them, we were conserving tires and I felt like I was almost better than them at that time. It's cool to be around those guys I've looked up to and studied. I’ve watched them win tons of races, just surreal to be next to them the entire race.”
Though still new to the world of Late Models, running some high profile Pro Late Model events in late 2017 and early 2018, Heim has shown a lot of success in Legends Cars, primarily at his home track Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Pro division.
“I've been doing a lot of Legends Cars and Bandoleros. We were in the Summer Shootout and we ran Legends Nationals last year,” Heim stated. “We won the Pro championship down in Atlanta. We're carrying a lot of great memories now up to the Late Models. Our plan now is to get as much seat time so we can in the Late Models and we've been getting some great finishes too so I'm very happy with that.”
But that was then, this is now, with Heim diving headfirst into a rich Super Late Model schedule with some Pro Late Models on the side. His main objective going forward will be to go for a CARS Tour championship and possibly even a Southern Super Series title as well in 2018.
“We're planning on running about 25 more races this year,” Heim claimed. “Probably going to run a couple more Pro Late Model races this year and we've had a great start with the super and I think it will carry over into the CARS Tour and Southern Super Series. We're mostly concentrating on the CARS Tour championship right now but we are going to try our best to make all of the Southern Super Series races too.”
His first championship race for the CARS Tour is already on the horizon, with the CARS Super Late Model season opener this Saturday at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Though Heim will be making his debut on the South Carolina half-mile, he will be utilizing another tool which he has proven successful with.
“I've had tons of people tell me how that track will give you a good idea about tire conservation in the super. Luckily we have this track in iRacing and I can get a lot of laps on there. Of course, we're always going to try to win. We're going to try to race as clean as possible and try to set the car up the best we can. We don't want to tear the car up; we want to try and make these two supers last the whole year, but we still want a couple of wins this year.”
If early results are any indication, don’t be surprised to see Heim get those couple of wins before the season is said and done.
-By: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com