Prime Heim: Corey Heim Bests Field in Overtime Thriller to Earn First Win of the Season at XPEL 225

The opening act of Saturday’s doubleheader at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) saw Corey Heim dominate the field, lead a race-high 31 laps and survive a hectic overtime finish to win the XPEL 225 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) showdown.

“I knew I was capable of getting it done,” Heim said. “I worked hard for this one. It was just so important to prove our road course ability. It definitely means a lot.

“It’s a big statement for us. I feel like we’ve been able to win every week. To come here, be fast from the start. We have big goals this year, so to get a start like that is really special.”

Despite having the truck to beat, the win didn’t come without some drama. Marco Andretti brought out a caution as the leaders were coming to the white flag when the rear end housing broke loose from his Roper Racing Chevrolet. The incident led to a red flag that evaporated a comfortable lead by Heim and bunched up the contenders for a two-lap overtime shootout.

As he had multiple times earlier in the day, Heim pulled away from the field on the restart to take the checkered flag 1.625 seconds ahead of teammate Taylor Gray. Ty Majeski of ThorSport Racing finished third and polesitter Connor Zilisch was fourth in his NCTS debut with Spire Motorsports. NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) regular Ross Chastain, driving for Niece Motorsports, rounded out the top five.

“I definitely think I got all the rookie mistakes out of the way,” Zilisch said after the race. “I know where I’ve got to learn. It’s bittersweet.”

The victory was Heim’s first of the season, sixth of his career and third top-three finish through the first five races. He also ended Front Row Motorsports’ NCTS dominance at COTA, where the organization had claimed victory in each of the three previous XPEL 225 races.

Nick Sanchez took the green-and-white checkered flag to win Stage One, while Heim powered his Toyota Tundra to the front of the field to win Stage Two.

The weekend wraps up Sunday with the fourth running of the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix. Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron will start on the pole.


Fans can purchase tickets for Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix online at

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