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Corey Heim dominates ARCA Menards Series season-opener at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Corey Heim and Venturini Motorsports experienced a déjà vu Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Last year, Heim and his team opened the season with a superspeedway victory when he won the race following an overtime restart. While it was not technically an overtime finish this time, the 2022 Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire ended with a restart on the final lap.

And once again, Heim wheeled his No. 20 Crescent Tools Toyota for Venturini Motorsports to the checkered flag.

The win marked VMS’ fifth consecutive ARCA Menards Series victory at Daytona. It was Heim’s eighth trip to Victory Lane in the ARCA Menards Series dating back to 2020.

RELATED: Complete results from ARCA opener at Daytona

“My team made it easy on me,” Heim said. “I had great teammates with me the whole way. Venturini Motorsports — the most organized team out here. Toyota Racing has helped me get here, Crescent Tools … It just all came together for this race, and it worked out.”

The teammate who spent the majority of Saturday’s race pushing Heim was Parker Chase, who finished second, a new career high in the ARCA Menards Series.

Chase was on Heim’s bumper as the two crossed the finish line.

“The objective here today was to have a Venturini car win, and we succeeded at that,” Chase said. “Five in a row for Venturini, which is incredible. That’s what we came here to do.”

Corey Heim
Corey Heim celebrates winning the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire for the ARCA Menards Series at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 19, 2021. (Adam Glanzman/NASCAR)

A stalled car brought out the final caution of Saturday’s race with four laps to go, setting up the final-lap restart. Drew Dollar, who was driving the No. 18 Lynx Capital Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports, crashed hard on the backstretch during the final lap before the leaders drove on to take the checkered.

Dollar was evaluated in and released from the Daytona infield care center.

Daniel Dye, who attends high school just a few miles away from Daytona in DeLand, Florida, finished third Saturday to open his first full-time season in the ARCA Menards Series running for GMS Racing.

“To finish third, with us points racing this year, I think there were 36 cars in this race — to be in the top five and finish third clean is a great start to our year,” Dye said. “I’m just proud to be here and part of this GMS team.”

Sean Corr and Gus Dean rounded out the top five in Saturday’s race.

Andy Jankowiak, Mason Diaz, Dave Mader III, Toni Breidinger and Ryan Huff completed the top 10.

The ARCA Menards Series will return to action on Friday, March 11, with the General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway. The race, which also will serve as the season-openers for both the ARCA Menards Series West and the Sioux Chief Showdown, is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. MT / 7:30 p.m. ET.

The General Tire 150 at Phoenix will broadcast live on MAVTV Motorsports Network with a live stream available on FloRacing.

Special awards from Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire:

  • General Tire Pole Award: Corey Heim
  • Bounty Rookie Challenge: Parker Chase
  • Richmond Water Heaters Halfway Leader: Corey Heim
  • Sprecher Lap Leader: Corey Heim
  • Cometic Crew Chief: Shannon Rursch
  • K&N Filters Hard Charger: Dave Mader III
  • Reese’s Sweet Move of the Race: Toni Breidinger