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January 15, 2024

2024 season preview: Legacy Motor Club


jimmie johnson, richard petty and erik jones pose together

Editor’s Note: Today’s Legacy Motor Club preview starts NASCAR.com’s countdown of team previews for the 2024 Cup Series season.

LEGACY MOTOR CLUB

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Manufacturer: Toyota
Engine: Toyota Racing Development
Driver-crew chief pairings: No. 42 John Hunter Nemechek-Ben Beshore, No. 43 Erik Jones-Dave Elenz, No. 84 Jimmie Johnson-Jason Burdett (partial schedule)

Team outlook: There is a lot of optimism for Legacy Motor Club, which will start its second year of competition with the new-look ownership group that includes a pair of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series championship drivers in Jimmie Johnson and team ambassador Richard Petty. Additionally, NASCAR Hall of Famer and former series champion Matt Kenseth has joined the team to work with Jones and Nemechek in their continued development. After completing a run with the Chevrolet banner in 2023 that resulted in seven top-10 finishes, the Legacy team moves to Toyota horsepower in 2024, taking a place alongside the manufacturer’s championship-contending teams of Joe Gibbs Racing and 23XI Racing. Both of Legacy’s full-time drivers, Jones and the new addition, Nemechek, have raced Toyotas coming up the career ranks. The 2024 season may feel a bit like a re-launch for this team, but expectations are higher than ever.

RELATED: Legacy Motor Club adds Kenseth as competition adviser

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, NO. 42 TOYOTA

Experience: One full-time season in NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: Fourth in final Xfinity Series standings; 7 wins, 17 top fives, 24 top 10s (Xfinity)
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 100-1

Outlook: This will unquestionably be a transitional year for the team but also for the young Nemechek, who returns to NASCAR’s premier ranks full-time for a “second-go” of sorts. He has certainly proven himself capable of both winning races and challenging for championships in the Xfinity Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. This will be the year to simultaneously get acclimated with the new team and raise his game to the next level after reestablishing himself as a top prospect.

RELATED: Legacy taps Ben Beshore to crew chief Nemechek in 2024

ERIK JONES, NO. 43 TOYOTA

Experience: Seven full-time seasons in NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: 27th in final standings; 0 wins, 1 top five, 7 top 10s
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 100-1

Outlook: Jones won his Truck Series title driving Toyotas and a return to the manufacturer should be a promising situation for him. Last season, he ran up front often only to have late-race situations derail a better finish. Even though Jones is only 27 years old, 2024 marks his eighth full-time season in the NASCAR Cup Series, and after proving himself a perennial title contender in other series – as well as a Cup Series race winner – there are great expectations for Jones this year with perhaps more firepower under the hood.

He has earned double-digit top-10 finishes in five of his previous seven seasons and led at least 100 laps in three of them. With Legacy Motor Club in a more established competitive situation in 2024, and Jones starting a third year now with crew chief Elenz, the combination should be running up front more consistently as the de facto lead car on this team.

MORE: Opening championship odds | 2024 schedule

BOLD PREDICTION: Erik Jones will win a race to qualify for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He’s been competitive against the odds and with the organization in a better position with a year under its belt and the return to Toyota – a familiar make for Jones – it’s time for Jones to show himself the title competitor he’s shown flashes of in seasons past.

NASCAR.com 2024 team previews schedule

Jan. 15: Legacy Motor Club
Jan. 16: Spire Motorsports
Jan. 17: Kaulig Racing
Jan. 18: Wood Brothers Racing
Jan. 22: Rick Ware Racing
Jan. 23: Richard Childress Racing
Jan. 24: Stewart-Haas Racing
Jan. 25: Front Row Motorsports
Jan. 26: JTG Daugherty Racing
Jan. 29: Trackhouse Racing
Jan. 30: RFK Racing
Feb. 6: 23XI Racing
Feb. 7: Joe Gibbs Racing
Feb. 8: Hendrick Motorsports
Feb. 9: Team Penske

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