Corey Heim scored his first career win at Daytona, holding off pole-sitter Drew Dollar (shown above) to win the ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200 in his #20 Billy Venturini owned Toyota.
Heim, 18, finished last season with a victory in Kansas. He opted for the outside lane ahead of an overtime restart, quickly darted in front Dollar and the duo separated from the pack for a comfortable 1-2 finish.
Bret Holmes, Ty Gibbs and Kyle Sieg rounded out the top-five.
Heim, who won last season’s finale at Kansas Speedway to earn his first series victory, picked up right where he left off driving the No. 20 JBL Toyota.
“I gotta give it all to (crew chief) Shannon Rursch,” said Heim of the final restart with one lap to go Saturday. “He made the perfect call, executed this race perfect. He dialed this JBL Camry in perfect.
“Can’t give enough thanks to Toyota Racing, Venturini Motorsports, JBL, all the guys who make it happen.”
How it happened: pic.twitter.com/ewZHQK3bvt
— ARCA Menards Series (@ARCA_Racing) February 13, 2021
A caution with four laps to go set up Saturday’s overtime finish. With Heim, the leader, taking the top lane and Dollar on the bottom, the latter let the former move to the inside so the duo could work together in the draft.
Even with Dollar’s car damaged and lacking power steering, the plan worked to perfection, and VMS ended the race with a 1-2 finish.
“I felt like that was really all we could do there,” Dollar said of the last lap. “We had a super fast Camry today; just didn’t really have what it took to win once we had damage. Had a little bit of a tire rub and just wanted to get to the end. It was tough without any power steering.”
Including last summer’s ARCA Menards Series race at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, a VMS Toyota has now won five consecutive races on the platform at the World Center of Racing.
That also means VMS has won four straight ARCA Menards Series season-openers on the famed Daytona oval.
“I gotta give a lot of props to Drew Dollar,” Heim added. “He really helped me there at the end, just him being right behind me. I know he’s got a little bit of experience and just raced (Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World) Truck (Series) race, too. Really trusted him, and it paid off.”
Defending series champion Bret Holmes finished third ahead of Ty Gibbs in fourth and Kyle Sieg in fifth.
Derrick Lancaster, Tanner Gray, Andy Jankowiak, Jack Wood and Sean Corr rounded out the top 10.
Heim and Dollar’s VMS teammates, Derek Griffith and Gracie Trotter, finished 30th and 23rd, respectively, after getting caught up in incidents.
While leading, Griffith was knocked out of the race on Lap 27 when Trotter got into his rear bumper.
Trotter found more trouble later in the race when she ran into the back of Chuck Hiers’ car as it slid into the outside wall.
|Fin||No.||Driver||Sponsor / Owner||Car||Laps||Behind|
|1||20||Corey Heim||JBL/(Billy Venturini)||Toyota||82||0.000s|
|2||15||Drew Dollar||Sunbelt Rentals/(Bill Venturini)||Toyota||82||0.113|
|3||23||Bret Holmes||Southern States Bank/(Stacy Holmes)||Chevrolet||82||0.194|
|4||18||Ty Gibbs||Monster Energy/(Coy Gibbs)||Toyota||82||0.378|
|5||28||Kyle Sieg||TBD/(Rod Sieg)||Chevrolet||82||0.609|
|6||29||Derrick Lancaster||Total Car & Truck Service/(Derrick Lancaster)||Toyota||82||0.627|
|7||17||Tanner Gray||Ford/(David Gilliland)||Ford||82||0.741|
|8||73||null||Jankowiak Racing/(Andy Jankowiak)||Ford||82||0.746|
|9||21||Jack Wood||GMS Racing/(Maury Gallagher)||Chevrolet||82||0.860|
|10||8||Sean Corr||Nesco/(John Corr)||Chevrolet||82||0.865|
|11||97||Jason Kitzmiller||A.L.L. Construction/(Codie Rohrbaugh)||Chevrolet||82||1.039|
|12||44||John Ferrier||Ferrier McClure Racing/(John Ferrier)||Chevrolet||82||1.046|
|13||32||Howie DiSavino III||Kee’s Travel/(Kevin Cywinski)||Chevrolet||82||1.137|
|14||10||Jason White||Powder Venture Excavating/(Andy Hillenburg)||Ford||82||1.743|
|15||45||Rich Bickle||Racers-FabForceTradeSchool.com/(Mike Cheek)||Chevrolet||82||2.200|
|16||7||Eric Caudell||Caudell Consulting & Marketing/(Eric Caudell)||Ford||82||2.381|
|17||11||Richard Garvie||The Brews Box/(Andy Hillenburg)||Ford||82||5.283|
|18||02||Toni Breidinger||Roman/(Tyler Young)||82||6.896|
|19||27||Tim Richmond||Immigration Law Center/(David Richmond)||Toyota||81||1 Lap|
|20||94||Benny Chastain||Kram/(Kevin Cram)||81||1 Lap|
|21||46||Thad Moffitt||Clean Harbors/(David Gilliland)||Ford||80||2 Laps|
|22||06||Con Nicolopoulos||GreatRailings.com/(Wayne Peterson)||Chevrolet||80||2 Laps|
|23||25||Gracie Trotter||Mobil1/(Cathy Venturini)||Toyota||78||4 Laps|
|24||88||Scott Reeves||Reeves Racing/(Scott Reeves)||Chevrolet||74||8 Laps|
|25||01||Chuck Hiers||Design Center of Avenues/(Michelle Hillenburg)||Toyota||63||19 Laps|
|26||12||D.L. Wilson||Panagenics Dog Food/(Michelle Hillenburg)||Toyota||56||26 Laps|
|27||63||Dave Mader III||Diamond C Ranch/(Paris Wixon)||Chevrolet||55||27 Laps|
|28||3||Willie Mullins||Crawford Sprinkler/(Willie Mullins)||Chevrolet||32||50 Laps|
|29||35||Greg Van Alst||CB Fabricating/(Greg Van Alst)||Chevrolet||28||54 Laps|
|30||55||Derek Griffith||Spot On/(Billy Venturini)||Toyota||27||55 Laps|
|31||2||Nick Sanchez||Max Siegael. Eibach/(Max Siegel)||Chevrolet||27||55 Laps|
|32||69||Scott Melton||Melton McFadden Insurance/(Bill Kimmel)||Chevrolet||27||55 Laps|
|33||48||Owen Smith||Henshaw Automation/(Brad Smith)||Chevrolet||17||65 Laps|
|34||30||Brittney Zamora||SQ1/(Mark Rette)||7||75 Laps|