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Did John Hunter Nemechek Make the Right Decision to Go to Legacy Motor Club?

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Joshua Lipowski

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John Hunter Nemechek officially announced his plans for 2024 on Wednesday, and he will be driving the 42 car for Legacy Motor Club in the NASCAR Cup Series. It is a return to the top level of stock car racing for Nemechek after leaving Front Row Motorsports following the 2020 season. However, was this the right move for John Hunter Nemechek?

Why this Move Makes Sense

John Hunter Nemechek is having one of the best seasons he has ever had in NASCAR. He has five wins, which is tied for his career high in the 2021 Craftsman Truck Series. It makes sense for him to make his way up to the Cup Series while his stock is high.

Legacy Motor Club is also a team that is on the cusp of an interesting future. They are making the move to Toyota for 2024 from Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson joined the ownership group heading into this season.

It may be a risk, but Legacy Motor Club is a team that might be on the cusp of something great. It also allows Nemechek to stay with the same manufacturer that he has been with since 2021. Jordan Bianchi reported back in August that it was Toyota who was pushing for Nemechek to get into the 42 car in 2024 before the Gragson controversy even happened.

While the performance this year for LMC has not been great, there are a lot of outside factors that make the team an attractive spot for Nemechek. Even on the performance side, LMC has shown some improvement in recent weeks. Erik Jones has four top-10 finishes in 11 races, and Carson Hocevar took the 42 to car to their best non-drafting track finish at Darlington with a 17th-place finish.

It seems that things are beginning to look up for LMC, and Nemechek seems like a good fit for the seat. He may not be in race-winning equipment from the start, but he can work his way up there.

Potential Issues with this Move

Nemechek’s stock is definitely high right now, but LMC is a team that is struggling right now. Given the race team he is currently on, Joe Gibbs Racing, and the uncertain future beyond 2024 for one of their top drivers, could Nemechek wait it out one more year for a potentially better ride?

Yes, that may be a high-risk move, but it could work out very well for Nemechek. He could stay in Xfinity for possibly one more year, and he could end up with a better-suited team for 2025. Who knows what silly season could hold one year from now?

Even though the move to Toyota and the relatively new ownership group is a reason for optimism for LMC, that does not automatically mean success. Keep in mind, that this is a race team whose win in the 2022 Southern 500 with Erik Jones was its’ first in eight years. Nemechek will need to be prepared to struggle some in this seat in 2024.

Time will tell how this move works out for all involved. Either way, this is a big move for Nemechek and Legacy Motor Club, and there is reason for optimism for the future.

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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