LEGACY MOTOR CLUB Race Preview | Atlanta I

CLUB ENTRY LIST

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
ERIK JONES

CLUB NOTES

New Look for JHN: John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 42 Toyota Camry XSE will carry a new paint scheme this weekend as Family Dollar holds its first primary-sponsored race of the season. Additionally, vendor partners Henkel, Oreo, and Purina Dog Chow will have associate sponsor placement on the No. 42 for Atlanta.

Top-10’s for the CLUB in Daytona: LEGACY MOTOR CLUB showed a lot of promise during the DAYTONA 500 with both full-time drivers finishing inside of the top-10. Nemechek and his No. 42 Dollar Tree Toyota Camry XSE finished seventh and teammate Erik Jones wheeled his No. 43 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE to an eighth place finish. This marks the first time that both drivers scored a top-10 finish in the same race since the acquisition of the No. 42 entry in 2022.

2X Atlanta winner: Nemechek holds the unique accomplishment of being the only active driver to date to win on both configurations at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2016, Nemechek capitalized on a late-race restart where he led the final eight laps to secure his second-career NASCAR Truck Series victory on the old pavement. Last season, he made a thrilling pass with only three laps to go and hung on to win the fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series race of his career.

The DAYTONA 800: Mother Nature forced the postponement of all track activity in Daytona on Saturday and Sunday, and because of that Nemechek endured the longest day of his professional racing career. Nemechek started 10th in the DAYTONA 500 finishing seventh in the No. 42 Dollar Tree Camry XSE. Approximately one hour later, Nemechek switched focus to the Xfinity Series, finishing the day with another seventh-place result. The distance Nemechek drove Sunday is equivalent to traveling by car from Charlotte, N.C. to Boston (with just one rest stop).

JHN doubles down in the ATL: After he qualifies the No. 42 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE for the NASCAR Cup Series event, Nemechek will make his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the year in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Pye-Barker GR Supra on Saturday.

JHN media avail: Nemechek will hold a desk media availability on Saturday, Feb. 24 where he will speak to reporters in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media center at 10:15 a.m.

NASCAR x NFL: This weekend Jones will team up with NASCAR’s Growth and Engagement Ambassador and New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara for a kid-focused event. On Saturday, Feb. 24, Jones and Kamara will take part in a Q&A session. This event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Kids Zone.

AdventHealth hospital visit: In partnership with AdventHealth, Jones will visit AdventHealth Gordon (formerly Gordon Hospital) in Calhoun, Georgia. AdventHealth Gordon in Calhoun, Georgia, formerly Gordon Hospital, is now part of the AdventHealth network of care. They have a world-class hospital team to help heal the body, ease the mind, and lift spirits with expert medical treatments, all while helping more people in the community reach their God-given potential. This visit hits close to home for Jones, as his mother Carol is a nurse.

Making the highlight reel: At this race one year ago, Jones made a bold “Hail Mary” move to the finish as he split the field up the middle moving from 17th to eighth in just one lap. Post-race, he explained how the middle lane opened at just the right time, allowing him to pick up nine positions as he raced to the checkered flag. Jones called the gutsy move one for the “highlight reel” of his career.

Home for Heim: LEGACY M.C.’s simulator and reserve driver, Corey Heim, returns to his home track at Atlanta Motor Speedway to compete in the NASCAR Truck Series event on Saturday. Heim grew up in nearby Marietta, Georgia, and began his career racing legends cars around the 0.25-mile track on the front stretch. In 2022, Heim earned his first career Truck Series victory at AMS in front of a hometown crowd.

CLUB QUOTES

John Hunter Nemechek, Driver of the No. 42 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE

On the benefit of running double duty on a speedway: “I think laps are laps, and any time you can have extra time on a race track and can draft on a superspeedway is a plus. When you can make moves and put yourself in different places to see how things work out, you’re always learning something. I think that’s something that will help us a good amount going from Saturday to Sunday in our Family Dollar Toyota.”

Ben Beshore, Crew chief of the No. 42 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE

On the ‘new’ Atlanta configuration starting to age: “It’s started to take a little bit of age, but that tends to show up more in the July race where there’s hotter conditions. In spring, with it being in February, and probably somewhere in the upper 50s as far as air temps, it’s still gripped up for the most part. When you get in a big pack, you have to lift a little bit and handling becomes an issue. It’s a little bit of a balancing act of how much downforce versus drag you put in the cars, so John Hunter will just have to make smart and efficient choices in the car as will I on the box.”

Erik Jones, Driver of the No. 43 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE

On similarities and differences between Daytona and Atlanta: “I think there are quite a few similarities between Daytona and Atlanta, we bring a very similar car and somewhat of a similar package there. The handling in Atlanta is a lot more important than what we fight at Daytona typically, but we still have somewhat of the same mentality. I am hoping to have the same kind of speed and want to the race to play out a bit more in our favor than last week. I think we learned a lot at Daytona that is going to apply, and hopefully, we can execute with that.”

On his reunion with Toyota: “The first race and race weekend back with Toyota went really well. It went particularly well for the crew guys – the car was strong in the draft and in the pack. It had a lot of power which was great, and I am excited to not only get to Atlanta but also some of these 1.5-mile tracks I think we are going to be really strong there with this car. I am excited and ready to get rolling with this season, we have one more speedway here with Atlanta, but I am excited to dive into the meat of the schedule.”

Dave Elenz, Crew chief of the No. 43 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE

You are running back-to-back restrictor plate tracks that are very heavy on drafting, where do you see similarities and differences in setups between Daytona and Atlanta? “Between Daytona and Atlanta, they are the same rules with restricted motors and configuration of the car. You are trying to get as much speed as you can in the car for straight-line speed, but in Atlanta, there is going to be more opportunity to lift because you don’t have as much downforce going through the corner. During ideal conditions in Atlanta, we are wide-open through the corner, which is the same as Daytona, but when you get back in the pack and make some racing moves against some other guys, you get into a situation where you have to lift. That becomes the difference for Atlanta, you have to keep all the speed in it but have enough downforce, so you don’t have to lift. That lifting moment is what makes or breaks you in the final restarts of Atlanta that get pretty exciting.”

PETTY 75TH ANNIVERSARY

The 2024 season marks a significant milestone in the history of the Petty family as they have helped define stock car racing for 75 years. Their commitment to the sport and the people who make it possible – behind the wheel, under the hood, in the back office and beyond – has shaped the growth and success of NASCAR. Their LEGACY lives on with the countless fans, drivers, technicians and team members they touched. Throughout 2024, LEGACY M.C. will celebrate the Petty family and share countless memories with friends and fans at race tracks across the country.

The King’s Hat location in Atlanta: During the weekend in Atlanta the “King’s Hat” will be on display in the Fan Zone before moving to the front of the NASCAR Cup Series grid on Sunday. There, fans with a pre-race track pass will not only get a chance to see the hat up close. Following the race, the King’s Hat will reside in the Petty Garden between the ticket office and the condominium building on property.

Changing of the guard: On Nov. 15, 1992, “The King” Richard Petty competed in the final race of his storied career in the season-ending event at Atlanta. That day also marked the start of Jeff Gordon’s NASCAR career as he competed in his first race, igniting a career that would change the sport. A record 160,000 spectators attended the race and celebrated Petty’s farewell.

Iconic Petty moments in Georgia: The Petty family has left their mark all over the state of Georgia throughout their 75-year history competing in NASCAR. “The King” Richard Petty, won six times at Atlanta Motor Speedway, including races held in 1966, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1975, and 1977. Other notable Richard Petty wins in Georgia include four at Middle Georgia Raceway (1966, 1967, 1969, and 1970), three at Savannah Speedway (1964, 1967, and 1970), and two at Augusta Speedway (1966 and 1967). Family patriarch, Lee Petty, won races on the dirt tracks of Central City Speedway (1952), Lakewood Speedway (1959), and Oglethorpe Speedway (1955).

ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

ABOUT DOLLAR TREE, INC.: Dollar Tree, a Fortune 200 Company, operated 16,622 stores across 48 states and five Canadian provinces as of October 28, 2023. Stores operate under the brands of Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree Canada. To learn more about the Company, visit www.DollarTree.com.

ABOUT ADVENTHEALTH: With a sacred mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ, AdventHealth is a connected system of care for every stage of life and health. More than 90,000 team members across hundreds of care sites including physician practices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, home health agencies and hospice centers provide individualized, wholistic care. A shared vision, common values, focus on whole-person health and commitment to making communities healthier unify the system’s more than 50 hospital campuses in diverse markets throughout nine states. For more information about AdventHealth, visit AdventHealth.com/news.

ABOUT LEGACY MOTOR CLUB: LEGACY MOTOR CLUB™ is a professional auto racing club owned by businessman and entrepreneur Maurice “Maury” J. Gallagher and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. The Club competes full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series fielding the No. 42 Toyota Camry XSE of John Hunter Nemechek, the No. 43 Toyota Camry XSE of Erik Jones, and the No. 84 limited schedule entry for Johnson. Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty “The King” serves as Club Ambassador. With a unique title signifying a nod to car clubs of past eras, LEGACY M.C. is an inclusive club for all motorsport enthusiasts to celebrate the past and future legacies of its members, while competing for wins and championships at NASCAR’s elite level. To keep up-to-date with the latest news, information and exclusive content, follow LEGACY MOTOR CLUB™ on Facebook, X, Instagram and at www.LEGACYMOTORCLUB.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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