Corey Heim led 82 of the 100 laps on his way to his first series victory, holding off Bret Holmes to win Friday night’s race at Kansas Speedway.
The win was the first in 16 career starts for the 18-year-old from Marietta, Ga. Heim’s previous best finish in the series was a pair of third-place runs last season at DuQuoin and Salem.
“It’s just really surreal right now. I have a lack for words,” said Heim, who took the lead on Lap 19 and never looked back. “Venturini Motorsports and all the people who make it happen – I couldn’t have done it without them.
“We were little loose throughout the race but I couldn’t ask for much more on that last run and here we are in Victory Lane. It was just a team effort. Clearly, we had the best car here, we drove right to the front.”
Holmes’ second-place finish allowed him to clinch his first ARCA championship by 12 points over Michael Self, who ended up fifth in the race.
Holmes, 23, earned his first series win earlier this year at Kansas and returned to the track to clinch his title.
It was a remarkably consistent season for Holmes, who ended the year with one win, 14 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in 20 races.
“The two things I’ve ever wanted were for my friends and family to be proud of me for my racing and for my team to have the same respect as the others. I think we earned that today,” Holmes said.
“We paid our dues and it’s a really special feeling. We’ve worked a long time for this. There have been many times where I thought about quitting but I had lot of people that didn’t give up on me.”
Derek Griffith finished third in the race, Dylan Lupton ended up a career-high fourth in just his second series start and Self rounded out the top-five.
Hailie Deegan, who finished sixth in the race and third in the series standings, clinched rookie of the year honors. Her best finish this season was second at Springfield.