18-year-old Corey Heim‘s time in the ARCA Menards Series has produced top-ten finishes in all but one race, and he currently leads the points standings after two rounds. With his burgeoning career looking bright, Kyle Busch Motorsports will give him a shot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. On Wednesday, KBM announced Heim will drive the #51 Toyota Tundra in 7 May’s race at Darlington Raceway and 30 October’s Martinsville Speedway event. JBL, who sponsors Heim’s ARCA car and is a KBM/Toyota partner, will join him for his Truck début.
A member of Toyota Racing Development, Heim has eighteen career ARCA starts since 2019 with seventeen top tens, twelve top fives, and two victories. He won the 2021 season opener at Daytona followed by finishing second at Phoenix, which gives him a two-point advantage in the standings over fellow Toyota driver Ty Gibbs.
“Corey is another driver in the Toyota Racing Development program that has proven that he can win in the ARCA Menards Series and earned this opportunity to drive for us in the Camping World Truck Series,” Busch stated in a team release. “With no practice or qualifying, Darlington is going to be a tough place for his first start, but he’s been on the simulator at TRD working with Mardy (Lindley, crew chief) and our engineers and they’ve been very pleased with how it’s going.”
Heim also competes in late models, with his latest win coming in the Super Late Model Georgia Spring Nationals in his native state last month. He has also won in the CARS Tour and Champions Racing Association.
Heim’s entry was first reported by Kickin’ the Tires on Monday in an interview with Busch while he was attending a Toyota event at Circuit of the Americas. While the two-time Cup Series champion is heavily involved in Toyota’s development pipeline through KBM, he noted Heim is not his “young gun but certainly Toyota is involved with that. […] Corey is just another one that is on the list that could be a future star in our sport, who knows.”
“I’m thankful to everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota for giving me the opportunity to make two starts in the Camping World Truck Series this year,” Heim commented. “Not having any practice is going to make it exciting driving off into turn one at Darlington with thirty-nine other drivers for my first lap in a truck, but I’ve been able to make a lot of laps on the simulator at TRD and develop a relationship with Mardy, so I feel that I’m well prepared.
“The #51 team has had fast trucks everywhere they’ve been this season, and I’m confident that they’ll have a strong JBL Tundra at Darlington. I just need to learn throughout the race and be there at the end.”
The #51 truck has won twice in 2021 with Busch at Atlanta and Martin Truex Jr. at Bristol Dirt, and is currently second in owner points behind the fellow KBM truck of John Hunter Nemechek. Drew Dollar and Parker Chase have also run the truck in their own maiden NASCAR starts, while Brian Brown will do the same at Knoxville in July.