TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 24, 2021) — Over the last three decades, just one driver has won both the ARCA Menards Series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and the series’ event at Talladega Superspeedway in the same season.
Thanks to Corey Heim Saturday, make it two drivers.
The 18-year-old Heim drove his No. 20 JBL Toyota to Victory Lane at Talladega in the General Tire 200. It was the Marietta, Georgia, driver’s second win of the year, following his triumph in the season-opening event at Daytona. He joined David Keith (2000) as the only driver to sweep the two races in a single season since 1992.
Saturday’s race came down to a sprint on a one-lap restart following a late caution. Heim restarted third with local favorite – Munford, AL’s Bret Holmes – and Nick Sanchez leading the field to the final green flag. Heim’s Venturini Motorsports teammate, Drew Dollar, immediately ditched the top lane to fall in line behind the No. 20.
And the same teamwork that pushed Heim to the win at Daytona did it again at Talladega.
Sanchez, who took the lead entering the Talladega Superstretch after Holmes failed to block his run on the outside, could do nothing to stop the VMS train in his mirror. By the time the field reached the end of the backstretch, Heim was in the lead for good with Dollar in tow.
Dave Mader III, the 65-year-old racing veteran who was making his fifth ARCA Menards Series start at Talladega, pulled off an exhilarating second-place finish after he used a push from Thad Moffitt to get by Sanchez on the final stretch.
Mader, a native of Maylene, Alabama, picked up his best ARCA Menards Series finish since he ran second at Talladega in 1991. Sanchez finished third ahead of Dollar in fourth and Holmes in fifth. Moffitt, Andy Jankowiak, Kyle Sieg, Eric Caudell and Scott Melton rounded out the top 10.
The victory extends Heim’s lead in the championship points standings.
Including last season’s finale at Kansas Speedway, Heim has won three of the last four ARCA Menards Series races. He finished second to Ty Gibbs in the race he did not win, at Phoenix Raceway last month.
Gibbs, who entered Saturday’s race two points behind Heim in the championship standings, was in contention for the win until he was involved in an accident on Lap 62. Contact between Sanchez and Greg Van Alst sent the latter spinning directly into Gibbs’ No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Gibbs finished 27th.
Derrick Lancaster, who finished 23rd after he was involved in a fiery crash with five laps to go, was transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.
The track was set to host the second race of Saturday’s doubleheader, which featured the Ag-Pro 300, which was set for a 3 p.m. CDT start. The mammoth 2.66-mile venue will see the final race of the weekend on Sunday during the GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race (1 p.m. CDT, FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Limited admission options remain for the GEICO 500 and fans are encouraged to log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA for details.
To learn more about the spring NASCAR event weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and its safety protocols, visit https://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/fan-guide/. Fans are encouraged to keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The ARCA Menards Series will return to action Saturday, May 1, for the Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway, the fourth race of the season. That race is scheduled to broadcast live on FS1 starting at 1:30 p.m. ET.
About Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway is the most competitive race track on the NASCAR schedule (record 88 lead changes in 188 laps), the highest-banked (33 degrees) and the longest (2.66 miles), as well as the most fun and fan-friendly. Three- and four-wide racing at 200 mph are a norm at Talladega Superspeedway, along with nail-biting, photo finishes. For information, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series) and three international series (NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Peak Mexico Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).