Category: 2021 News

Venturini Motorsports Prepares for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Venturini Motorsports Prepares for Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in ARCA’s First Series Visit Since 1965; Drivers Corey Heim, Drew Dollar and Brandon Jones Ready for Road Course Action

June 2, 2021 (Concord, NC) – The ARCA Menards Series will return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Club for the first time since 1965 when it competes at the 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course on Friday, June 4. No strangers to road course racing Venturini Motorsports (VMS) will make the Midwest trip with a trio of all Georgia born contenders led by Corey Heim, Drew Dollar and current NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Brandon Jones.

Coming off another strong team showing over Memorial Day Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway – VMS’s Toyota drivers finished second (Corey Heim), third (Drew Dollar) and fourth (Parker Chase) – the team is now looking to capture the organization’s second road course win in as many years, the longtime ARCA team will make the quick turnaround in preparation for Friday’s Dawn 150 at Mid-Ohio.

A true test of discipline, Corey Heim (No. 20 Craftsman Toyota) born in Marietta, Georgia, will put his early season hot streak with VMS on the line when he makes his first career road course start a Mid-Ohio Sports Car Club.

Entering the series’ seventh event of the 2021 season, the 18-year old driver continues to top ARCA’s Championship Driver Points standings holding a slim 10-point advantage over Ty Gibbs.  A model of consistency, Heim boasts a 1.8 finishing average behind two wins (Daytona / Talladega) and six consecutive top-3 finishes to start the season.

Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelt Toyota) making his sixth start of the season with VMS, is coming off a third-place finish at Charlotte.  The 20-year old Georgian has one career road course race under his belt, earning a 12thplace finish last season at Daytona’s road track.  Dollar enters Mid-Ohio with 27 series starts since making his ARCA Menards Series debut in 2019 –  collectively posting 1 win, eight top-5’s and 21 top-10 finishes.

Brandon Jones (No. 25 Tide-Bounty Toyota) a current five-time NASCAR (Camping World / Xfinity Series) winner and former VMS driver returns to the ARCA Menards Series for the first time since 2018 to compete in Friday’s ARCA Dawn 150 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Club. Jones, 24, out of Atlanta, Georgia is a five-time ARCA tour winner.

Currently driving full-time for Toyota’s Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series (4-wins), Jones will bring veteran leadership to the Mid-Ohio road course. Competing in a combined 254 events across the ARCA Menards Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series since 2013, Jones hopes to capture his first road course victory in 21-career attempts.  This will be his sixth start at Mid-Ohio with a career best 10th place finish coming in the Xfinity Series in 2019.

Friday’s ARCA Menards Series Dawn 150 from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Club is scheduled to broadcast live on FS1 starting at 6:00 PM EST.

Venturini Motorsports Ready for Queen City Showcase in ARCA’s Return to Charlotte Motor Speedway; Heim, Dollar and Chase Headline Lineup

May 28, 2021 (Concord, NC) – All racing eyes will be sharply focused on Charlotte Motor Speedway this Memorial Day Weekend for a quadruple header featuring NASCAR’s current and future stars.  Joining NASCAR’s top three series (CUP, XFINITY and Camping World), the ARCA Menards Series takes to the track in primetime Saturday night for the 100-lap General Tire 150.

Leading the way back to Charlotte for Venturini Motorsports (VMS) is the current series’ points leader Corey Heim. Heim, driver of the No.20 JBL Toyota Camry, with crew chief Shannon Rursch calling the shots, enters weekend competition with a 17-point advantage over fellow Toyota driver Ty Gibbs and boasts a staggering 1.8 average finish over his first five starts of the 2021 season.

Finishing second last weekend on Toledo’s half-mile track, the 18-year old Georgia native will make his first-ever start at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Collecting each of his three ARCA series victories over his last six starts, Heim has been dominant early on this season with two wins and five top-3 finishes since the start of the 2021 campaign.

Like most racers growing up, honing their driving skills on short tracks, Heim has further proven his stock on the big tracks since becoming speedway eligible last year.  Of his 21 ARCA career starts, six have come on track surfaces 1.5 mile and larger.  Finding his knack for speed, Heim shines during superspeedway competition – yet to finish outside the top-4 positions in each of his six speedway races, the Toyota driver has three wins (Kansas ‘20, Daytona ‘21 and Talladega ‘21), a third place effort (Kansas ‘21) and a pair of fourth places finishes (Kansas ’20 / Pocono ’19) on his resume.

Another hot shoe for VMS looking to make headlines in Charlotte is Drew Dollar.  Returning to ARCA action, Dollar is back behind the wheel of his familiar No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota Camry with Billy Venturini atop the pit box.

Dollar with one ARCA victory (Talladega ’20) over 26-career series starts has a pair of runner-up finishes and three top-5 finishes over his first five events of the 2021 season.  The 20-year old driver, running a split season in ARCA and NASCAR’s Camping World Truck series, will be pulling double duty this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, running the NASCAR Truck race on Friday night followed up by Saturday night’s ARCA General Tire 150.

Chomping at the bit to make his ARCA season debut and second series start of his career, Texas native, Parker Chase will hold the wheel for VMS driving the No.25 NXTLVL Marine Toyota Camry at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Chase, the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Champion and American sports car road course veteran, will make his first of five starts on the season with VMS during Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series General Tire 150 in Charlotte. The New Braunfels, Texas native will also compete in ARCA’s top division at Winchester Speedway (7/31), Bristol Motor Speedway (9/16), Kansas Speedway (10/23) before finishing his schedule driving in the ARCA Menards Series West finale at Phoenix Raceway (11/6).

Chase, who earlier in the year signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports for two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ road course events, has one career ARCA start on his resume competing on Daytona’s Road Course in 2020.  Parker, competing with Toyota teammate Kyle Busch, also captured a top ten team finish in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2020.

With 74 all-time ARCA Menards Series victories, the long-time ARCA team will rely on the Toyota driver trio of Corey Heim, Drew Dollar and Parker Chase to deliver the team’s first ever win at Charlotte.

Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series General Tire 150 from Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled to broadcast live on FS1 starting at 7:00 PM EST.

Venturini Motorsports Toledo Bound Eyeing Short Track Success in Saturday’s Herr’s Potato Chip 200 at Toledo Speedway

May 20, 2021 (Concord, NC) – Home of the ARCA Menards Series, Toledo Speedway plays host when the series’ makes its fifth stop of the season in Saturday’s Herr’s 200. Gearing up for the short track battle Venturini Motorsport’s team effort will be led by current points leader Corey Heim, Gracie Trotter and team newcomer Jessie Love.

Winner of three of the last five ARCA Series events, Corey Heim (No.20 Craftsman Toyota) will make his second career start at the Ohio half-mile track. In his sole Toledo start the Georgia driver claimed a top-10 finish in 2019. Riding his Toyota team’s early season momentum Heim is poised to add to his impressive season resume.  Already with two wins and four top-3 finishes in as many races, the 18-year old holds a 13-point advantage in the standings over Ty Gibbs.

Jesse Love, 2020’s ARCA West Series Champion, will make his VMS season debut in ARCA’s top touring series and first at Toledo behind the wheel of his No.15 Mobil 1 Toyota.  At 16-years old, the California kid bring will bring his swagger and short track tenacity when he rolls off for his first track appearance during his sixth overall series start.  Scheduled to make nine ARCA Menards Series team starts in 2021, Love is paired with Kevin Reed, one of the winningest crew chiefs in the series over the last 10-years.

Returning to her short track racing roots, Gracie Trotter (No.25 Calico Coatings Toyota) is determined to get back on track after an unexpected string of bad luck has spoiled the North Carolina driver’s early season efforts. Entering familiar short track territory, the 19-year old Trotter became the first female in history to win an ARCA sanctioned event after capturing the checkered flag in 2020 during the ARCA West race at the Bullring in Las Vegas. Scheduled to make her seventh career series start, Saturday’s 200-lap event will be her first at Toledo Speedway.

With 74 all-time ARCA Menards Series team victories, VMS displays four Toledo trophies at their Concord, North Carolina shop.  Bill Venturini claimed the team’s first win at the track during his first of two championship seasons in 1987.  Former team drivers Justin Boston (’14), Todd Gilliland (’15) and Chandler Smith (’19) have their names etched on the other three Toledo Speedway trophies.

Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series Herr’s Potato Chip 200 from Toledo Speedway is scheduled to broadcast live on MAVTV starting at 8:00 PM EST.

Parker Chase, Pirelli World Challenge Champion, Signs Five Race ARCA Deal with Venturini Motorsports

Concord, NC (May 04, 2021) – Venturini Motorsports (VMS) announced today the signing of 20-year American sports car driver, Parker Chase, to a five-race schedule in the ARCA Menards Series. Chase, the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Champion will take the next step in his career by further developing his craft on a mix of diverse speedway and short track ovals beginning with the ARCA General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 29.

Set to drive the No. 25 NXTLVL Marine Toyota Camry, the New Braunfels, Texas native will also compete in ARCA’s top division at Winchester Speedway (7/31), Bristol Motor Speedway (9/16), and Kansas Speedway (10/23) before finishing his schedule driving in the ARCA Menards Series West finale at Phoenix Raceway (11/6).

“I’m excited for the challenge and ready to take this next step with Toyota Racing and Venturini Motorsports,” says Chase. “Although I’ve been racing since the age of 13, everything I know revolves around road course racing. Joining VMS gives me a great opportunity to gain experience and learn the differences of driving a stock car. As a driver, your mindset is always about winning, but this year it’s all about adapting to a new car and leaning on my team to get to the point where I can compete for trophies in the future. Right now it’s all about keeping the car clean and finding a baseline – taking what I learn each week and building confidence and getting better.”

Focused on his preparation, Chase will turn his first laps of the season in an ARCA car during the upcoming May 10th Charlotte test.

“I ran a few late model races last year at Hickory, but this will be a lot different with the heavier car and the competition level in the ARCA Series. Right now my daily routine includes working out and doing everything I can to prepare myself by watching and studying film and spending as much time as I can in the simulator. I’ll be ready and definitely looking forward to getting in the seat.”

Chase, who earlier in the year signed with Kyle Busch Motorsports for two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ road course events, has one career ARCA start on his resume competing on Daytona’s Road Course in 2020. After clinching the Pirelli World Challenge GT SprintX Pro/Am Championship with co-driver Ryan Dalziel, Chase stepped up to race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTD class in the North American Endurance Cup. Parker, competing with Toyota teammate Kyle Busch, began 2020 by capturing a top ten finish in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona before taking on the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge championship with Bryan Herta Autosport.

Chase’s first ARCA event of the 2021 season at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be aired on FS1 and carried live on MRN / SiriusXM starting at 7:00 PM EST. Parker’s effort in ARCA will be supported by NXTLVL Marine, VerticalBridge, Tige Boats, and ATX Boats. For more information on Parker Chase visit www.ParkerChase.com.

About NXTLVL Marine
NXTLVL Marine is the world’s largest Tige Boats dealer with locations in Fort Worth, Dallas, and New Braunfels with a new location coming soon to Cottonwood Shores (non Tige Location). Locations also carry ATX Boats, Montara Surf Boats, Xcursion Pontoon Boats, Crest Pontoons, and Trifecta Pontoon Boats. Our pro shop is stocked with everything you could need for a day on the lake and we look forward to having you join the NXTLVL family!

Venturini Motorsports Looks to Continue Winning Ways in Saturday’s ARCA Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway

April 29, 2021 (Concord, NC) – Off to a fast start, Venturini Motorsports (VMS) looks to continue the team’s early season success when the ARCA Menards Series visits the Jayhawk State for Saturday’s Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway. Featuring a familiar three car effort, VMS will unload a trio of intimidating Toyota drivers lead by Corey Heim, Drew Dollar and Derek Griffith.

Current series’ points leader Corey Heim and his No.20 JBL Audio Toyota team hope to extend their hot streak as they chase their third victory of the young season. Picking up the hardware last week at Talladega to compliment his Daytona victory in the season opener, last season’s Kansas winner carries confidence returning to the site of his first career ARCA series win.

“I’m really excited to get back to Kansas this weekend,” says Heim. “My crew chief Shannon Rursch and all the guys in the shop bring a fast JBL Audio Camry each and every week. This Venturini Motorsports team and I have been a serious hot streak recently – I’m excited to carry that momentum back to Kansas, one of my favorite tracks.”

Over his last four series starts Heim has dominated the competition earning three wins and posting an impressive 1.25 finishing average. Heim’s Kansas start will be his 20th overall ARCA start since making his first appearance in 2019. Coming of age, the Georgia driver has posted impressive numbers – accumulating 3-wins (Kansas ’20, Daytona ’21, Talladega ’21), 13-top 5’s and 18 top-10’s.

Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota), currently 2nd in the overall driver championship point standing, returns to the track ready to break into the win column for the first time this season. The runner-up finisher at Daytona, Dollar finished fourth last weekend behind another strong performance at Talladega to notch his second top-5 of the season.

“Our team is ready for Kansas!” says Dollar. “I’ve been feeling extremely confident in the race car and I’m looking forward to showing what this team and I can do. Kansas would definitely be a good track to put our Sunbelt Rental Camry into victory lane.”

Competing for wins on the last lap at Daytona and Talladega, Dollar played pivotal roles in each race pushing teammate Corey Heim across the stripe for victory. Asked about helping his teammate, Dollar said, “I know Corey would’ve helped me win Talladega if roles were reversed, he was ready to repay the favor from Daytona.”

Dollar enters Saturday’s race with 25-career ARCA starts. During this time he’s posted 1 win (Talladega ’20), 1 pole, 6-top 5’s and 19 top-10’s.

Driving the No.25 SpotOn Toyota Camry for Venturini Motorsports, Derek Griffith is ready to slide back into the seat after a heartbreaking finish in the season opener at Daytona.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment since I got out of the car at Daytona,” says the 2021 World Series Championship winner at New Smyrna. “I’m ready to go out and get a good finish. Daytona was a heartbreaker for me and all my supporters back home. I have a lot of faith in my Venturini Motorsports crew. They gave me a rocket at Daytona and I’m pumped to go to a track I have laps at already.”

The standout late model star will make third career start at Kansas (finishing 8th & 3rd) and his tenth overall since making his ARCA Menards Series debut last season. The New Hampshire born driver has 2-top 5’s and 7-top 10’s to his credit.

Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series Dutch Boy 150 from Kansas Speedway is scheduled to broadcast live on FS1 starting at 1:30PM EST.

Corey Heim Continues Hot Steak, Completing Superspeedway Sweep with Win at Talladega

April 25, 2021 (Talladega, Alabama) – With an assist from Venturini Motorsports’ teammate Drew Dollar, 18-year old Corey Heim and his No.20 JBL Audio Toyota team completed a superspeedway sweep finding victory lane in dramatic fashion during Saturday’s ARCA Racing Series General Tire 200 at Talladega Superspeedway.

After the tandem of Corey Heim and Drew Dollar flexed their Toyota muscle throughout much of the afternoon, Saturday’s Talladega classic came down to a one lap shootout following a late caution. Lining up third behind Bret Holmes and Nick Sanchez, Heim relied on strong restart and huge push from Dollar to split the leaders and race his way around the 2.66-mile track to find the checkered flag.

Winning the season opener at Daytona, Heim claimed his second victory of the season and his third over his last four series’ starts extending his early season points lead over the competition.  Heim who was raised only 110 miles away in Marietta, Georgia became just the second ARCA driver to sweep both races in a single season since 1992. Heim’s Talladega victory gave his team – Venturini Motorsports their second consecutive win at the famed track and the organization’s 74th overall in series competition.

With the post-race focus on Heim, VMS teammate, Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelt Rental Toyota) could’ve easily been the driver parked in Victory Lane.  Finishing fourth, last season’s Talladega race winner led 28-laps on the day, moving himself up to second-place (14 points behind Heim) in the series’ driver point standings.

Seeking redemption after a slow start to the season, Gracie Trotter’s (No.25 Mobil1 Toyota) bad luck continued.  After starting third, Trotter, in the wrong place at the wrong time, found early trouble when the No.11 car driven by Richard Garvie was moved up into her high line delivering a blow to the side of her Toyota, cutting the front left tire. Still able to drive, Trotter pitted for tires but went a lap down and was never able to recover –finishing 22nd.

The ARCA Menards Series will return to action Saturday, May 1 for the Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway. The race is scheduled to broadcast live on FS1 starting at 1:30PM EST.

Talladega Comes Calling; Defending Race Winner Drew Dollar, Corey Heim and Gracie Trotter Ready to Resume Action in Saturday’s General Tire 200

April 23, 2021 (Talladega, Alabama) – Six weeks removed from the last ARCA Menards Series season event, drivers and fans alike are prepared to test their nerves when ARCA’s top touring series returns to action for the third event of the 2021 season at Talladega Superspeedway in Saturday’s General Tire 150.

Featuring a mammoth 2.66-mile racing surface, Talladega delivers ultra-fast speeds and a level of anxiety to match. Known as the equalizer, the characteristics of restrictor plate racing is like no other. Testing a driver’s courage, cars run in a tight draft leaving no room for error, and rely on a little bit of luck to survive the 200-mile event.

Topping this weekend’s entry list at Talladega is defending race champion and Venturini Motorsports’ Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelts Rental Toyota) who scorched the field during last season’s spring race leading 40 of 76 laps to earn his first career series victory.

Dollar’s superspeedway win proving no fluke, the 20-year old driver has shown a knack for restrictor plate racing, boasting a second-place finishing average in three career starts at Daytona and Talladega.

Poised to challenge his ‘Dega winning teammate is Corey Heim (No.20 JBL Audio Toyota), this season’s Daytona winner and current ARCA Menard Series’ championship points leader.

The 18-year old Georgia native currently holds a slim 2-point advantage over fellow Toyota driver Ty Gibbs during the early season points battle. Off to a fast start, Heim carries a near perfect 1.5 average finish leading into the weekend.

Gracie Trotter (No.25 Mobil 1 Toyota) rounds out VMS’ driver lineup at Talladega. Set to make her first career start at the famed Alabama track, Trotter is focused on rebounding after disappointing finishes to start the season.

Trotter, who signed a 10-race deal with VMS during the off-season, became the first female driver in history to win an ARCA sanctioned event after capturing the checkered flag in 2020 during the ARCA West race at the Bullring in Las Vegas.

Saturday’s General Tire 200 will be carried live on FS1 and streamed on FOX SPORTS GO starting at 1PM EST.

TEAM NOTES:
Venturini Motorsports enters the weekend with 73 all-time ARCA Menards Series Victories, including one win (Drew Dollar ’20) at Talladega. Team patriarch and co-owner, “Big” Bill Venturini, a two-time ARCA driver champion, holds the all-time track and series’ qualifying record set in 1987 with a nearly impossible fast lap of 205.432.

Venturini Motorsports’ Trio Heads West for ARCA’s Return to the Desert

March 10, 2021 (Concord, NC) – It’s been nearly a month since the series’ season opening event at Daytona, but now the roar of the engines will come back to life when the ARCA Menards Series resumes its 20-race schedule on Friday for the General Tire 150 at Phoenix Raceway.

After slaying the field on the beach back in February, Corey Heim – ARCA’s hottest driver, will try his hand in the desert looking for his third consecutive series victory dating back to last season’s finale at Kansas Speedway. Heim (No.20 JBL Toyota), gunning for the series’ Driver Championship in 2021, is one of three Venturini Motorsports’ (VMS) Toyota drivers competing for the trophy in Phoenix.

Sitting atop the driver standings early, Heim along with teammates Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota) and Gracie Trotter (No.25 Mobil 1 Toyota) are ready to head West and strap back into the seat to take on the 1-mile, multi-groove Phoenix track.

“It’s been a long wait, but I’m excited to get back to the track this weekend in Phoenix,” said Heim. “As a driver it’s difficult to sit on sidelines and wait for your next race. Staying focused and keeping a routine is important. I’ve spent a lot of time conditioning myself for the long season ahead and countless hours in the simulator preparing for this weekend.

“Our guys have really been focused at the shop. We’ve been tweaking our baseline and feel we’ve got a good setup going into Phoenix. It’s all about bring the best car we have and these guys don’t ever stop working. It will be fun to get back out there Friday night. The track is super fun to drive with so many grooves to run. It’s definitely an exciting race for fans to watch as the action on the track doesn’t let up. Our JBL team is ready. I’m hoping all our hard work pays off and we keep the momentum going.”

In his only previous attempt at Phoenix, Heim finished eighth in last year’s ARCA West event driving for VMS.

Ready for redemption, Drew Dollar and his Sunbelt Rentals Toyota team return to action after finishing second behind Heim in the season opener at Daytona. Dollar, who captured the first General Tire Pole Award in his season debut, controlled the field for 18-laps at Daytona before getting shuffled back and finding himself forced to fight his way back to finish runner-up.

Despite the long layoff, Dollar’s last ARCA race is still fresh on his mind.

“We definitely had the car and wanted to win Daytona,” said Dollar. “Coming up short was disappointing, but it won’t define this team. We showed our strength and will compete for wins every time out this year. We all share the same mentality and will keep pushing ahead. Billy (Venturini) and I continue to work hard off the track going over notes and doing what it takes to keep getting better.

“Phoenix is a great track. I’ve been out here three times and have had some decent success. Relying on my experience and spending a good amount of time in the simulator really boosts my confidence. We’ve all put a lot of hard work in preparing for this race. I feel this team is really dialed in and capable of winning at any track – our goal this week is to finish one spot better than last time out.”

In three career attempts at Phoenix, Dollars best finish of 5th came last year racing in the ARCA West Series with VMS.

Gracie Trotter will make her second start of season in her Mobile 1 Toyota when she returns to the familiar Phoenix track this weekend. Trotter, who drove her red, white and blue Camry up front at Daytona showed speed early on before finding trouble in the season opener and ending with a disappointing 23rd place finish.

Relying on previous Phoenix race action, the 19-year old driver is focused on a successful return to the track.

“Having raced at Phoenix twice last year I’ve learned a lot about the characteristics of the track and know it’s all about running a clean race and building momentum,” said Trotter.

“You can move around a lot and find different groves all the way around, especially in turns three and four. I’ll use the experienced I gained last year with passing cars and learning how the car changes throughout the race to better execute passes and where to move around if the car gets to loose or tight.”

During two previous starts at Phoenix with a different team, Trotter posted a ninth place finish last season racing during the ARCA West Series Event and was credited with a 22nd place finish in the ARCA Menards Series event after engine problems cut her day short.

The General Tire 150 is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. MT / 7:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on MAVTV while streaming on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Corey Heim Hoists Coveted Daytona Trophy

February 14, 2021 (Concord, NC) – 18-year-old rookie driver Corey Heim held off teammate and pole sitter Drew Dollar on Saturday afternoon to capture glory, winning the 2021 ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Heim led a race high 38-laps behind the wheel of his bright No. 20 orange and white JBL Audio Toyota, crossing the stripe at the end capturing the biggest win thus far in his young career and his second overall series’ victory in as many races. Heim took the checkered flag in last season’s finale at Kansas Speedway.

“I gotta give it all to (crew chief) Shannon Rursch,” said Heim, of the final restart with one lap to go. “He made the perfect call, executed this race perfect. He dialed this JBL Camry in perfect. I can’t give enough thanks to Toyota, Venturini Motorsports, JBL, and all the guys who make it happen.”

Winning on racing’s biggest stage, the Georgia native secured his name in history by giving the longtime ARCA team, Venturini Motorsports (VMS), their fourth consecutive season opening victory at the famed track and their sixth overall team win at Daytona.

Heim, the 2021 Daytona champion, now joins an exclusive list of former VMS drivers winning this marquee event – John Wes Townley (2013), Michael Self (2018 & 2020) and Harrison Burton (2019). In addition to winning twice on Daytona’s legendary 2.5 mile tri-oval track, Michael Self was last year’s mid-season winner on the road course.

A caution with four laps to go set up Saturday’s overtime finish. With Heim, the leader, taking the top lane and Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota) on the bottom, the latter let the former move to the inside so the duo could work together in the draft.

Even with Dollar’s car damaged and lacking power steering, the plan worked to perfection, and VMS ended the race with a 1-2 finish. Dollar, who started the day winning his first career General Tire Pole Award, dominated early leading the first 18-laps of the race.

“I felt like that was really all we could do there,” Dollar said of the last lap. “We had a superfast Camry today; just didn’t really have what it took to win once we had damage.” “I gotta give a lot of props to Drew Dollar,” Heim added. “He really helped me there at the end, just him being right behind me. I know he’s got a little bit of experience and just raced Friday night’s Truck race, too. Really trusted him, and it paid off.”

VMS’ other pair of drivers, Gracie Trotter (No. 25 Mobil 1 Toyota) and Derek Griffith (No.55 SpotOn Toyota) also had strong cars and both led laps during the 80-lap event. Trotter, who took the race lead towards the midway point, led 8 circuits before Griffith briefly took it away. Attempting to reclaim her top spot the following lap, Trotter made contact with Griffith’s bumper sending his car sideways as it sustained heavy damage collecting oncoming traffic on the track.

Griffith, forced to retire, was credited with a 30th place finish. Trotter would not fully recover, but finished under green in the 23rd place position.

The ARCA Menards Series will return to action on Friday, March 12 at Phoenix Raceway. That race will be a combination event with the ARCA Menards West and will mark the West Series’ season-opener.

The Phoenix 150 is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. MT / 7:30 p.m. ET and broadcast live on MAVTV while streaming on TrackPass on NBC Sports Gold.

Venturini Motorsports Seeking Fifth-Consecutive Team Victory at Daytona in ARCA Season Opener

February 11, 2021 (Concord, NC) – Arguably one of the most anticipated starts of any season in professional sport, NASCAR & ARCA takes center stage this weekend, kicking-off it’s 2021 season with a full slate of racing on the legendary high-banks at Daytona International Speedway.

A weekend like no other, this year marks the first time in history race fans will be treated to the ARCA Menards Series, Camping World Truck Series, Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Cup Series competing alongside each other on the biggest weekend of racing.

In a sport spotted with history and legends at every divisional level, Venturini Motorsports (VMS) carries the torch in the ARCA Menards Series (ARCA). Embarking on their 39th year of racing, the highly decorated race team, with 72 overall series victories, returns to the spotlight in Saturday’s 42nd Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire season-opener seeking it’s unpresented fifth consecutive trip to Daytona’s Gatorade Victory Lane.

VMS, with former drivers Michael Self (2019 & 2020) and Harrison Burton (2019), have won the last three consecutive season openers at Daytona. Self also won the inaugural road course race last season – sweeping both Daytona events. John Wes Townley gave the team its first Daytona victory in 2013. Team patriarch and two-time ARCA Champion (1987 & 1991), Bill Venturini, holds the all-time ARCA Daytona qualifying record with a fast lap of 200.209 set in 1987.

A career launching pad for some of NASCAR’s biggest stars, VMS is back to defend their ARCA Daytona title with another stout group of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) drivers’ eager to etch their names in history when the green flag drops this weekend.

Rolling out a four team effort, VMS’s fleet of Toyota Camrys will feature drivers, Drew Dollar (No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota), Corey Heim (No.20 JBL Toyota), Gracie Trotter (No.25 Mobil 1 Toyota) and Derek Griffith (No.55 SpotOn Toyota).

Drew Dollar, who finished third in last year’s Daytona event, is coming off a banner season highlighted by his first career victory at Talladega Superspeedway and finishing fourth in the ARCA series’ championship driver point standings. Dollar will make his second career start at Daytona with crew chief Billy Venturini atop the pit box for the No.15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota during Saturday’s season-opener. Dollar will hold the distinction of being the sole VMS driver in the field with Daytona race experience.

Running the full 20-race ARCA schedule behind the wheel of VMS’ No.20 JBL Toyota in 2021, 18-year old Corey Heim will make his Daytona debut with veteran crew chief Shannon Rursch leading the way. Heim, the winner of last season’s finale at Kansas Speedway looks to pick up where he left off as begins his season journey in search of the Drivers Championship.

Poised to run the biggest race of her career to date, Gracie Trotter, driving the No.25 Mobil 1 Toyota, will make her first-ever start on the high-banks of Daytona. Trotter, who will be running a 10-race deal with VMS for the 2021 season, became the first female driver in history to win an ARCA sanctioned event after capturing the checkered flag in 2020 during the ARCA West race at the Bullring in Las Vegas. Trotter will lean on the experience of crew chief Kevin Reed.

Set for his Daytona debut, Derek Griffith will hold the wheel of the No.55 SpotOn Toyota during Saturday’s running of the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire. Griffith, a short track menace from New Hampshire signed on with VMS during the off-season to run Daytona and Kansas with support from SpotOn, a San Francisco based company specializing in small business software and payments solutions. Griffith will be teamed up with veteran crew chief, Dave Leiner.

The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire scheduled for Saturday, February 13, will air LIVE on FS1 at 1:30PM. Qualifying for the 80-lap event will be held Saturday morning at 8:30am. The race will also be carried live on FOX Sports GO and MRN / SiriusXM.