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Corey Heim Replacing Injured Erik Jones at Dover

Erik Jones will not compete in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover Motor Speedway, yielding to Legacy Motor Club’s reserve driver, Corey Heim, Legacy announced April 23.

The race will mark Heim’s Cup debut.

Jones crashed head-on into the outside retaining wall during Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. The impact resulted in a compression fracture in a lower vertebra of the driver’s spine, which has left Jones unable to compete at Dover this weekend.

The team did not provide a timeline for when Jones will be able to return to action, though he released a video on social media labeling his injury status as “week-to-week.”

“Erik’s long-term health is our number one priority,” Jimmie Johnson, Legacy co-owner, said in a team release. “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.”

Heim races full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for TRICON Garage. He has earned six victories and made a Championship 4 appearance, with one win coming this year. He also drives part time in the Xfinity Series for Sam Hunt Racing, earning one top five and two top 10s in nine starts since 2023.

Legacy said it will request a medical waiver from NASCAR to allow Jones to remain eligible for the 2024 playoffs once he is cleared to return from his injury, which NASCAR has granted. He and the No. 43 team are currently 20th in driver and owner points.

About the author

Austin Bass joined Frontstretch in 2024 as a contributor to combine his passion for racing and writing. Born in Wilson, NC, he developed a passion for racing at an early age while attending local short tracks on Saturday nights with his dad and watching the stars of the sport from their living room on Sunday afternoons.

Bass is a graduate of UNC-Wilmington with a degree in Communication Studies where he developed a deep understanding, appreciation, and love for the Oxford comma. He is an industrial degreaser salesman for Cox Industries whenever he is not writing or talking about racing.

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11 Comments
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Shayne

Another driver hurt thanks to NASCAR’s innovations in safety.

Christopher

This car will kill someone sooner or later

Bobby DK

Have to disagree with Chris and Shayne. Eric’s wreck was eerily similar to Dale Sr. wreck and he walked away. Safer barriers, HANS devices, crumple zones in frames, headrests ,foam in door panels have all helped. Justin Algier had a viscous hit Saturday and thankfully walked away. Have to commend NASCAR on what they have done in the last 20 years in improvement .Pulled many people out of wrecks where I thought no one could survive that ,and they were alive due to an airbag system. Maybe that is the next system to utilize to prevent broken backs.

Shayne

SAFER barriers and the HANS device were around before Dale Sr. was killed. NASCAR was too cheap to utilize the innovative safety products available for the tracks and drivers.

NASCAR has always been reactive, not proactive, regarding safety.

JD in NC

There were at least 5 drivers (maybe 7) that wore the HANS device in the 2001 Daytona 500: Kyle Petty, Dale Jarrett, Matt Kenseth, Brett Bodine, and Andy Houston (and maybe Jeff Burton and Ricky Craven). These guys were definitely early adopters. Earnhardt’s death prompted many more to start wearing the HANS even before it was mandated in October of 2001.

Bobby DK

Dale Sr was stubborn with the open face mask, making his own seat and having limited amount of headrests to see around and feel the car. And that’s why I loved him. But I firmly believe that the modern day car and track safe guards might have been helpfull in some way to Dale Sr, Kenny Irwin, Adam Petty, Tony Roper and John Nemechek. That was a very tough time for all of us and Nascar.

Christopher

Algier was driving an Xfinity car, which is vastly different than the Next Gen and is very similar in construction to the Gen 6 cup car. The type of injuries suffered by Jones are systemic with the Gen 7. It ended Kurt Busch’s career. It broke Alex Bowman’s back. Harvick and other drivers have described similar wrecks in the Gen 7 as the hardest hit they ever experienced. How many times over the course of 2.5 seasons did this type of injury occur in the Gen 6? NASCAR knows this, which is why they redesigned both front and rear clip of the Gen 7 but it’s still not enough. All it’s going to take is one bad hit at one bad angle and someone’s spinal cord is going to snap.

sb

Bowman didn’t break his back in a Cup car, but in an open wheel race.

Drew

That’s another story.

Drew

I’m very happy that Corey Heim will be making his debut for legacy motor club at Dover motor speedway.

DoninAjax

The HANS device won’t stop spinal injuries. It stops the neck snapping forward. It could be a problem with the seats. When Joe Ruttman was cleaning up driving the AVC Camaro he didn’t have padding on his seat. He said he wanted to feel what the car was doing.

Last edited 23 days ago by DoninAjax
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