NASCAR Cup Series
Jimmie Johnson Joins PettyGMS as Investor, Part-Time Driver
Nov 4, 2022
In what may seem a perfectly fitting nod to a pair of NASCAR’s greatest champions, team owners Maury Gallagher and his new partner Jimmie Johnson along with the team’s original namesake Richard Petty announced Wednesday that the Petty GMS organization’s new name will officially be LEGACY Motor Club.
And, when Johnson – who last raced fulltime in 2020 - returns to a limited NASCAR Cup series competition schedule this season, his car will use No. 84 – the numerical reverse of the No. 48 he won seven titles with at Hendrick Motorsports.
Johnson unveiled the organization’s new brand and nomenclature on NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday after the team teased a major announcement on its social media channels during the week.
“After brainstorming about the new name of our team, Maury and I recognized the opportunity to do something special and different,’’ Johnson said, explaining the thought behind the updated name and look.
“We felt it was important to have a name that honored the past and acknowledged the future. The term “Motor Club” is a nod to car clubs of the past. LEGACY M.C. will be an inclusive club for the automobile racing enthusiast. I am excited to be a part of a story so rich in heritage and look forward to creating a new legacy in the sport outside of the race car,’’ Johnson said.
The NASCAR Hall of Famer Petty gave his approval to the new look, as well.
“As we were all talking about creating a new name for the team, we looked at Jimmie, myself and [Petty’s former crew chief] Dale Inman – that’s 22 championships – so there couldn’t be a better name to fit our race team than LEGACY,’’ Petty said. “The ‘Motor Club’ is a perfect fit because we want our fans to pull for the whole team.’’
Erik Jones and incoming series rookie Noah Gragson will drive the LEGACY team’s No. 43 and No. 42 Chevrolets, respectively, with Johnson intending to make his first start in the No. 84 Chevrolet at the Daytona 500. That is the only race Johnson has confirmed he will compete in at this time, but he said in announcing his ownership stake in the team last November in Phoenix, that he intends to compete in multiple races in 2023.
“I’m looking forward to a new era in the No. 84 Chevrolet with LEGACY M.C. and getting a shot to driver the new NextGen car this season,’’ Johnson said.
The team’s rebranding will make its competitive debut with the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum on Feb. 5 in Los Angeles and then the first points-paying race of the year, the Feb. 19 Daytona 500.
“With the addition of Jimmie in an ownership role, we knew change was inevitable with his experience and knowledge,’’ said Gallagher, who acquired the Petty team a little more than a year ago and in November, 2022 welcomed Johnson formally into the ownership group.
“Our goal is to win races, win championships and to represent our partners by performing at the highest level. The new image of LEGACY M.C. is something that will allow us to stand out and foster a team environment that breeds success.”
-Photo credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images