Saturday, July 13, 2024

John Hunter Nemechek joining Legacy Motor Club in 2024

In 2020, John Hunter Nemechek ran the full NASCAR Cup Series season for Front Row Motorsports before departing for the Truck Series and the Toyota family. Four years later, his decision has brought him back into the top level of stock car racing.

On Wednesday, Legacy Motor Club announced he will drive the #42 Toyota Camry for the 2024 Cup season as the team switches from Chevrolet to Toyota.

“To be able to announce my plans for next season so early and officially say I will be competing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series relieves a lot of pressure,” said Nemechek. “There is so much to be done for next year, and this gives us the opportunity to get the news out there and move forward. Also, driving for Maury (Gallagher), Jimmie (Johnson), and Richard Petty is a dream come true for me.”

Nemechek first appeared in the Cup Series in late 2019 as a substitute driver for Matt Tifft at Front Row Motorsports while competing full-time in the Xfinity Series. He graduated to the top level the following year, finishing twenty-seventh in points with three top tens.

However, he elected to move back down to the Truck Series for 2021 and signed with Toyota. He quickly made an impact as he won that year’s regular season championship for Kyle Busch Motorsports. After seven wins with KBM, he returned to Xfinity with Joe Gibbs Racing. Nemechek currently leads the standings with five victories.

Fittingly, Nemechek’s father Joe Nemechek used to race the #42 in 19998 and 1999 before teaming up with Legacy co-owner Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports from 2002 through 2004.

Nemechek will partner up with Erik Jones, who remains in the #43 even with the manufacturer switch. Like Nemechek, Jones raced for KBM and JGR in the lower divisions before arriving in the Cup Series.

“We’re excited to have John Hunter in the Legacy Motor Club family and I can’t wait to see what he can do in the #42 next season,” Johnson commented. “He is impressive both on and off the track and will be a great ambassador for Legacy MC and our partners. He will be a solid teammate to Erik and I can’t wait to watch them both compete for wins and championships for years to come.”

The #42 was filled by Noah Gragson to start the 2023 season before he was suspended and released midseason. It is currently thirty-second in owner points.