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Without a New Charter, What’s Next for Legacy Motor Club?

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What’s Happening?

When SHR charter rumors started floating around, Adam Stern reported that Legacy Motor Club was potentially interested in buying a third charter. However, it seems that LMC is out of running for these charters based on the most recent Stern update. Where does Legacy Motor Club go from here, and can they still buy a third charter?

  • Legacy Motor Club was a busy team last off-season. They switched manufacturers from Chevy to Toyota and became a Tier One Toyota team. LMC also signed John Hunter Nemechek to drive the No. 42 car, replacing Noah Gragson.
  • LMC is co-owned by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Jimmie Johnson, 200-time Cup Series race winner and Seven-Time Champion Richard Petty, and entrepreneur Maury Gallagher. Johnson and Gallagher have changed the face of what was once Richard Petty Motorsports.
  • Fans are interested in the future of LMC, largely because of the star power in charge. What does the future hold for LMC?

Why Would They Look For a Charter to Begin With?

When Adam Stern first mentioned Legacy Motor Club in April, it was a surprising addition to the charter market. Before that, LMC was not on anyone’s radar for buying a charter, but it makes sense for two reasons.

First, NASCAR teams with more cars tend to perform better. Since 2001, the drivers who won the Cup Series Championship came from teams with 3 or more cars in 21 of 24 seasons, with the only exceptions being both of Tony Stewart’s crowns in 2002 and 2011 and Martin Truex Jr.’s Championship in 2017. Both of those teams were 2 car operations.

Having multiple cars doesn’t guarantee that a race team will suddenly perform better, but it does help. More cars means more resources are brought in from sponsorship and more data points for the team to use and experiment with to determine what works best on a given weekend. There’s a reason why only one full-time single-car team exists in NASCAR: JTG-Daugherty Racing (More on them later).

Secondly, LMC’s manufacturer, Toyota, likely wants more cars on the grid. Toyota has the fewest full-time cars in the Cup Series with 8 (4 Joe Gibbs Racing, 2 23XI Racing, and 2 LMC). Ford and Chevy have 14 cars each.

In terms of “Tier One” teams, Toyota isn’t that far behind. Chevrolet has 3 “Tier One” teams with 8 cars combined, and, while Ford has 11 as of right now, Stewart-Haas Racing is in the last year of its contract with Ford, along with the potential charter firesale. However, Chevy seems primed to expand with Trackhouse Racing, which is looking to buy charters, and Ford teams may buy a charter or two to make up for the loss of SHR.

The issue with this logic for LMC is that if 23XI is in the running to buy a charter, then there’s no reason for Toyota to push LMC to buy a charter. If LMC cannot buy a charter, there’s no reason for them to. However, is all hope in buying a charter lost?

Can They Still Buy a Charter This Year?

The only other team that has been even close to rumored to sell a charter aside from SHR is JTG-Daugherty Racing. With the uncertain future of their co-owner Tad Geshickter and sponsor Kroger, no one knew what they would do. However, the team has now signed Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to a multi-year contract extension, so, that charter seems safe for now.

Rumors circulated in the off-season about Kaulig Racing selling charters and, more recently, that the team was merging with Trackhouse. However, Kaulig Team President Chris Rice recently squashed all those rumors, so even the far-fetched possibility of buying from Kaulig is out.

Aside from that, the only other teams that could possibly sell charters are The Wood Brothers (not happening) and Rick Ware Racing (also not happening). Now, things can change, but, it seems incredibly unlikely that Legacy Motor Club will be active in this year’s charter market. They don’t need to be active if they don’t have the capital to get charters.

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