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EXCLUSIVE: Billy Venturini Shows “Bias” Towards Corey Heim & Uncovers Ben Rhodes’ Toyota Involvement

Published 11/18/2023, 2:14 PM EST

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While the king rules, it is the kingmaker who works in the shadows and holds the reins. This aphorism might echo yesteryear notions, however, it does hold true in contemporary times. Nevertheless, one might be inquisitive about the fact, why the sudden need for kings and kingmakers under the subject of NASCAR. Well, the need arises from the presence of Venturini Motorsports and its owner Billy Venturini.

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The team has been one of the most accomplished teams that provides the impetus to budding drivers and propelling them to success, through its NASCAR Driver Development Programs. Giving a peek into his years of unfathomable experience, owner Billy Venturini sat down for an exclusive interview with EssentiallySports. During this, he delved deeper into the Truck Series fiasco in Phoenix, involving Corey Heim and Carson Hocevar.

Billy Venturini states his stance on the Truck Series fiasco involving Corey Heim


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The grand finale weekend at the 1-mile track of Phoenix was nothing less than the unraveling of a thriller story, especially the Craftsman Truck Series showdown. The final race that Friday was a wreck fest, as the yellow flag kept waving in the air. Moreover, Tricon Garage’s Corey Heim was slapped with a penalty for wrecking Carson Hocevar.

However, the latter was also to be blamed for a similar instance but never faced similar charges. Owing to this, Billy Venturini was asked for his take on the incident during a chat exclusively with EssentiallySports. To which the owner retorted, “Probably a bit biased because Corey is one of my guys too, spent a few years here, so I am gonna be biased. Tricon is a Toyota team, just like I am, so I am gonna be biased in this, so probably shouldn’t be coming on this one, definitely biased.”


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“This one I mean I am definitely team Corey, he is my guy. He was one of our original guys, he spent years here, and he has got a bond here, and we are rooting for him. Ben [Rhodes] ran a few races here too but I wouldn’t say he was one of our guys. Corey is homegrown at Venturini Motorsports. Just like Jesse [Love], Christian Eckes and a whole bunch of them. He is homegrown. We are gonna be biased for Corey. No doubt that’s one of our guys.”

Billy Venturini also let in on the journey of another one of his racing prodigies – Jesse Love.

The owner of Venturini Motorsports divulges Jesse Love’s early racing years


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Being a mentor to a whole gamut of current drivers, Billy Venturini has witnessed all the aspects of racing first-hand. One of the most accomplished drivers, who has been able to flourish under Venturini Motorsports has been Jesse Love. He recently bagged an Xfinity seat at Richard Childress Racing.

Speaking about his prized pupil, Billy Venturini expressed how Love slowly found his footing in the world of NASCAR, “So it was a four-year process with him. A lot of teaching involved there. A lot of coaching, probably almost more parent raising with him too. He comes from a great household, but you know, when he was a 15, 16-year-old kid, he moved out east, parents still lived out west.”

“So there was a lot that, and that, and that’s not an uncommon thing in our industry. So then you kind of almost got to help finish kind of raising these young, young men. And it was a very productive four years and Jesse’s someone that’s really special to me.”


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There is no denying the fact that teams like Venturini Motorsports are an indispensable part of the NASCAR world and this exclusive ES interview with the owner provided a meaningful insight into the functioning of the team. Moreover, organizations like these have helped budding racers to materialize their dreams. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see which drivers would be able to follow a trajectory like that of Jesse Love.

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra


One take at a time

Had you asked an individual from the yesteryears, they would have easily asserted that motorsport is surely not a women’s forte. However, times have changed. And changing the narrative, here I am writing and analyzing the world of NASCAR, with over a corpus of 500 articles to my name.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Ramesh