Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Legacy Motor Club switching to Toyota in 2024

The NASCAR Cup Series‘ legendary #43 has used a variety of manufacturers in its history, and will add another one to that list in 2024 when Legacy Motor Club switches from Chevrolet to Toyota. The team will retain Erik Jones and Noah Gragson in the #43 and #42 Toyota Camrys, respectively, with factory support from Toyota Racing Development.

LMC was formed from a partnership between Petty GMS Motorsports, run by Richard Petty and Maury Gallagher, and seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Although Johnson has exclusively raced with Chevrolet since entering NASCAR and even in his off-road days, while Gallagher’s GMS Racing is also a Chevy outfit in the Craftsman Truck Series, the switch comes in an effort to stimulate the team amid a difficult 2023 campaign. Jones sits twenty-fourth in points while Gragson is a paltry thirty-second in his rookie year.

Jones and Gragson are former Toyota drivers, the former being one of the manufacturer’s top prospects as the 2015 Truck Series champion and spending four years at Joe Gibbs Racing before migrating to Petty. Gragson raced for Toyota in the Trucks before becoming a Chevrolet development driver in 2019.

“We admire and respect the level at which Toyota conducts their business in this sport and look forward to forging a new legacy for the future,” said Johnson. “I will always be appreciative to Chevrolet and everything we have accomplished together. I’m so thankful they took a chance on a kid from California so long ago and proud that the history books will forever memorialize our record-breaking success we shared.”

With the switch, the #43 will have raced with twelve different manufacturers come 2024. Prior to Toyota and Chevrolet, the team used Dodge and Ford as Richard Petty Motorsports. RPM’s predecessor Petty Enterprises had fielded the car as a Buick, Oldsmobile, and Plymouth.

Legacy will be one of three Toyota Cup teams alongside JGR and 23XI Racing.

“Jimmie Johnson and Maury Gallagher have impressed us with their long-term vision and commitment to building a championship-calibre organisation,” commented TRD president David Wilson. “More importantly, their character and values are aligned with ours and our current Cup Series partners, Joe Gibbs Racing and 23XI Racing. Of course, we also look forward to being reunited with our old friends, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson.”