Heim To Fill In For Injured Erik Jones At Dover


Erik Jones will miss the Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway due to a spinal fracture. (Rusty Jarrett/NKP for Toyota Racing photo)

STATESVILLE, N.C. – After a vicious crash during the GEICO 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Erik Jones will miss this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Dover Motor Speedway.

Jones’ No. 43 Legacy Motor Club Toyota Camry XSE was involved in a multi-car accident with 33 laps left at the 2.66-mile superspeedway, after accordion-style contact sent him hard into the outside SAFER Barrier in turn three.

He was initially checked and released from the track’s infield care center and conducted a television interview for FOX, but Jones later returned to the care center and was transported to UAB University Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., for additional evaluation and testing.

Once he traveled home to North Carolina, Jones consulted with specialists in the Charlotte area, where he was found to have a compression fracture in one of the lower vertebrae in his back.

“After the attention I received in Talladega, everyone involved did a great job helping me out [of the car] and getting the help I needed, but I learned further that I had a spinal fracture that will keep me from racing, at least this weekend in Dover,” Jones said in a video statement posted to social media.

“We’re going to take things week-by-week for the time being, and my hope is to get back in the car as soon as possible, but I want to make sure I get healed up right,” Jones added. “Thanks to Legacy for supporting me during this time and I look forward to supporting the team in every way that I can.”

With Jones out of action this weekend at Dover, Legacy Motor Club reserve driver Corey Heim will fill in behind the wheel of the No. 43 Toyota. Though no timeline has been set for Jones’ recovery and return to competition, he will attend Dover to support the No. 43 team and help his crew call the race for Heim.

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

Corey Heim (Rusty Jones/LAT for Toyota Racing photo)

Heim, a 21-year-old native of Marietta, Ga., is Legacy Motor Club’s reserve and simulator driver, in addition to competing full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for TRICON Garage and part time for Sam Hunt Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

He has one Truck Series victory already this year, which came March 23 at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

“I’m wishing Erik a quick and full recovery,” said Heim. “I’m ready to make the most of this opportunity.”

Tuesday’s news means that Heim is slated to do double duty at Dover, competing in the BetRivers 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race in Sam Hunt Racing’s No. 26 Toyota GR Supra before his maiden Cup Series start on Sunday afternoon at the one-mile, high-banked concrete oval.

Officials from Legacy Motor Club have confirmed they will request a medical waiver so that Jones can remain eligible for the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Coverage of Sunday’s Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway is slated for 2 p.m. ET, live on FS1, the Performance Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.