Legacy Motor Club has been a big disappointment this year. Last season, the 43 team, with Erik Jones driving, won the Southern 500, and was a pick by many to make the Playoffs this year. Now, the two Legacy Motor Club drivers Jones and Noah Gragson are sitting 30th and 33rd in the points out of 33 full-time drivers.
That is pretty bad to say the least. However, many believe it is not a driver problem. Rather, it is a team problem. Denny Hamlin offered his thoughts on the situation, and he and co-host Jared compared Legacy Motor Club to a sports franchise in the rebuilding stage.
Is Chevrolet Hampering Legacy Motor Club This Season?
Denny Hamlin knows more about manufacturer alliances than anybody. He is in the midst of probably one of the most collaborative in the garage between himself and Joe Gibbs Racing. That makes his comments on how the move to Toyota can impact information that Legacy Motor Club gets all the more telling.
If you do have an alliance with someone, certainly all of these manufacturers and teams are so protective over what information they do have, that if they know you are going away next year, it’s likely [Legacy Motor Club] are not getting any information anymore.Denny Hamlin
This type of thing has been speculated for a long time, but Hamlin’s experience as a driver, an owner, and a man on the inside of NASCAR gives these words a lot of merit.
Some may suggest the Legacy Motor Club has been bad all season, so this move cannot explain how they were bad early in the season as well. Certainly, it’s not quite as simple as just Chevrolet not helping Legacy Motor Club. It’s never just one thing, and Legacy Motor Club/Richard Petty Motorsports/Petty GMS as a whole has been a mid-pack to back of the pack team for decades.
However, these moves do not happen overnight. Talks with Toyota had likely been going on for weeks if-not months prior to the move being announced. As a result, it’s easy to see why Legacy Motor Club could be given the cold shoulder even early in the season.
In all likelihood, while the move to Toyota does not help things in the short term, it’s a combination of many things. Legacy Motor Club needs more to go right than just technical and monetary help from Toyota. That’s why Hamlin and his co-host Jared Allen make an interesting comparison.
Legacy Motor Club = Rebuilding Franchise?
“It’s like rebuilding and tanking in another sport, except you don’t get a draft pick at the end of the year.”Jared Allen
Exactly, and it’s not intentional. They’re not trying to be bad, but I like that you said that because it is a rebuild when you think about it. They fought for so long…They’ve always just been mediocre at best…They are in a rebuilding year for sure, and I think the rebuild will take years for that team.Denny Hamlin
It is interesting how Legacy Motor Club compares to a rebuilding sports franchise. Just like a new general manager or owner comes into a sport and pushes the old one out, Jimmie Johnson came in as a new owner and moved Richard Petty to more of an advisory role with the team.
Just like a new general manager or a new owner trades players away or makes the team bad for a time to be good later, Legacy Motor Club made the move to Toyota next year, a move that may impact them negatively in the short term for longer term success. Of course, it’s not a perfect comparison, but the point is there.
Hamlin later on qualifies his point about a years-long rebuild by comparing 23XI Racing building from the ground up to Legacy Motor Club. He states that 23XI Racing is still not where he wants it to be yet, despite being in year-three and having their best season as a team.
Of course, starting a team from the ground up is not a direct comparison to Legacy Motor Club. Sure, it will take a while for Legacy Motor Club to get to where they want to, and who knows how far they will go. However, they do have a team there to build from compared to starting a team from the ground-up.
There’s no direct comparison to Legacy Motor Club, but there are places to look at that show where they may go. With new ownership, it’s impossible to know what the future holds for the team. However, it is an interesting one.