3 takeaways from the Toyota/Legacy MC deal

On Tuesday afternoon, Toyota announced a partnership with LEGACY MOTOR CLUB beginning with the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) season. Here are my main takeaways from this announcement.

Toyota Needed To Expand

For years it’s been discussed that Toyota needed to find another team to expand with. Joe Gibbs Racing was capped already with four teams. They picked up 23XI Racing and have two charters there. However, six full-time teams was lacking for them.

While it helps in a way to feed resources to six cars and not spread them across 15+, it also hurts with the lack of data too among just six cars.

Also, they didn’t have any room to move multiple younger drivers up. Toyota has longed developed drivers through USAC and other various ranks and feeds them up to ARCA, Trucks and Xfinity. The problem is, if the Cup seats are full, they lose their drivers that they spent so long developing.

Now, this gives them two more seats to utilize with room for both 23XI and Legacy MC to expand as well. Each can grow for two more programs will would eventually have Toyota with 12 cars.

Toyota will field eight full-time Toyota Camry TRD’s in NCS action starting next season. That’s the most Toyota supported entries to compete in the NCS since 2011.

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – SEPTEMBER 04: Erik Jones, driver of the #43 FOCUSfactor Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory ane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 04, 2022 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

No Change To Jones/Gragson’s Status

In saying that, what does this mean to Erik Jones and Noah Gragson’s statuses with the team for 2024? Luckily, nothing.

“We also look forward to being reunited with our old friends, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson,” said TRD’s David Wilson.

Part of Toyota’s legacy includes both of LEGACY M.C.’s current drivers. Gragson made both his NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) debuts with Toyota. Gragson ran 47 races across three seasons with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NCTS, earning two victories – Martinsville (2017) and Kansas (2018). The Las Vegas-native finished second in the NCTS standings in 2018 – the same season he made his NXS debut, where he finished an impressive second at Richmond Raceway in April of that year driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Jones made history while with Team Toyota as he is the first driver in NASCAR history to earn Rookie of the Year in all three national series. He made his Toyota debut in the NCTS in 2013 and won later that year in his fifth career start at Phoenix Raceway. Jones later earned the NCTS championship in 2015, which is the same season he earned his first NXS win at Texas Motor Speedway. He later moved to the NASCAR Cup Series, where he earned two wins while competing for Joe Gibbs Racing – Daytona in July 2018 and Darlington in September 2019.

Johnson/Petty With Toyota’s

LEGACY M.C. is co-owned by seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and businessman Maury Gallagher. Johnson’s NASCAR legacy ranks him amongst the series’ best drivers, as the California-native ranks sixth all-time in NASCAR Cup Series victories with 83, along with his seven championships, five of which happened in consecutive years (2006-2010). Johnson owns two Daytona 500 victories (2006, 2013) and four All-Star Race wins (2003, 2006, 2012, 2013). Gallagher has achieved his own success on the track with his GMS Racing team. GMS Racing owns two NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series championships (2016 and 2020) along with 65 race wins across six national racing circuits. Johnson partnered with Gallagher’s Petty GMS team at the end of the 2022 season and guided the rebrand to LEGACY M.C. beginning with the 2023 racing year. Adding to the legacy of the organization is team ambassador, Richard Petty, ‘The King.’ Petty etched his name into NASCAR’s history with his seven championships and an incredible 200 wins.

Johnson has long been a Chevrolet guy. He won all 83 of his Cup Series races and each of his seven championships with the bow ties. He did run Honda’s in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES back is back with Chevrolet this season in NASCAR.

Petty has long been a North American motor guy. Between Dodge, Pontiac, Plymouth, Chevrolet and Ford, Petty has changed manufacturers a lot, but all have resided here in the US.

Now, both are with Toyota power.

“Maury Gallagher and I are very excited about the partnership with Toyota and TRD beginning in 2024,” said LEGACY M.C. co-owner Jimmie Johnson. “We admire and respect the level at which Toyota conducts their business in this sport and look forward to forging a new legacy for the future. I will always be appreciative to Chevrolet and everything we have accomplished together. I’m so thankful they took a chance on a kid from California so long ago and proud that the history books will forever memorialize our record-breaking success we shared.”


  1. My takeaways.
    Totally agree Toyota need to expand.
    GMS essentially just bought Petty’s charters(which weren’t really his) and owns the team now
    No quote from Richard, interesting.
    The should change numbers and let at least the 43 be retired.
    Jones and Gragson have both been burned by the Toyota factory before.
    No seat for Gragson in the xfinity series in 2019, Harrison Burton replaced him in the KBM Truck
    Jones got booted for Bell.
    Now they have JH. Nemechek, Sammy Smith(Pilot backing), The Gray brothers and Corey Heim all waiting for them to slip up. No Thanks!
    I still think 11 goes to 23XI and the 18 comes back. So there will be 9 Toyotas next season.


    • All very good points! I know Richard and Jimmie still haven’t remarkably spoke since those Daytona comments which tells me everything I really need to know about where things stand. I do think next year will be a prove it year for both Jones and Gragson or JHN/Sammy will be coming. Truex and Hamlin’s futures with JGR are murky. FedEx being out after this year could move Denny to that 3rd car so I agree there which opens the 11 to I can see being Ty (family #) and JHN to the 18


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