Legacy MC will change from Chevrolet to Toyota beginning in 2024, Toyota Racing Development announced Tuesday.
The move will give Toyota eight cars in Cup in 2024. Toyota will have four cars with Joe Gibbs Racing, two cars with 23XI Racing and the two Legacy MC cars. The eight-team lineup will be the largest for Toyota in Cup since 2011.
“Maury Gallagher and I are very excited about the partnership with Toyota and TRD beginning in 2024,” said Legacy MC co-owner Jimmie Johnson in a statement. “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.”
Erik Jones and rookie Noah Gragson drive for Legacy MC in Cup. Both have driven for Toyota in the past. Jones won rookie of the year honors in Cup, Xfinity and Trucks with Toyota. He made his Toyota debut in 2013 in the Truck Series and won the series title in 2015. He scored two Cup wins with Toyota at Joe Gibbs Racing.
Gragson made his Truck and Xfinity debuts with Toyota. He ran 47 Truck races for Toyota at Kyle Busch Motorsports, winning twice. He made his Xfinity debut with Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 at Richmond.
“We are humbled and delighted to welcome Legacy Motor Club into the Toyota and TRD NASCAR family,” said David Wilson, President of TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development), in a statement. “Jimmie Johnson and Maury Gallagher have impressed us with their long-term vision and commitment to building a championship caliber organization. More importantly, their character and values are aligned with ours and our current Cup Series partners, Joe Gibbs Racing and 23XI Racing. Of course, we also look forward to being reunited with our old friends, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson.”
The move to add another organization was hinted at by Wilson in an interview with NBC Sports in January. Wilson said at the time: “We’ve got some good irons in the fire now. What was once a very effective strategy to amass our resources across fewer cars, with the marginalization of the areas that we have to play in and the flattening out of the playing field, we definitely need some more help.”
Wilson went on to tell NBC Sports in January: “We’re talking to a lot of the incumbents. It’s a very dynamic time right now. If you’re a team, you want to have an association with a manufacturer. Again, even in spite of the new car, the flattening of the playing field, there’s still something about having an alliance and partnership. The good news is there’s a lot of interest. The bad news is you don’t have to worry about Penske or Hendrick.
“So what’s interesting from a fan standpoint, what’s going to continue to drive interest in our sport is the trajectory of some of the smaller organizations. The Tier 2 or 3 and how they get better. And that’s good for the sport, because as we saw last year, the number of teams that won, the number of drivers that won was historically unprecedented.”