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What’s Going Wrong with Legacy Motor Club?

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What’s Happening?

There was a lot of promise for Legacy Motor Club coming into the 2024 season. In a “Tier One” alliance with Toyota, Jimmie Johnson continued to establish his role as an owner, and John Hunter Nemechek returned to the Cup Series after impressing in the lower series. But this season has been anything but impressive for the organization. While teams like Trackhouse and 23XI have had instant success, it has been anything but for LCM. That begs the question, “What’s going on with Legacy Motor Club?”

  • It has not been the season Legacy Motor Club has been hoping for. Both drivers sit outside the top-25 in points with a combined four top-10s. John Hunter Nemechek is 27th in points with three top-10s, while Erik Jones, who missed two races due to injury, sits 28th in the standings with one top-10.
  • The team made multiple moves during the 2023 season. They switched from Chevrolet to Toyota and signed on multiple sponsors such as Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. In addition, they signed John Hunter Nemechek from the Xfinity Series to drive the No. 42.
  • Fans were excited to see what the new Legacy Motor Club would do in 2024. Unfortunately, expectations have not been met, and fans are left scratching their heads.

The Struggles

Last season was a lame-duck season for LCM. The team took a step back after winning the Southern 500 in 2022 and finishing in the top 20 in points. The team cut rookie Noah Gragson after just 21 races and cycled through drivers throughout the rest of the year. 

Erik Jones took a major step down from his impressive 2022 campaign. He went winless with only one top-five and seven top-10s after having three top-fives and 13 top-10s the previous season. He went from 18th in the standings to 28th, with an average finish just over 20th. Overall, the year was not what the team was hoping for, and it was clear a change was needed.

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Expectations were reasonable for Legacy going into 2024. The switch to Toyota with factory support, coupled with promoting Nemecheck back to the Cup Series, had many, especially the No. 43 team, penciled in as a dark-horse playoff contender. Unfortunately, it has been anything but smooth sailing.

YearWinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. Finish
20230172420.4
2024001021.9

Jones did miss two races after suffering a back injury following his crash at Talladega. Throughout NASCAR history, we’ve seen how it takes time for drivers to get back to 100% following a back injury (e.g., Denny Hamlin, 2013; Alex Bowman, 2022). However, he is on pace for his worst season yet, with career lows in every category.

While by no means contending for wins, the No. 42 has improved with JHN behind the wheel. Unlike the No. 43, they’ve improved in every statistical category and have shown flashes on the racetrack that they can compete under the right circumstances.

YearWinsTop-5sTop-10sLaps LedAvg. Finish
2023000228.2
20240032023.4

The No. 84 for Jimmie Johnson is worth mentioning. That team has struggled since its inception, with only two lead-lap finishes to show for it. This is a part-time effort, however, with a driver past his prime who is leaning the Next Gen car, while yes, the team is a backmarker, give some leniency for an entry with eight starts under their belt.

What Has to Change?

It’s hard to say what exactly needs to change with Legacy Motor Club. In theory, everything is already in place for this team to be competitive. If anything, what this team needs the most is time. Remember, they do not have an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. Unlike 23XI, they’re learning this Toyota data all by themselves. 2024 was always going to be a learning year for the organization, their first as a “Tier One” team. Remember, Front Row Motorsports is now a “Tier One” team with Ford, and both cars are outside the top 20 in points. 2025 will be the true gauge of how competitive LCM will be for years to come once they have a year under the Toyota system.

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

As for 2024, who knows if Jones is back to 100% following his injury? That should be the main focus, but remember, this team picked up the pace at the end of 2023. Perhaps the same is in store for this year. John Hunter Nemechek should be fine. He’s shown flashes throughout the year and just needs to continue to improve and develop. He’s only in his second full-time season in Cup and should continue to get better year after year.

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on InstagramFacebook, and even YouTube.

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