When Jimmie Johnson became a part owner of Petty GMS Motorsports, the ownership became a joint effort between two of the greatest drivers in NASCAR Cup Series history as he and Richard Petty have seven championships each while their partner Maury Gallagher boasts two Truck Series titles. This stacked trophy case will be represented in their team name as Petty GMS will become LEGACY Motor Club for the 2023 season onwards.
Much like TRICON Garage in the Truck Series, the name is a break from the traditional naming pattern of “Racing” or “Motorsports”. In LEGACY’s case, the name reflects a “legacy” of success while “Motor Club” is a reference to automobile clubs.
“After brainstorming about the new name of our team, Maury and I recognized the opportunity to do something special and different,” said Johnson on Wednesday. “We felt it was important to have a name that honoured 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 this sport outside of the race car.”
The team will continue to field the #42 and #43 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s as they did under Petty GMS for newcomer Noah Gragson and the returning Erik Jones. Johnson, who last raced in NASCAR in 2020, will race part-time in the #84 with sponsorship from his IndyCar partner Carvana. His number is an inverse of the #48 that he made iconic for Hendrick Motorsports and is currently used by Alex Bowman, while winning in the car would give him his eighty-fourth Cup victory. #84 is also twice #42, the latter of which was the original Petty number under family patriarch Lee Petty.
“As we were all talking about creating a new name for the team, we looked at Jimmie, myself, and Dale Inman—that’s twenty-two championships—so there couldn’t be a better name to fit our race team than LEGACY,” said Petty. “When I see the #42 and #43 cars, no matter who the driver was, is currently, or could be in the future, I want our fans to remember the Petty history that comes with them, and that history will continue to be made with LEGACY M.C.”
Petty originally co-ran the team alongside Andrew Murstein as Richard Petty Motorsports until Gallagher purchased the latter’s stake ahead of the 2022 season. Jones scored the team’s first and ultimately only win as Petty GMS at Darlington.
“Just over a year ago, I had the opportunity to acquire Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series,” Gallagher commented. “We made great strides throughout the 2022 season, winning the Southern 500 with Erik at Darlington and bringing Noah into the team for 2023. With the addition of Jimmie in an ownership role, we knew change was inevitable with his experience and knowledge. 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.”
Johnson’s first entry in the #84 will be the Daytona 500 on 19 February, though his car does not have a charter and will need to make the race via qualifying speed or Duel finish if the field exceeds forty. The #84 was last used by Team Red Bull in 2011 for Cole Whitt, but Mike Alexander was the last driver to run the Daytona 500 with it in 1989 for Stavola Brothers Racing.