16-year old Corey Heim did the unimaginable on Saturday night at South Boston Speedway. He picked up two wins in his debut appearance in a Late Model Stock Car against the likes of Philip Morris and Peyton Sellers, two drivers who have five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS) National Championships among them.
However, Heim’s fate hangs in the balance as his wins are being held as unofficial pending final technical inspection at the NASCAR R&D Center in Charlotte, NC on Monday. Heim’s car was found to have too much camber and toe in the rear end during post-race technical inspection following Heim’s second win of the night.
Heim driving a car from the Lee Pulliam Performance stables was making his first start in a Late Model Stock Car on Saturday night. Heim is a regular in the Super and Pro Late Model ranks and has become a front-runner in both and tonight finished fourth in the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model feature as well.
During inspection, tonight NASCAR Whelen All-American Series officials opted to check the rear end of the top finishers. Heim’s rear end visually appeared to have camber according to a member of a rival team and when checked with a tape measure by NWAAS officials it was confirmed to be out of tolerance. Heim’s rear end was kept by NWAAS officials and will be checked by NASCAR officials at the NASCAR R&D Center on Monday using a jig.
RACE22.com spoke to team owner Lee Pulliam by phone after the inspection was completed at the track. Pulliam feels as if it’ll be called right by NASCAR officials on Monday.
“They put the wheels on and checked toe and ours checked more than they wanted it to,” Pulliam told RACE22.com. “Something like this needs to be checked before the race because there was a lot of beating and banging out there and we need a new body because of all the contact. The cars beat on three corners, bent wheels and knocked the toe in on the front, so I think once they get it on a jig and check it, it’ll be called right.”
According to Pulliam the rules on tolerance isn’t clear.
“It says none (no tolerance) in the rulebook but no rear end will measure exact, so I’m not sure what the tolerance is. That needs to be made more clear and it needs to be something that everyone knows.”
According to an off the record conversation with an NWAAS official the tolerance usually accepted is 1/8 of an inch. Heim’s checked in at 3/4 of an inch via a measuring tape. The measurement equates to roughly 3 degrees of camber according to the official’s opinion.
Pulliam feels that measurement can’t be right.
“It definitely isn’t that far off,” stated Pulliam. “That’s just not believable.”
Inspection issues aside Pulliam speaks very highly of Heim’s performance on the track.
“No matter which way this goes, Corey did a great job tonight. To come into South Boston and race against guys like that and come away with two wins is impressive. No matter what happens it shouldn’t be a black eye for him, he did his job and won on the track. This had nothing to do with him winning on the track.”
Pulliam has been racing for twelve years and aside from a disqualification at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in 2015 he’s had no issues in tech. Pulliam’s car was disqualified at Greenville Pickens after Dalton Sargeant’s shock would not rebound within 90 seconds. A rule that got four different drivers disqualified that same weekend when temperatures were a frigid 30 degrees.
Pulliam is hopeful that the rear end will check right on Monday but says there are no hard feelings with the way South Boston officials teched the car or any of the process.
“I’ve got no hard feelings on the way they handled things tonight. I don’t agree with their measurement and it’s not right to check this after a race with a lot of contact but I applaud them for trying to make sure everyone is running straight up.”
We will follow up on Monday once results are made official. Stay tuned to RACE22.com for any additional updates in the meantime.