HMS Legend Snubs 10 Cup Drivers at Kansas for Rising Prodigy, Who Rescued Jimmie Johnson

Published 09/09/2023, 6:37 AM EDT

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For Legacy Motor Club, the 2023 season has been a whirlwind of bad luck. None of their drivers made the playoffs this year in the NASCAR Cup Series. In fact, their drivers have yet to finish in the top five in any race so far. And then Noah Gragson’s antics on social media saw him get indefinitely suspended from NASCAR. This left Jimmie Johnson with only one full-time driver in the Cup Series.

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But through all of this bad luck, there have been times when Legacy Motor Club has shone on the track. Erik Jones has delivered good results for the team over the course of the year. He finished in the top 10 on six occasions. His best finishing position was sixth place at the iconic Talladega track. And there might be another rising star in the Legacy Motor Club ranks who has recently impressed Jimmie Johnson.

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Johnson is one of the greatest motorsports athletes of all time. He won the NASCAR Cup Series a record-equaling seven times in his career. So if you’re impressing him enough to give you a chance to race for his team twice, you must be doing something right.

2023 will be all about damage control for Legacy Motor Club after what happened earlier in the season with Noah Gragson. And not to forget the poor form they have shown throughout the season. Getting through the last nine races of the year finishing consistently in decent positions will be acceptable at this point by Johnson.


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Erik Jones has lived up to that expectation with his performances. Of course, not finishing in the top five is disappointing, but the driver of the #43 has been decent. Perhaps if Gragson had been with the team, things would have been better.

However, former Hendrick Motorsports crew chief Steve Letarte believes that Legacy Motor Club has a future star on their hands. It is someone who drives full-time in the Truck Series. Letarte believes he can beat out 10 drivers in the Cup field that will start at Kansas.

On a recent episode of the Dirty Mo Dough podcast, Letarte revealed he had high hopes for full-time Truck Series driver Carson Hocevar. Hocevar drove for Legacy Motor Club in last weekend’s Cup Series race at Darlington and finished in 17th place. This feat highly impressed the former HMS man.

“He’s like ‘Oh man, this is fun, this is great’. Like he went to the Southern 500 – 500 damn miles at the toughest racetrack we run at and kind of put it together. So, I’d like to hear Hocevar,” Letarte said.

The ex-HMS man went as far as to say he would pick Hocevar over 10 drivers who will start in the Cup race. This includes the likes of Ty Dillon, Ryan Preece, Austin Cindric, and Corey LaJoie.

“The books don’t even know who the hell this kid is and I’m going to give you names. If it’s Hocevar versus, and you tell me if you start disagreeing with a name. For sure over Creed, Yaley, Custer, Gilliland, Ty Dillon, Harrison, Burton, Preece, LaJoie, Haley, Cindric. Those 10, I would take Hocevar,” he added.

Legacy Motor Club and Jimmie Johnson have had a season they would want to forget. Johnson’s fans are disappointed and the seven-time Cup Series champion dropped more disappointing news recently.

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He might have retired from being a full-time Cup driver, but Johnson started a few of the 2023 races as he is still designated as a part-time driver for Legacy Motor Club. He made appearances in the Daytona 500, COTA, and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. His best finish was 31st at Daytona.

However, the seven-time world champion revealed he will not be racing anymore this season. Prominent NASCAR journalist Bob Pockrass broke the news on X (formerly Twitter).


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“On NASCAR Race Hub, Jimmie Johnson says he won’t race again this year but will get back in the No. 84 Cup car next year for select races and that he hopes they can announce a schedule soon,” Pockrass posted.

The announcement sent Johnson’s fans into a frenzy who were obviously disappointed that their hero’s 2023 season was over.


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As owner of Legacy Motor Club, the seven-time champion will probably dedicate his time to getting things right for the 2024 season. This year, their car has just not been good enough and they have an open seat that needs to be filled. Who do you think will drive full-time for Legacy next season?

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh


One take at a time

Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He started his journey as a motorsports fan with Moto GP and Formula One, before gravitating towards NASCAR a few years back. The high-octane nature of stock car racing paired with the racecraft on display drew him into the sport.
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