Monday, March 4, 2024

Matt Kenseth joins Legacy MC as competition advisor

Legacy Motor Club‘s brass now has a combined fifteen NASCAR Cup Series driver’s championships. On Tuesday, the team announced Matt Kenseth has joined the organisation as a competition advisor, where he will serve as a mentor for Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek from 2024 onwards.

Kenseth and team co-owner Jimmie Johnson are contemporaries, the former winning the 2003 Cup championship when the latter—a future seven-time champion—was in his sophomore year. He scored thirty-nine career Cup wins across over two decades of competition, including a pair of Daytona 500s, and was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2023 for his success.

Besides working with the drivers, Kenseth will also support the team throughout their switch from Chevrolet to Toyota. While much of his career was spent with Ford, he enjoyed a successful five-year tenure with Toyota from 2013 to 2017 with fifteen wins and a runner-up championship finish to Johnson in 2013.

The move also reunites him with team vice president of racing operations Joey Cohen. Kenseth and Cohen previously worked together at what is now RFK Racing.

“Jimmie and I have so much respect for each other as both competitors and friends; we are alike in many ways and at similar points in our careers,” said Kenseth. “This is a great opportunity for me to be a resource for two extremely talented drivers and help on the racing operations side with this transition to Toyota. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.”

He last raced in NASCAR in 2020 on a substitute basis for Chip Ganassi Racing, but has remained in the sport by competing in grassroots motorsport. Since 2022, Kenseth has competed sporadically in the Superstar Racing Experience, recording a pair of third-place finishes during his three-race schedule in 2022 followed by a fifth at Eldora in his only 2023 start.

In 2022, he competed in the Boston Marathon where he finished 142nd in his age and gender category. Kenseth and Johnson typically exercised together during their driving careers, the latter being a triathlete in his off time.

“Not only is Matt an excellent driver and a fierce competitor, he’s also a great friend,” added Johnson. “This alliance makes so much sense. Matt is extremely smart, has worked with Toyota while racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, and is still as competitive as ever. He’s a natural-born athlete and as fit as I have ever seen him. I’m so glad he is willing to share his knowledge and experience with us, and we look forward to all Matt has to offer.”

Legacy Motor Club is co-owned by Johnson and Maury Gallagher, while seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty is officially in an ambasador role for the team he once ran.

The team hopes Kenseth’s arrival will provide more good fortune as they struggled in their first season under their current identity: Jones is twenty-seventh in points in the #43, while the #42 was driven by Noah Gragson who was unable to record a top ten before his release midseason. Nemechek, the current Xfinity Series points leader, will take over the #42 in 2024.