NASCAR: John Hunter Nemechek to drive for Legacy Motor Club in 2024

Nemechek takes over the No. 42 car as the team switches from Chevy to Toyota

John Hunter Nemechek is moving back up to the NASCAR Cup Series.

Legacy Motor Club announced Wednesday that Nemechek will drive the No. 42 car for the team in 2024. Nemechek, 26, was a rookie in 2020 for Front Row Motorsports but has spent the past three seasons in NASCAR’s lower levels. He ran in the Truck Series in 2021 and 2022 and is currently driving in the Xfinity Series for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Legacy had an opening for the No. 42 car after parting ways with Noah Gragson earlier this season. Gragson was a rookie in 2022 but is now a free agent after he was suspended by both the team and NASCAR for liking an offensive social media post. The team has used Chevrolet-affiliated drivers from NASCAR's lower series in the No. 42 car since suspending Gragson.

“We’re excited to have John Hunter in the Legacy Motor Club family and I can’t wait to see what he can do in the No. 42 next season,” team co-owner Jimmie Johnson said in a statement. “He is impressive both on and off the track and will be a great ambassador for Legacy M.C. and our partners. He will be a solid teammate to [Erik Jones] and I can’t wait to watch them both compete for wins and championships for years to come.”

Nemechek’s arrival comes as the team is switching from Chevrolet to Toyota ahead of the 2023 season. After running a Ford in his only full-time Cup Series season, Nemechek signed with Toyota and Kyle Busch Motorsports to compete in the Truck Series. In two seasons in trucks, Nemechek won seven races and finished third and fifth in the points standings.

He moved to JGR’s Xfinity program in 2023 after KBM switched to Chevy in the offseason and has scored five wins in the first 25 races of the season. Nemechek is currently second in the points standings ahead of the final race of the regular season and 23 points back of points leader Austin Hill.

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 02: John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #20 Pye Barker Fire & Safety Toyota, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on September 02, 2023 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
John Hunter Nemechek will be back in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2024 after a three-year absence. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)