TRICON Garage had another impressive night with Tanner Gray scoring the team’s third straight pole before Corey Heim (second) and Dean Thompson (third) put two Tundras inside the top-five finishers. Heim led a race high 49 laps and scored a stage win as the Georgia-native extended his points lead. For Thompson, it was a career night as the California-native scored stage points in both stages and earned his first career top-five finish.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Charlotte Motor Speedway
Race 11 of 23 – 134 Laps, 200 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Ben Rhodes*
2nd, COREY HEIM
3rd, DEAN THOMPSON
4th, Carson Hocevar*
5th, Grant Enfinger*
10th, TAYLOR GRAY
14th, DAVID GILLILAND
22nd, STEWART FRIESEN
24th, TYLER HILL
26th, RYAN VARGAS
27th, TANNER GRAY
28th, TYLER ANKRUM
34th, JUSTIN CARROLL
35th, ARMANI WILLIAMS
COREY HEIM, No. 11 Rootly Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, TRICON Garage
Finishing Position: 2nd
What emotions are you feeling right now?
“Yeah, I think me and the 42 (Carson Hocevar) and the 5 (Dean Thompson) were probably the best trucks. The 99 (Ben Rhodes) just came on really strong. Once we got to second on that restart when the 42 got put in the middle there, I really thought we had a shot at it. It just proves that clean air is king here. I feel like if I had done a better job of getting past him as soon as possible than waiting on a run, I might have had a better opportunity. I’m just proud of TRICON Garage. Our Rootly Toyota Tundra TRD Pro was great today. The organization – everyone was fast today. So all really good things. I feel like we have something to work on in the future to get better on the long runs, but hats off to everyone at Toyota Racing, TRICON Garage – our truck looked great under the lights tonight.”
DEAN THOMPSON, No. 5 Thompson Pipe Group Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, TRICON Garage
Finishing Position: 3rd
Do you think you could have challenged for a win if a caution had come out?
“I don’t know. I think Ben (Rhodes) had it locked down there. He was pretty quick. I thought the 42 (Carson Hocevar) had it locked down, but I will tell you what. The TRICON guys put together an absolute rocket ship today. I can’t thank them enough. This is for all you doubters out there. P3. I have to thank Thompson Pipe Group, Assured Partners, Toyota Racing, TRICON Garage.”
What was working so good for you in the top groove?
“Dude, I don’t know. I heard the 99 (Ben Rhodes) was coming a couple lanes up by the fence. I was like ‘hell, I’ll try it.’ We got a couple of guys on the restart at the top. When you start passing guys, you might as well stay up there. TRICON put together a rocket ship – no one else could run up there. Corey (Heim) did a hell of a job. He’s a hell of a wheel man. I think we could have finished p1 or p2 with this Tundra but still learning.”
What does this finish do for your confidence?
“This is insane. This season so far has been so up and down. We’ve had good runs – in Texas and Kansas, and just end up wrecking. To have this turnaround like this is massive. Not just for me, but for my team too. This plays a lot into my confidence, so we can take it to Gateway.”
How does the first top-five feel?
“It feels pretty sweet. It’s just surreal to be here. I’m so honored to be here and to be able to do this. I’m so grateful. I got all mad and upset about p2 in the ARCA race, and now I’m stoked to be here in p3 in the Truck race. Pretty awesome stuff.”