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Corey Heim dominates rain-delayed NASCAR Truck race at North Wilkesboro

Corey Heim dominates rain-delayed NASCAR Truck race at North Wilkesboro

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. — Corey Heim dominated Sunday’s weather-delayed Wright Brand 250 at North Wilkesboro Speedway, but the driver of the No. 11 Tricon Garage Toyota had to share the spotlight with his teammate, Brenden “Butterbean” Queen, who finished fourth in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut.

Heim grabbed the lead from Jake Garcia after a restart on Lap 186 of 250 and held it the rest of the way to win for the third time this season, the first time at North Wilkesboro and the eighth time in his career.

Crossing the finish line 2.474 seconds ahead of runner-up Grant Enfinger, Heim trimmed the series lead of sixth-place finisher Christian Eckes to four points in a race that was halted on Saturday by extreme weather after 81 laps and resumed on Sunday after a red-flag period of 21 hours, six minutes, 14 seconds.

When five inches of rain fell during a 90-minute stretch on Saturday, Heim‘s truck was all but submerged at the legendary short track, which experienced drainage issues during the deluge.

“Of course, we hoped for no water damage,” Heim said. “The truck was submerged in almost three feet of water — we picked probably the worst pit box in that scenario, but obviously you can never really intend on something like that happening.

“I‘ve never seen so much rain come down in an hour in my life. That was crazy, but eventually we were able to wipe it down and make sure there was no damage, and I was able to recover from that, for sure.”

RELATED: Official race results | At-track photos

Layne Riggs came home third, holding off Queen in the late going, but Queen enjoyed the raucous support of “Bean Nation” as soon as he climbed from his No. 1 Toyota. To finish fourth, Queen had to overcome a pit road speeding penalty incurred under caution on Lap 118.

“Oh, man, I can‘t believe it,” said Queen, who restarted 26th on Lap 124 and worked his way back through the field. “We got that speeding penalty. I thought I was conservative on the lights, and it just got us—rookie mistake.

“But I told the team I was going to get ‘em back in position, and we did.”

The season-best second-place finish was a welcome result for Enfinger, who leaves the 0.625-mile short track eighth in the series standings, 170 points behind Eckes.

“We haven‘t been performing to our ability or our standards,” said Enfinger. “I feel like last week at Darlington was the turning point in our season (despite a 16th-place finish). I‘m standing by that.

“Very, very proud of this truck. Proud of our pit crew all year long. Finally, we have a little bit of a result to show for it.”

Riggs got his first top-five finish of the season in the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford.

“We really, really needed this finish,” Riggs said. “It was a great day for us, and I hope we can continue to build on this momentum.”

Varying pit strategies produced considerable movement with the field throughout the race. Heim restarted 13th on lap 124 but methodically worked his way up the running order. On Lap 175 he passed Riggs for second place, and after Conner Jones spun in Turn 4 to cause the sixth of seven cautions on Lap 177, Heim shot past Garcia on the Lap 186 restart.

Staying out on older tires, Ty Majeski won the first stage of the race. Using the same strategy, Tyler Ankrum triumphed in Stage 2. But Heim had the fastest truck and quickly proved it after the second stage break.

Moonlighting from the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Sammy Smith finished fifth, followed by Eckes, Nick Sanchez, Ankrum, Daniel Dye and Stewart Friesen to complete the top 10.

The Truck Series will next race on Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).