Photo: Logan T. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Corey Heim to Run Dover as Erik Jones Recovers from Talladega Crash

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

Erik Jones will not be racing in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Dover, following his hard crash at Talladega last Sunday.

Corey Heim will take up the relief driver role in the No. 43 Toyota, Legacy Motor Club said in a statement Tuesday.

Jones was involved in a four-car pileup at the 2.66-mile superspeedway on lap 157, in which his car was sent head-on into the outside SAFER barrier in Turn 3. Though Jones was able to climb from his car under his own power, along with being checked and released from the infield care center shortly afterwards, he was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation later Sunday evening.

After returning home to North Carolina, he met with specialists there, where it was determined that he had suffered a compression fracture in a lower vertebra.

“Erik’s long-term health is our number one priority,” said Jimmie Johnson, co-owner of LEGACY M.C. “It will be great to see him at the track Sunday and we intend to give him the time it takes to recover properly. I know Corey will do a great job behind the wheel for the CLUB. In the meantime, our thoughts are with Erik and his wife Holly – they have our total support.”

Per the team, there is no current timetable for Jones returning to the seat, but they have requested a medical waiver to keep him Playoff-eligible should he be one of the 16 drivers to qualify for the postseason.

Currently, Jones sits 20th in points, with one top-10 finish in the first 10 races of the season – an eighth-place result in the Daytona 500.

Jones added on social media that he is taking it “week by week” but will be in Dover this weekend in support of Heim and helping him to get up to speed in what will be his first Cup Series start.

Heim is a full-time driver in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, driving the No. 11 Toyota for TRICON Garage. The 21-year-old has six wins in the series to his name, including a win at Circuit of the Americas in Austin earlier this year. He currently sits second in the standings, just two points out of the lead.

In addition to his Truck Series duties, he has also driven in several NASCAR Xfinity Series races for Sam Hunt Racing, scoring a top-10 at Darlington last year and a top-five at Richmond last month.

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.