LEGACY MOTOR CLUB Race Preview | Las Vegas I





Survivors of Atlanta: LEGACY MOTOR CLUB drivers John Hunter Nemechek and Erik Jones had an eventful race last weekend at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. After fighting handling woes in qualifying, the No. 42 and No. 43 Toyotas were both involved in a multi-car incident on lap two. Both teams repaired the cars and continued to race in the 400-mile event, but the damage sustained in the crash hindered forward progress. Nemechek would finish in the 21st position followed by Jones in 25th.

Checkout lane: Nemechek’s Toyota Camry XSE will debut a new paint scheme in Las Vegas with grocery store chains Safeway and Albertsons featured as the primary sponsors. The door panels on the No. 42 will showcase brands all, Dial ,Persil, Snuggle, Baja Vida Beef Jerky, Daisy Brand, Pete & Gerry’s, and RedBird Farms as associate partners

Hitting the jackpot: Both LEGACY M.C. drivers have claimed NASCAR Truck Series victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway while driving Toyota Tundras fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports. Jones went to victory lane first in the 2014 event, followed by Nemechek in 2021.

Vegas domination: LEGACY M.C.’s co-owner Jimmie Johnson and competition advisor Matt Kenseth completely dominated Las Vegas Motor Speedway throughout the 2000’s. During the five years between 2003 and 2007, Kenseth and Johnson were the only Cup Series drivers to win at the track. Johnson’s four wins (‘05, ‘06, ‘07, and ‘10) and Kenseth’s three (‘03, ‘04, and ‘13) account for nearly a quarter of all NCS races held at Vegas.

Doubling down in the desert: Nemechek will make his third NASCAR Xfinity Series start of the season behind the wheel of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing GR Supra on Saturday. Both of Nemechek’s cars this week will feature the same primary sponsors, Safeway and Albertsons.

Community ties: LEGACY M.C. co-owner, Maury Gallagher, has his roots firmly planted in Nevada. Gallagher, who also serves as chairman and CEO of Allegiant Travel Company, is a full-time resident of Las Vegas and oversees the airline from its headquarters located just over 20 miles from the track. Gallagher recently served as the Chairman of the Super Bowl Host Committee and Allegiant has been a national partner of the Make-A-Wish Foundation since 2012. Also in 2023, Allegiant Travel Company pledged $1 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America to develop and launch a new program that will inspire children to choose future careers in aviation.

Remembering Spencer Clark: Gallagher’s introduction to the sport of NASCAR came from a partnership with a bright local racer who competed at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring, Spencer Clark. Sadly, as Clark’s career began to take shape in the NASCAR national ranks, he lost his life in a highway accident in 2006. Gallagher’s book, “Fueling a Legacy, The Long-Shot Success of GMS” details Gallagher’s relationship with Clark and the origins of GMS Racing (now LEGACY M.C.).

Marathon Matt: Kenseth won’t be in Vegas this weekend but is competing in a race of his own – the 2024 Tokyo Marathon in Japan. Kenseth gained an interest in running in 2014, as his wife Katie has always been a runner, and his first 5k was ironically a Jimmie Johnson Foundation-sanctioned fitness event. Towards the end of his driving career, Kenseth gained interests in cycling, and running, and decided to train for marathons. Since 2019, Kenseth has competed in five of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors: Berlin (3:07:44), London (2:58:23), Chicago (3:09:08), Boston (3:01:40), and New York (3:11:33). Tokyo marks the final event for Kenseth to earn his “Six Star Medal” which is an elite award to honor the runners who compete in all six major marathons. Upon completion, he will be included in the “Six Star Hall of Fame”. The 26.2-mile event takes place on March 3 in Tokyo.

West Coast Hall of Fame, Class of 2024: The West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame named its Class of 2024 today, which includes LEGACY M.C.’s co-owner Johnson and chief executive officer Cal Wells III. Johnson and Wells III will be joined by Eric Holmes, Jimmy Vasser, and the late Dick Cobb. The Class of 2024 will be enshrined Thursday, June 6, during the West Coast Stock Car/Motorsports Hall of Fame’s induction gala, at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway’s Turn 11 Club VIP/Hospitality complex encircling the road course’s iconic Turn 11.

ICYMI: This week LEGACY M.C. announced a partnership with D3O®, (pronounced Dee – three- oh) the world’s leading protection brand. D3O develops unique products used to protect against impact and dampen vibration. The iconic orange D3O material is used by global brands in sports, electronics, motorcycle, mountain bike, defense, law enforcement, and industrial workwear.


John Hunter Nemechek, Driver of the No. 42 Safeway / Albertsons Toyota Camry XSE:

On the importance of managing patience throughout longer Cup Series races compared to the Xfinity Series: “I think the best mindset or approach is to go into these races without any expectation and just do the best you can as a team and the best I can do as a driver. If we’re fast, we’re fast, but if not, we’ll just have to keep working at it because we’re continuing to try and build our program at LEGACY M.C. It’ll be the first true test at a mile-and-a-half this year to see the speed we have in our Safeway / Albertsons Toyota Camry XSE, so we’ll see what we’ve got.”

Ben Beshore, Crew chief of the No. 42 Safeway / Albertsons Toyota Camry XSE:

From what you’ve seen in simulation, how well do you anticipate the new Camry XSE to handle aerodynamically on these intermediate tracks? “That’s tough to tell right now. I think we’ll have to get some laps under us in real-life conditions in traffic and around other cars to know what we’ve got there. Vegas is one of the first true intermediate tracks we go to with the new body style, so it’ll be a good learning experience and hopefully what we learn here can be carried over in some of the other tracks coming up like Texas, Charlotte, and Kansas. It’ll be a good proving ground for some of those upcoming intermediate tracks.”

Erik Jones, Driver of the No. 43 Dollar Tree Toyota Camry XSE:

On what makes a driver successful at 1.5-mile tracks. “I think the 1.5-mile tracks now are so momentum-based that having a car where you can keep your momentum up and be able to move around in traffic is probably the most important thing. The 1.5-mile tracks have become pretty enjoyable with this car and this package, I feel like they are pretty ‘racy’ and they are challenging. Everyone is running close to the same speed and time, but I feel like you can move around and do a lot of different things on these 1.5-mile tracks like Vegas.”

Dave Elenz, Crew chief of the No. 43 Dollar Tree Toyota Camry XSE:

“The core of our season is intermediate tracks, so it is important to have speed at all of these tracks and have good results. Last year, that (intermediate tracks) was a strength for us. To end the season, we had a lot of good runs at some 1.5-mile tracks. We look forward to seeing what we have this year with Toyota, seeing where our speed stacks up, and getting an understanding of what we have to work on moving forward.”


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.

Family affair in Vegas: The Petty family was well represented at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March of 2000 as the father-son duo of Kyle and Adam Petty shared the track for the race weekend. Adam Petty competed in the then-Busch Series finishing 17th. Father Kyle then raced in the NASCAR Cup Series event leading for six laps and finishing 29th.


Pre-race teammate pose with “The King’s Hat” in Atlanta.

(Photo courtesy of LEGACY M.C.)





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 SAFEWAY: In 1915, M.B. Skaggs, an ambitious young man in the small Idaho town of American Falls, purchased a tiny grocery store from his father. M.B.’s business strategy, to give his customers value and to expand by keeping a narrow profit margin, proved spectacularly successful. By 1926 he had opened 428 Skaggs stores in 10 states. M.B. almost doubled the size of his business that year when he merged his company with 322 Safeway (formerly Selig) stores and incorporated as Safeway, Inc. Two years later, M.B. listed Safeway on the New York Stock Exchange. M.B. did not let the difficulties of the Great Depression dilute his pioneering focus on value for customers. In the 1930s, Safeway introduced produce pricing by the pound, added “sell by” dates on perishables to assure freshness, nutritional labeling and even created some of the first parking lots.

M.B. Skagg’s value vision still drives Safeway, though on a dramatically larger scale. Today, Safeway operates as a banner of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. With both a strong local presence and national scale, the company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners. Albertsons Companies is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. In 2017 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company gave nearly $300 million in food and financial support. These efforts helped millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, programs for people with disabilities and veterans outreach.

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. LEGACY M.C. also competes in the Extreme-E Series. 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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