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“That S**ks”: Jimmie Johnson Leaves NASCAR Community Heartbroken With Saddening Announcement Amidst Heated Tension With Joe Gibbs

Published 09/08/2023, 6:07 PM EDT

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The Legacy Motor Club’s #42 pot of gossip is still bubbling. The driver rotation has been spinning faster than a tire on the track, and with new faces taking the wheel in the Chevy cockpit, both Legacy Motor Club and Jimmie Johnson are sweating bullets to keep pace before the lightning-fast 2023 season beats them to the punch.

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While the NASCAR community is still grappling with this surprising development, Jimmie Johnson has rattled the racing world again hinting at dire news. In the latest update to this ongoing drama, Legacy Motor Club has dropped an update by confirming a permanent entry on the 2024 grid.

After a slew of changes and surprise announcements, what lies ahead for Jimmie Johnson and his team?


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NASCAR fans are still in shock from the recent developments coming from the Legacy camp, including the aftermath of the Noah Gragson suspension as well as the LMC-Toyota partnership deal. However, Jimmie Johnson is certainly keeping them on their toes with another unexpected announcement. During an appearance on NASCAR Race Hub, Johnson disclosed that he will not be hitting the track again this year.

Johnson‘s 2023 season has been a mixed bag, with appearances at the Daytona 500, COTA, and the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. He was all set to race in the Chicago Street race before a horrific family tragedy put his plans on hold.


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However, he has confirmed that he’s planning a limited schedule for the next season, coinciding with Legacy Motor Club’s switch to Toyota, featuring drivers Erik Jones and gragson’s replacement, John Hunter Nemechek.

Veteran Journalist Bob Pockrass reported on Twitter, “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.”

It all started when Legacy Motor Club faced a double whammy as they suspended Noah Gragson for his social media engagement with a controversial meme about George Floyd’s death, leaving them without a permanent pilot for the #42 Chevy and with no trace in the playoffs scene. Legacy Motor Club was in a precarious position until seven-time Cup Series champ Johnson came along. He worked overtime to secure a permanent replacement for the vacant seat, and the answer emerged in the form of John Hunter Nemechek, the #20 Xfinity driver from the JGR stable. Fans went ballistic after that.

Watch This Story: Denny Hamlin Signs New Contract With Joe Gibbs Racing Amid His Career Woes

Jimmie Johnson’s racing pause sparks Twitter frenzy

Nemechek is far from an unknown name in the upper echelons of the Cup Series, and he seemed to be the perfect candidate to fill the anticipated void that was expected when Martin Truex Jr. hinted at the possibility of retirement. However, when it was revealed that Truex had inked a new deal with Joe Gibbs to continue their partnership into the 2024 season, the announcement didn’t exactly come as a shock, considering his impressive regular-season championship title.

With Nemechek now part of the pool of potential candidates, what sets him apart is his existing connection with Toyota. Legacy Motor Club has already made a decision to bid adieu to Chevy and join the Toyota camp for the 2024 season and Nemechek’s experience with Toyota makes him an ideal fit for the Legacy Motor Club.


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Jimmie Johnson’s recent announcement regarding his racing hiatus stirred a multitude of reactions from NASCAR fans on Twitter. One fan tweeted showcasing empathy for Johnson’s priorities, “Really wanted to see @JimmieJohnson and #84 on the track soon … even though I am sad we won’t. I do understand that his family comes first and continued prayers.” Another comment reflected a yearning for his full-time return, stating, “I wish he would run full-time. They should bring back the past champions provisional.”

The transition from Chevrolet to Toyota brought about further intrigue, with a tweet declaring, “That s**ks, what a way to end a relationship with Chevy.” “I’m sorry but seeing Jimmie in a Toyota next year is just going to feel SO wrong.” Another fan echoed this sentiment, expressing, “Jimmie in a Toyota. Hard to believe.”

In the midst of varying opinions, one comment took a critical stance asserting, Nobody cares. Once they went woke, they lost the little fan base they had. There was absolutely nobody at their souvenir trailer at Daytona and they had the nerve to still have Noah gear for sale.


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While Gibbs may not be thrilled to lose such a promising talent, the NASCAR world is no stranger to the tensions that simmer beneath the surface. In this high-stakes game, sometimes you have to step on someone else’s tail to ensure the safety of your own.

Read more: Joe Gibbs Reveals How They Deal With a Hungry Martin Truex Jr. As They Answer the Age-Old Question

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Written by:

Rashi Shetty


One take at a time

Rashi Shetty is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the sport extends beyond the thrill of on-track racing, as she finds the behind-the-scenes aspects of car development and sportsmanship equally captivating. Her favorite motorsports moment of 2023 is the NASCAR Garage 56 entry at Le Mans.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal