Race Weekend Central

Corey Heim Comes Home 25th in Cup Debut at Dover

DOVER, Del. — Corey Heim had never sat in a Next Gen car before this weekend at Dover Motor Speedway, and he brought the No. 43 car — with a special STP Petty paint scheme — home in 25th place.

“[The Next Gen car] was definitely a lot different,” Heim said. “I’ve been kind of saying it all weekend — a big change compared to what I’m used to.”

Heim, of course, was subbing for Erik Jones, who was ruled out for Dover after fracturing a vertebra last Sunday (April 21) at Talladega Superspeedway. Jones, however, was at Dover and helping Heim get up to speed for his Cup debut.

See also
Erik Jones Helping Corey Heim, No. 43 Team at Dover While Out with Injury

Heim started the weekend by qualifying 32nd and he was knocking on the door of the top 20 by the middle of the race.

“Really from the beginning to the middle of the race, I felt like we had a ton of speed,” Heim said.

But a caution for Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on lap 322 came in the middle of a pit cycle, and Heim lost two laps by pitting right before the yellow flag waved.

“We kind of got messed up on the [pit] cycle there when the leaders pitted,” Heim said. “I pitted a lap later and then the caution came out right away, which pinned us an extra lap down.

“We were beating the guys that finished 15th through 20th, so I think that’s kind of where we were supposed to end up — but that is part of racing. I’m super thankful to Legacy Motor Club for putting me in the Dollar Tree Petty 75 Camry this weekend and believing in me. I feel like we should have been six or seven spots better, but it just didn’t work out that way.”

Heim also went into detail about the emotions he felt on pit road before undertaking such a milestone.

“I felt really emotional,” Heim said. “I feel like I’ve worked so hard for this moment. To finish where I ended up is unfortunate. I feel like I worked my butt off to be there. It’s a really cool moment for me.”

Legacy Motor Club teammate John Hunter Nemechek finished 20th, while Heim outran team co-owner Jimmie Johnson, who came home 28th in his third Cup start of the 2024 season.

About the author

Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch, and his weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” Stephen also writes commentary, contributes weekly to the “Bringing the Heat” podcast and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage. A native of Texas, Stephen began following NASCAR at age 9 after attending his first race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Follow on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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I’m very happy that Corey Heim did well at Dover motor speedway today and came home to a 25th place finish in his first race.

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