Corey Heim led the way Saturday on the second day of the ARCA Menards Series annual two-day pre-season test at DAYTONA International Speedway, preparing for the season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven By General Tire at the World Center of Racing on Saturday, Feb. 13.
A total of 49 drivers participated in open test at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Heim, driving the No. 20 Toyota for Venturini Motorsports, timed in at 183.172 miles per hour (49.134 seconds) in a pack of cars late in the morning. His speed was just shy of Derrick Lancaster, who topped Friday’s session with a speed of 183.902 mph (48.939 seconds).
“We came here with a list of things we wanted to accomplish and we got them all done pretty quickly,” Heim said after his effort. “We made a lot of single car runs yesterday and a couple of runs in the pack. We came back this morning and made one single car run and one run in the draft and that was it. We learned everything we needed to learn and we’re ready to come back and race.”
Heim, who is teaming with Venturini Motorsports to compete for the ARCA Menards Series championship this season, has some previous experience testing at Daytona, but has never raced on the famed 31-degree-banked venue.
Heim won the 2020 season finale for the ARCA Menards Series at Kansas Speedway. His team, Venturini Motorsports, has won the last three series races on the oval at Daytona, two with Michael Self and one with Harrison Burton, and carried Self to victory lane in the series first-ever appearance on the DAYTONA Road Course last summer.
Saturday saw Heim lead a VMS top-three sweep, as teammates Drew Dollar and Derek Griffith were second and third. Jack Wood, in his first ride aboard the GMS Racing Chevrolet, timed in fourth quick and veteran driver Dave Mader III rounded out the top five. Taylor Gray, Ty Gibbs, Thad Moffitt, defending series champion Bret Holmes, and former Daytona runner-up finisher Willie Mullins rounded out the top ten.
For Lancaster, he delivered a great lap after conversing with someone, who he says, knows how to tackle Daytona, but would not offer up the person’s name.
“I have someone helping me out with some tricks, and I told him I wouldn’t tell anyone who it is,” Lancaster said. “He told me a few things and I listened to him. I learned more out there today than I have in the previous eight times I have been here. We hooked up in the draft with the 18 car (Gibbs, grandson of NASCAR owner Joe Gibbs) and caught the pack in front of us really quickly,” Lancaster continued. “The 18 and I seemed to work really well together.”
Gibbs was second fastest Friday with Moffitt third, Sean Corr fourth and Nick Sanchez fifth. Holmes was sixth, with Heim, Gray, stock car veteran Rich Bickle (who has competed at DIS in numerous series throughout the years), and Jack Wood rounding out the top ten.
For a complete rundown of the two-day test and other news, visit www.arcaracing.com. The Lucas Oil Driven By General Tire will be part of a Saturday doubleheader on Feb. 13, which will also see the season-opening race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the 2.5-mile venue – Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner.® 300.
All guests will be screened before entering the facility for the Lucas Oil Driven By General Tire and Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. ® 300, as well as all events as part of DAYTONA Speedweeks Presented by AdventHealth (Feb. 9-14). Fans will be required to wear face coverings while maintaining six feet social distancing throughout their visit. Information, including all ticket options and safety protocols, can be found by visiting www.DAYTONA500.com/updates or calling 1-800-PITSHOP.
Tickets for Speedweeks events, excluding the DAYTONA 500, and a limited number of premium and extended-stay camping packages, are still available. Fans wishing to attend are encouraged to make their plans now and secure their seats or camping experience now. Excluding the DAYTONA 500, children 12 and under are FREE in the 100 level seating and $10 in all other reserved seating.
Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.
About Daytona International Speedway
Daytona International Speedway is the home of The Great American Race – the DAYTONA 500. Though the season-opening NASCAR Cup Series event garners most of the attention – as well as the largest audience in motorsports – the approximately 500-acre motorsports complex boasts the most diverse schedule of racing on the globe, thus earning it the title of World Center of Racing. In addition to eight major weekends of racing activity, rarely a week goes by that the Speedway grounds are not used for events that include civic and social gatherings, car shows, photo shoots, production vehicle testing and police motorcycle training.