By: Ashley McCubbin
There are plenty of ways to start off a season, and Corey Heim did so in the best way possible by winning the ARCA Menards Series opener at Daytona International Speedway last month.
“It meant everything to me,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “I think just being at Daytona, but getting a win to start off the season no matter what race track you are at because we have that month off to really let it soak in before we get the season going. It was awesome to get a win at Daytona and in my first start as I’d never been there, just tested a few times. It just means a lot to me and I really excited to try and keep it going this weekend.”
Heim will now try to carry the momentum into Phoenix Raceway on Friday night, a track that treated him decently last November with an eighth-place finish. Another victory could not only help his title chances, but also continue to showcase his talent as he tries to move up the racing ladder.
“I just want to be a successful racecar driver,” Heim spoke of the future. “Whatever it takes to get to the highest level that I can, and perform at the highest level that I can is big for me. Of course, I’m a really competitive person, but I feel I’m more competitive than most people. I want to go out there and win and I don’t want to find myself in a position where I can’t win. This year, I’m in a position to do what I want and go out there and win races, and hopefully in the future I can continue to do so.”
Being able to compete in ARCA with a chance to performance on a weekly basis as he vies for a chance in NASCAR is an opportunity Heim says is huge for him.
“The ARCA Series is the perfect place to go if you’re up-and-coming and want to make a name for yourself as someone my age,” he commented. “What my job is at this point is to perform. I have plenty of opportunity to do so and I think I’m building quite a resume for myself so far. We have 19 opportunities to continue to do so and I’m hoping to go win some more races.”
This weekend presents a bigger opportunity than most, in knowing it is one of the larger fields for the series in being a companion event alongside the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series. There are also several big names in the field, including current NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor Zane Smith. Despite perhaps the additional pressure and potential points implications, Heim isn’t changing his approach.
“I think the competition, the car count is going to be higher than most tracks through the schedule but that’s really fine with me,” he commented. “I just have to go out there and do my job, qualify well, and stay up there throughout the race. I just need to do my job and try to win the race. It’s just a little more pressure in qualifying, just so I don’t find myself in the 20s and the 30s.”
While the focus is on the ARCA season ahead, Heim also noted he will be getting additional behind the wheel, set to announce Super Late Model and Limited Late Model plans soon.