Corey Heim scored his third victory of the year on Thursday night during the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series playoff race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
The win locked Heim in to the Championship Four in November at Phoenix Raceway in his first full-time season.
“This is insane,” said Heim, who led the race’s final six laps and registered his 13th straight top-10 finish. “I feel like I’ve given so many away this year. To win like that is unreal. We finally got one back.”
Heim passed a dominant Eckes in the closing laps to take the win by .218 seconds on the .533-mile short track. Eckes finished runner-up after sweeping the first two stages and leading 151 of the 200 laps from the pole.
“We got really tight at the end,” Eckes said. “That one stinks for sure. We’ve got to move on and go on.”
Playoff drivers Grant Enfinger and Carson Hocevar finished third and fourth, respectively, with Taylor Gray completing the top five. Rajah Caruth, Ben Rhodes, Chase Purdy, Nick Sanchez and Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top 10.
Ty Majeski finished 19th after suffering a flat tire at the end of stage two. Defending Truck Series champion Zane Smith placed 24th despite leading 43 laps in the second stage.
Carson Kvapil finished 12th in his NASCAR Truck Series debut, piloting the No. 7 Chevrolet for Spire Motorsports.