NASCAR Truck Series

Corey Heim wins rain-shortened Martinsville Truck fiasco

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Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

In 1995 and 2021, Martinsville Speedway was the site of NASCAR‘s rain tyre oval tests as the sanctioning body looked for a way to get racing in during wet weather. On Friday, the Craftsman Truck Series got to put the damp weather package to action.

Unlike “true” rain racing, which is not possible at ovals due to banking placing too much burden on the tyres, the damp weather package is intended to allow races to take place on moderately wet surfaces without having to wait for the track drying process to finish. In the case of Friday’s Truck race, the trucks equipped with wet tyres ran single file during pace laps to expedite the drying process, though their impact on the racing was minimal as the rain quickly subsided. The race start had been delayed due to lightning.

With rain not playing a major chaos factor, the Truck Series—much maligned for its inexperienced drivers and high rate of accidents—proceeded to fill that gap as over half of the race was run under caution due to wrecks. While Stage #1 only saw a competition caution followed by the stage break, the second segment along saw four wrecks.

The final crash on lap 117 came when Carson Hocevar attempted to run three-wide while racing Taylor Gray and Matt DiBenedetto. Contact between Hocevar, who has started to accumulate some flack for his aggressive driving style, and Gray prompted a retaliatory strike by Hocevar as he clipped Gray, only to spin himself out. The rain returned during the ensuing yellow flag.

With the race well over its halfway point, NASCAR elected to end it after 124 of 200 laps. Corey Heim, who took the lead from former boss Kyle Busch on lap 43, was the leader at the time to secure his third career win and first for TRICON Garage.

“I just kept my eyes forward,” said Heim. “I just had to stay concentrated and just make sure I had a perfect day with these guys behind you. It’s really hard to hold them off unless you are perfect, and I think we did just that.”

TRICON team-mate William Sawalich, the current ARCA Menards Series East points leader, finished ninth in his Truck début. Other newcomer finishes included Conner Jones in seventeenth, Memphis Villarreal in twenty-fourth, and Jonathan Shafer in twenty-ninth. Brad Pérez placed thirty-fifth in his first NASCAR oval start.

While somewhat skewed by the shortened distance, all thirty-six trucks completed the race for just the second time in series history after the 2022 Bristol Dirt Race.

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
1411Corey HeimTRICON GarageToyota124Running
2251Kyle Busch*Kyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet124Running
3138Zane SmithFront Row MotorsportsFord124Running
41298Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingFord124Running
5915Tanner GrayTRICON GarageToyota124Running
6399Ben RhodesThorSport RacingFord124Running
7525Matt DiBenedettoRackley WARChevrolet124Running
82417Taylor GrayTRICON GarageToyota124Running
9221William SawalichTRICON GarageToyota124Running
1084Chase PurdyKyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet124Running
11192Nick SanchezRev RacingChevrolet124Running
122541Ross Chastain*Niece MotorsportsChevrolet124Running
131835Jake GarciaMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet124Running
141023Grant EnfingerGMS RacingChevrolet124Running
15619Christian EckesMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet124Running
163102Kris WrightYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet124Running
17269Colby HowardCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet124Running
181566Conner JonesThorSport RacingFord124Running
192856Timmy HillHill MotorsportsToyota124Running
202713Hailie DeeganThorSport RacingFord124Running
21365Dean ThompsonTRICON GarageToyota124Running
222332Bret HolmesBret Holmes RacingChevrolet124Running
233012Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet124Running
242946Memphis VillarrealG2G RacingToyota124Running
251624Rajah CaruthGMS RacingChevrolet124Running
261188Matt CraftonThorSport RacingFord124Running
271416Tyler AnkrumHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota124Running
28174Kaden HoneycuttKyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet123Running
293330Jonathan ShaferOn Point MotorsportsToyota123Running
301352Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota123Running
312143Daniel DyeGMS RacingChevrolet123Running
322045Lawless AlanNiece MotorsportsChevrolet122Running
333233Mason MasseyReaume Brothers RacingFord122Running
34742Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet122Running
353420Brad Pérez*Young’s MotorsportsChevrolet118Running
363522Stephen MallozziAM RacingFord116Running
DNQ90Justin CarrollTC MotorsportsChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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