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Did Legacy Motor Club Make the Right Move Signing John Hunter Nemechek?

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John Hunter Nemechek announced on Wednesday that he would drive the 42 car for Legacy Motor Club in 2024, and LMC can now turn their focus fully to 2024. There is a lot of optimism surrounding LMC despite the difficult 2023 season, but, was signing Nemechek the move that will put them over the top?

Why This Makes Sense

John Hunter Nemechek is in the midst of one of his best seasons with one of the top Xfinity Series teams out there, Joe Gibbs Racing. Coincidentally, that Xfinity Series team runs Toyotas, and that team also has no open seats at the Cup Series level for 2024. It is the perfect time to nab a driver from a big team.

Nemechek also has Cup Series experience, and he has significantly more experience than other drivers out there. They are not bringing in a rookie who has never stepped foot into a NASCAR garage, and that experience will go a long way. Especially for a race team with the veteran presence of someone like Erik Jones as a teammate.

Nemechek is also reportedly well-liked by Toyota executives, and that means he will get significant support from them. With the move to Toyota in 2024, and the support that Toyota will likely give to them, this is important.

He checks a lot of boxes that make him a well-desired candidate for the 42 car in 2024. However, there are some reservations to consider for Legacy Motor Club.

Why This Might Not Make Sense

Nemechek left the Cup Series after the 2020 season, and he left it for a reason. Granted, he was running with a mid-to-back of the pack team in Front Row Motorsports, but, he still was not winning races every week. LMC is in a very similar spot as an organization, and that means they need to be prepared to struggle in 2024.

There is also the question of what other drivers were potentially available to them. Carson Hocevar just gave the 42 car one of its’ best runs both in qualifying and in the race that is had all season long. Was he a candidate to take that seat?

What about a driver like Zane Smith? Yes, he drives for Ford, but he is a Championship-winning Camping World Truck Series driver with a lot of upside. He does not have quite the wealth of experience that Nemechek has, but, given he would be a rookie, LMC could take him on as a developmental project.

With all of that in mind, LMC signing John Hunter Nemechek makes a lot of sense, and we will not know totally how all of this will shake out until next year plays itself out. LMC can now look ahead after the difficult year 2023 has been so far.

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Joshua Lipowski

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