Story By: AMY WALSH STOCK / LEGACY MOTOR CLUB – STATESVILLE, NC – LEGACY MOTOR CLUB™ today announced on FOX Sports 1’s award-winning show “NASCAR Race Hub” that John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 42 NASCAR Cup Series entry when the Club transitions manufacturers from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2024.
The 26-year-old driver will join teammates Erik Jones and LEGACY M.C. co-owner Jimmie Johnson, who plans to drive a limited schedule once again in 2024.
“To be able to announce my plans for next season so early and officially say I will be competing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series relieves a lot of pressure,” Nemechek said. “There is so much to be done for next year, and this gives us the opportunity to get the news out there and move forward. Also, driving for Maury (Gallagher), Jimmie (Johnson) and Richard Petty is a dream come true for me.”
LEGACY MOTOR CLUB’s chief executive officer Cal Wells III has kept an eye on the young driver since the very beginning of his career on four wheels.
“John Hunter has been around a racetrack literally since the day he was born,” Wells III said. “I have watched him since he was a little kid – from walking around the track in a firesuit matching the one worn by his father – to becoming the talent he is today. He is a perfect fit for the Club and I expect great things out of him.”
Co-owner Johnson and “Front Row Joe” Nemechek were teammates at Hendrick Motorsports in 2002 and 2003, as the elder Nemechek drove the No. 25 entry in the Cup Series. John Hunter was just five years old at that time.
“We’re excited to have John Hunter in the LEGACY MOTOR CLUB family and I can’t wait to see what he can do in the No. 42 next season,” said Johnson. “He is impressive both on and off the track and will be a great ambassador for LEGACY M.C. and our partners. He will be a solid teammate to Erik (Jones) and I can’t wait to watch them both compete for wins and championships for years to come.”
John Hunter is a legacy race car driver but is also busy creating a legacy of his own. Nemechek began racing go-karts and quarter Midgets at the young age of five. In 2012, Nemechek raced Late Models and Super Late Models within the American Speed Association Midwest Tour and at the age of 15, he won the 2012 Allison Legacy Race Series Championship, winning 15 out of 18 races. In 2013, Nemechek made his NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) debut at the age of 16, driving the No. 22 Toyota Tundra for his family-owned team, SWM-NEMCO Racing. In 2014, Nemechek competed in ten NCTS events and capped off the season by winning the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway.
On September 19, 2015 – 16 years to the day his father Joe won his first NASCAR Cup Series race – the young Nemechek won his first Truck Series race at Chicagoland. He was voted the “Most Popular Driver” later that year in the series.
In 2018, Nemechek signed on to drive in the Xfinity Series for Chip Ganassi Racing and then with GMS Racing in 2019 for their Xfinity program. He competed in Trucks and Xfinity until 2019 and was called up to the Cup Series to compete full-time in 2020. After a year where he saw only three top-10 finishes, Nemechek made the tough decision to return to the Truck Series full-time, where he knew he could be competitive and had the chance to win each weekend and signed on with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
“Going back to the Truck Series was humbling in a way, but it was the best thing I ever did for myself and my career,” said Nemechek. “I was able to compete for wins and two championships for KBM where we won races and were consistently one of the teams to beat week in and week out.”
Nemechek indeed became mentally and physically stronger by going back to the truck series and continued to share success in his craft. After two top-five finishes in the championship points in 2021 and 2022, Nemechek was signed by Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 season to compete full-time for the team’s Xfinity program. He currently has five wins, 12 top-five, and 18 top-10 finishes to date, ranking second in the series point standings heading into Kansas.
From a career standpoint, in the Truck Series, Nemechek has 13 career wins, nine pole positions, 51 top-five, and 82 top-10s in 149 starts. In the Xfinity Series, he has achieved seven wins, three pole positions, 29 top-five, and 55 top-10 finishes in 92 starts and counting.
Nemechek is a native of Mooresville, N.C., and resides in the area with his wife Taylor, and young daughters Aspen and Penelope.
NASCAR heads to Kansas Speedway this weekend where Nemechek will compete in the Xfinity Series event on Saturday, Sept. 9, as that series ramps up their playoffs to determine the 2023 champion. His role within LEGACY MOTOR CLUB will commence once the 2023 season is complete.