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How Will Corey Heim Fair in NASCAR Cup Series Debut?

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 23: Corey Heim, driver of the #11 Safelite Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series XPEL 225 at Circuit of The Americas on March 23, 2024 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

On Sunday, April 28th, Corey Heim will make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in the Würth 400 from Delaware’s Dover Motor Speedway.

The opportunity comes at the misfortune of Legacy Motor Club Toyota driver Erik Jones. On Tuesday, he announced he would be sidelined due to a lower vertebral compression fracture.

On Lap 157 of last weekend’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, a turn three incident saw Jones turned head-on into the outside retaining wall. Additional Toyota drivers Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, and Legacy Motor Club teammate John Hunter Nemechek were all involved in the wreck.

Jones was initially taken to the racetrack’s infield care center before getting released, providing an interview for the NASCAR on FOX broadcast. He was then transported to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital for further evaluation. Later that night, Jones met with medical specialists in Charlotte, North Carolina where the injury was revealed.

“(I’m) going to be taking it kind of week-by-week here and see how things go, but (I) hope to be back in the car as soon as I can.” Jones shared the news in a video posted on Facebook, Instagram, and X. He will attend to coach and support his No. 43 team at Dover. A date for return to the driver’s seat is currently unknown.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Erik Jones as he takes the needed time to recover.

Who is Corey?

In late January, Legacy Motor Club (LMC) announced Corey Heim as the reserve driver for the NASCAR Cup Series team for the 2024 season. The team is led by Co-Owners Maury Gallagher and Jimmie Johnson alongside Club Ambassador Richard Petty. Gallagher acquired a majority of Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021 (later acquiring all shares from Petty). Former seven-time Series Champion Johnson investing as co-owner in 2022. The team also switched manufacturers from Chevrolet to Toyota in addition to their numerous managerial changes.

Corey Heim has quickly become one of NASCAR’s most impressive rising stars. The Georgia native found youthful successes with his various accomplishments in quarter midgets, Legends cars, and super late models. In 2019, Heim contested part-time for Chad Bryant Racing in the ARCA Menards Series. The following year, he joined Venturini Motorsports for various ARCA races and ran in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour.

His first full-time ARCA Menards Series season came in 2021. Heim amassed six career victories including his first in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. A DNF (did not finish) of 7th was his worst result through all 20 scheduled events, and he would finish 2nd in points behind season Champion Ty Gibbs. Additionally, he made three starts for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

In 2022, Heim raced a part-time schedule in ARCA and Trucks. He captured two wins in seven ARCA starts and his first and second career Truck Series victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Gateway Motorsports Park.


Following KBM’s closure, Heim has driven for Tricon Garage in the No. 11 Toyota. Heim won three times in 2023 and ultimately raced for the Series Championship. An incident with Title competitor Carson Hocevar took him out of contention, and race retaliation saw a driver penalty relegate his points finish to 4th.

His 2024 Truck Series campaign has been off to a strong start. Through seven races, Heim sits 2nd in the standings with Top 10s in all starts and a dominant win at Circuit of the Americas. He also drives a limited schedule for Sam Hunt Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

With Jones temporarily sidelined, Heim prepares for the biggest opportunity of his blossoming career. In Saturday practice, he posted the 31st-fastest single-lap time with the 13th-fastest ten-lap average. He qualified 32nd of 37 competitors for Sunday’s race. Heim will race alongside teammate John Hunter Nemechek and co-owner Jimmie Johnson.

The Legacy Motor Club No. 43 will race a special sponsored and colored paint scheme paying tribute to Richard Petty and family.

How will 21-year-old Corey Heim fair in his NASCAR Cup Series debut? The Würth 400 will occur at Dover Motor Speedway on Sunday, April 28th at 2:00 pm ET on Fox Sports 1. Radio coverage will be available on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio.

Stay tuned here at LWOS Motorsports for NASCAR news, results, updates, and more.


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