NASCAR announced Wednesday that Truck Series driver Corey Heim had been fined $12,500 and docked 25 points for his actions during the Truck Series title race Friday night.
Heim, 21, was one of the four drivers racing for the championship along with Grant Enfinger, Carson Hocevar and Ben Rhodes. Heim got spun after Hocevar’s truck slid up the track on lap 120 as the two drivers were racing for the top spot among the title contenders.
Heim didn’t take kindly to Hocevar’s move and waited to exact his revenge in the final scheduled laps of the race. As Enfinger was running third ahead of Rhodes and en route to his first career Truck Series title, Heim put Hocevar into the wall on lap 147.
After the race Heim denied that the retaliatory crash was intentional, even as it appeared it was blatant.
“So as soon as [Hocevar] — really he was the third one that went by me on the outside and I about wrecked every time, and by the time he got there, I finally just spun it out. With him on my door, I lost all my side force and lost control.”
A few minutes later in his news conference, Heim made it clear what he felt about Hocevar’s move.
“I’ve been racing Carson for a long time, racing him since I was 8 or 9 years old and that’s just kind of what he does,” Heim said. “He’ll wreck you and apologize, and then he’ll do it again the next week.
“It’s not going to be the last time he does it, and it’s certainly not the first time he’s done it. [I've] known him for a long time, and I know a lot of guys have only known him for four years as far as his racing career, but it’s been a decade on top of that.”
Somewhat surprisingly, NASCAR didn’t take in-race action against Heim after he wrecked Hocevar. They let him finish the race as he went on to finish 18th and Hocevar was 29th. The points penalty means that Heim will finish fourth in the standings behind Hocevar.
Rhodes went on to win the title with a fifth-place finish after three crashes following Heim’s retaliation caused the race to go 29 laps longer than scheduled. Enfinger restarted third after Heim crashed Hocevar, but lost a bunch of track position on the scheduled white-flag lap and pitted for fresh tires.
He was able to work his way through the field despite the staccato nature of the end of the race and finished a spot behind Rhodes at the checkered flag. The race featured 12 cautions for 77 laps over 179 total laps and there wasn't a green-flag run longer than 12 laps over the final 100 circuits.
“I think Corey had probably the best truck there, but just unfortunate that that kind of incident was retaliation or whatever, and obviously I feel like we had the championship in our grasp right there,” Enfinger said.
“Just part of racing, part of this format. I think that kind of started a chain reaction to just chaos, which is, I guess, entertaining. It’s frustrating running for a championship.”