Friday, July 19, 2024

Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club part ways

As he serves his indefinite suspension, Noah Gragson has elected to split from Legacy Motor Club. Both parties stressed Thursday that he requested the release.

“I have asked Legacy Motor Club to release me from my contract so that I can take time to work through the NASCAR reinstatement process,” reads a statement from Gragson. “I love racing, and I am looking forward to a second chance to compete for wins at the highest level of NASCAR—and most importantly, make my family, my team and the fans proud of me once again.”

Gragson was suspended on Saturday after he was discovered to have liked an Instagram meme in May that mocked the murder of George Floyd in 2020, which sparked wide-scale protests that also extended into NASCAR. While Gragson subsequently apologised, he will still have to undergo the reinstatement system that includes sensitivity training and partaking in social programmes before he could be allowed to return.

Josh Berry replaced Gragson in the #42 car for Michigan, where he placed thirty-fourth due to a crash. Mike Rockenfeller will fill in for the next two races at Indianapolis and Watkins Glen.

“Noah has a ton of talent and has a great personality,” commented CEO Cal Wells III, who joined the team in late July. “This is a difficult situation, but we are proud that Noah has taken ownership of his actions and are confident he will work through this process with NASCAR and come back stronger.”

Prior to the suspension, Gragson had endured a rough rookie season as he was thirty-third in points—the lowest ranking among full-time drivers—with a best finish of twelfth at Atlanta. He also missed Sonoma due to a concussion he sustained in a crash at Gateway.

With his exit, Legacy will need to find a new #42 driver for the 2024 season. Reports have suggested John Hunter Nemechek, who leads the Xfinity Series standings after winning at Michigan hours after Gragson’s suspension, is the top candidate as the team prepares to switch to Toyota.