Corey Heim earned the regular season championship in his first full-time season in the NASCAR Truck Series after the completion of the first stage this evening in Richmond. The Toyota development driver is the first driver in NASCAR history to earn a regular season title despite missing a race (Gateway, illness) and earning a Playoff waiver. Heim, the reigning Truck Series Rookie of the Year, leads the series in top-10 finishes and average finish. Heim has an impressive 13 top-10 finishes in 15 starts this year. The Georgia-native will be the no. 1 seed in the Playoffs and goes into the playoff opener at Indianapolis Raceway Park on a streak of nine consecutive top-10 finishes.

Heim also led Toyota this evening with a sixth-place run, while his teammate William Sawalich started a career-best third and earned his second top-10 finish in just his third start.


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

Finishing Position: 6th

Regular season champion. What does that mean to you and this team?

“Yeah, it really means a lot. With TRICON Garage and Toyota Racing, we‘ve come such a long way from the beginning of the year. I really felt like we had a lot of progress to make in the first four or five weeks and we‘ve really been improving ever since. Tonight, it was a rough night at Richmond. It is kind of a unique race track. On the normal tracks, we‘ve been really consistent. Still a good finish for us, but definitely want to do better leading into the Playoffs.”

Who are you leaning on with your first Playoff run?

“For sure, (crew chief) Scott Zipadelli. He has Playoff experience with a lot of different drivers and he‘s won a championship. Just learning what that is like — it‘s really my first time competing in a Playoff format, so leaning on him and leaning on my crew who is also full of experience, along with a lot of people in the shop. Once again, just hats off to everyone at TRICON Garage, Toyota Racing, JBL and Safelite.”

Does being the regular season champion make you one of the favorites to be the champion in Phoenix?

“I would certainly say so. We‘ve been about the most consistent these last two or three months. If we can carry that into the Playoffs, we will be tough to beat. Definitely have to improve on tonight, but it‘s a different track — unique. We‘ve got a couple more short tracks coming up and I think we will be good.”

— Toyota Racing —

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