Toyota Racing – NCTS Mid-Ohio Qualifying Quotes – Corey Heim – 07.07.23

COREY HEIM, No. 11 Safelite Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, TRICON Garage

Starting Position: 1st

This is Heim’s second consecutive pole position at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It is Heim’s third pole award this season (Darlington, North Wilkesboro) and fifth of his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series career. Heim, a Toyota development driver, comes into Mid-Ohio as the points leader. He has 16-point advantage over Zane Smith with three races remaining in the regular season.

How big is for you to come away with this pole position?

“Last year we set on the pole in the wet and this year in the dry. I think it’s a good showing of the hard work I’ve been putting in personally on this track – it used to be one of my worst tracks, just when I was preparing for it in the sim for ARCA. To come here and back it up from last year is a special feeling, but in the race last year, it could have gone a lot better, so to improve on that this year is a big thing for me. I’ve had the race circled on the calendar, so to come here and start the weekend off right is a big deal for me.”

 

What did you think about your truck today and what do you think if it would rain tomorrow?

“Yeah, I was really happy with everything today. As you mentioned it may be reversed with the rain tomorrow, but I’m not really sure what the setup differences will be – if the handling will translate – but we were fast in the wet last year with my truck and we raced well, I think I could have just done a better job on my part. To know we have speed in the wet – or I personally have speed in the wet from last year is good – but the race layout definitely changes a lot when you put 36 trucks out on the truck just you are by yourself in qualifying. I’ve never raced in the wet before but to have the speed from the beginning is definitely a good time.”

 

What are some of the parts that you enjoy about this track?

“It is super technical – you don’t ever really feel like you get a break here too. You have got to have quick hands. It is very physical as well. When you go to a place like Watkins Glen, you only have six or seven turns – you get some breaks – but that makes those turns all the more important. You come here – it is a very flowy race track. You miss one corner, it messes up the next three I feel like, where Watkins Glen or Sonoma, maybe if you miss one, you can readjust. Each track has its challenges, but I would like to say that this one of the more unique places we go to. I’m just super grateful for everyone at TRICON for giving me a great opportunity to have a great Tundra TRD Pro. I’m ready to go tomorrow.”

 

How did the new repave affect you in turn one?

“Funny enough, I didn’t realize it until I got there, so my braking mark was about five truck lengths back than what it ended up being in qualifying, I think that is where a lot of the pick-up was for me. Definitely not used to having that much grip in turn one. It is typically one of your slicker corners where you really fight it on exit, but all of a sudden, we have a lot of grip there. I’m hoping that it doesn’t completely take away the outside lane because typically you were able to stay side-by-side in turns one and two – I’m sorry – one and making it a good race going into turn two. I guess we will find out.”

 

How do you feel about your TRICON team is preparing for the Playoffs and what would it mean to you to win the regular season championship?

“It would mean everything, from the points payoff to show off the consistency that we’ve had of recent is really, really big. I think we started off the year struggling to get stage points as an organization – and I’ve said it all year – we’ve improved every single week. Just hats off to everyone at TRICON, Toyota Racing for making that possible. I feel like ever since Martinsville we’ve been getting better and better every week. With COTA, I feel like we we’re a little bit off there – we had some things to look back at and get better for this track – Mid-Ohio – and we’ve done that. Every week we’ve got better, so a huge testament to all of the hard work that they’ve been doing.”

 

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