The figurative deck was shuffled several times on Saturday night in the Georgia Spring Nationals, but the hand kept coming up aces for Corey Heim.
The ARCA Daytona winner has now won back-to-back races at Watermelon Capital Speedway — this time taking the checkered flag in the second Southern Super Series points race of the season that served as a de facto replacement for CRA Speedfest from January.
Heim won that race in 2020 and could not be denied on Saturday night.
The 18-year-old from Marietta, Georgia inherited second place on Lap 69 when Jett Motorsports teammate Stephen Nasse fell off the pace with a broken axle, which gave the lead to Jett Noland.
Led every lap, fell out at 81 to go. Just wasn't my day but we'll be there next time. Appreciate everyone who came out, watched and appreciate those who grabbed some gear today also. #NasseNation
— Stephen Nasse (@StephenNasse) March 28, 2021
Heim was penalized to the rear of the field a lap later when he came together with Noland and sent the leader around in Turn 2. He charged through the field and took the lead from Hunter Robbins with 25 to go and survived a green-white-checkered to win for the first time since Daytona.
He would not be denied.
“Overall, it was a great race, we had some hiccups there in the middle of the race,” Heim said on the Speed51.TV PPV broadcast. “We made our way back to the front and had a great race.”
This was his third Super Late Model victory overall, the other coming at Cordele last year and another in 2019 in the CARS Tour at South Boston Speedway.
“The Southern Super Series field is really good,” Heim said. “We got a little lucky with a couple people falling out throughout the race. Stephen had a really good car, if he would’ve made it to the end I think we would’ve had a great race. I can’t thank Jett Motorsports and Toyota enough for everything they do with bringing a fast race car, I can’t wait to do more races with them.”
The final restart was generated by Noland again getting spun, this time from Hunter Robbins, who had been pinched against the frontstretch wall the previous lap. It appeared like a retaliatory act as Robbins parked his car immediately afterwards.
Several teams left Cordele frustrated with Noland.
Another Georgia native, 16-year-old Jake Garcia had previously won his first Pro Late Model race at Cordele and had a shot on the green-white-checkered to get his first Super Late Model win but couldn’t close on Heim.
“It was definitely a handful there. We went to the back for a little bit and went back to the front, it was a up-and-down day but we were up there when it counted and managed to keep our second place position,” said Garcia. “We made good adjustments there when we pitted and it really helped us out during those restarts at the end of the race.”
Jeremy Pate finished third ahead of Nick Neri and Hudson Halder.
“We struggled the last couple of months, even going back before the Snowball Derby,” Pate said, “But we hit on something yesterday afternoon and we’re looking forward to building on this.”
Kyle Plott led the middle stages of the race but drove off the backstretch pavement onto the wet grass, which sent him around and off the Turn 3 hill. The same thing happened to Jake Finch running inside the top-5 several laps later. The deck continually shuffled, allowing Heim to work his way back to the front.
The Southern Super Series season continues on April 10 at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina with an event co-sanctioned by the CARS Tour.
The results from Cordele can be found below.
- Corey Heim
- Jake Garcia
- Jeremy Pate
- Nick Neri
- Hudson Halder
- Jett Noland
- Michael Simko
- Daniel Webster
- Kyle Plott
- Joe Ross
- Mike Garrett
- Hunter Robbins
- Jake Finch
- Kyle Plott
- Dawson Fletcher
- Stephen Nasse
- Connor Okrzesik