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Racing

How Jimmie Johnson is Changing Legacy Motor Club NASCAR Team

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  • Erik Jones said Thursday the biggest change he had seen since Jimmie Johnson came on board at Legacy Motor Club was the emphasis on marketing.
  • On the competition side, NASCAR’s 75th anniversary marks the first time since its creation that the name “Petty” is not on a team in the Cup Series.
  • “There is still a lot of homage to pay there to ‘The King’ and, obviously, The King is still around and at the race track every week,” Jones said.

    In the three months since it was announced that Jimmie Johnson had become part owner of the team now known as Legacy Motor Club, Erik Jones said Thursday the biggest change he had seen was the emphasis on marketing.

    “We’ve been trying to shore up some new partners and some new people coming on,” Jones said.

    Less than a month after the team’s Jan. 11 announcement that it was rebranding Petty GMS to Legacy Motor Club, the Statesville, N.C.-based operation announced it had signed a multi-year partnership with Arrowhead Brass to be on Noah Gragson’s No. 42 Chevrolet’s B-post and Jones’ No. 43 Chevrolet C-post in three NASCAR Cup races this season. Two days later it was announced Sunseeker Resorts would return to Gragson’s car. That same day it was announced the hiring of a president for business operations, a senior vice president for partnerships services and the promotion of an employee to vice president of racing operations.


    2023 nascar production days

    Erik Jones

    Chris GraythenGetty Images

    “I think the structure and the organization of what Jimmie wants for the future is kind of a somewhat long-term plan,” Jones said. “The marketing side of things is what’s been the biggest shift so far.”

    Jones said there was nothing that surprised him about Johnson the owner when he arrived at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the Busch Light Clash, but he was sure it was a different experience for Johnson to watch cars race in which he had an investment.

    “He really stayed out of the way,” Jones said. “I saw Jimmie, I think, one time the whole weekend. He came in the hauler on Sunday morning, hung out, and chatted for a minute and went right to work. He had a lot of people there, handful of guests up in a suite that he was kind of hanging with.”

    During the NASCAR test at Phoenix last month, Jones said it was interesting because Johnson was driving his own car.

    “I had a lot of chats quickly with him in between runs … talking about what he thought of the car, how he was feeling and what he was feeling, if we were kind of doing the same stuff in the race car,” Jones said.

    “The competition side is something I really want to be able to dive in with him on, get his perspective and outlook on. It’s going to be cool to kind of dive in some more with him … to see kind of what his vision is as far as the competition side.”

    On the competition side, NASCAR’s 75th anniversary marks the first time since its creation that the name “Petty” is not on a team in the Cup Series. However, Jones says the desire to pay homage to the legacy of the No. 43 brands remains. When Jones began driving the No. 43 in 2021, the team still carried the name Richard Petty Motorsports.

    “There is still a lot of homage to pay there to ‘The King’ and, obviously, The King is still around and at the race track every week,” Jones said. “I think there is an important legacy there that we want to honor on the 43. There’s no sense of moving on from that or trying to do something different. I think we know what the (No.) 43 means to a lot of different people in the sport.

    “There’s been a handful of guys since ‘The King’ drove it last in the early ‘90s, but I want to be able to hopefully make my own mark in it, too.”

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