Noah Gragson Sets Date for NASCAR Return

Getty Noah Gragson will make his return to the NASCAR Cup Series.

Legacy Motor Club will have both of its full-time drivers back for the trip to Nashville Superspeedway. Noah Gragson has been cleared to return to the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro.

The Las Vegas native missed the NASCAR weekend at Sonoma Raceway due to concussion-like symptoms after a crash at World Wide Technology Raceway. He is now able to return, which will set him up to take on his first Cup Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.

As part of the announcement, Legacy MC also confirmed that Gragson will remain playoff-eligible after NASCAR has granted a waiver. Though he will have to win his way in as he sits 33rd in the standings with 143 points.

“Nashville in one of my favorite cities so to race there is really cool,” Gragson said in a press release. “I’m feeling better and so happy to return this weekend. I’m thankful to Grant [Enfinger] for helping us out at Sonoma, it’s very hard to step away, but I was able to rest and recover and I’m ready to get after it.”

Gragson is not the only driver that will make his return to competition at Nashville Superspeedway. Truck Series driver Corey Heim will also be back after he missed the trip to World Wide Technology Raceway due to an illness.

The 2023 Season Has Been Difficult for Gragson & Legacy

GettyNoah Gragson (left) & Jimmie Johnson (right) talk during the race weekend at COTA.

Legacy Motor Club faced raised expectations entering the 2023 Cup Series season. The team had added a new co-owner in seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, and it was fresh off a season in which Erik Jones won a Crown Jewel race. The team also had a promising rookie in Gragson taking over the No. 42 Chevrolet.

The season has not played out as Legacy MC hoped. Jones and the No. 43 team received an L1-Level penalty for a modified greenhouse, which took away 60 driver points, 60 owner points, and five playoff points for driver and owner.

The on-track performances have also fallen short of the team’s hopes. Jones only has two top-1o finishes in the first 16 races, both of which were in superspeedway races. Gragson’s best finish is 12th at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and he has five DNFs in the past nine races.

An Offseason Change Should Benefit Legacy MC

Noah Gragson

GettyNoah Gragson watches qualifying at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

The future should be brighter for Gragson and Legacy MC. The Las Vegas native will continue to gain more experience at the top level of NASCAR, and then he and Legacy MC will move over to Toyota Racing Development.

Joining Toyota Racing Development does not guarantee improved performance, but it certainly sets up this scenario. There will only be eight full-time Toyota entries in the Cup Series. Joe Gibbs Racing has four while 23XI Racing and Legacy MC will each have two.

These smaller numbers automatically put Legacy Motor Club in a better position to succeed. The organization will have a deeper connection to TRD instead of being one of several partners in the Chevrolet Camp.

For comparison, there are currently 16 full-time entries in the Cup Series. Hendrick Motorsports has four, Richard Childress Racing has two, Trackhouse Racing has two, Spire Motorsports has two, Legacy has two, Kaulig Racing has two, JTG Daugherty Racing has one, and Live Fast Motorsports has one.

This move will not take place until after the season finale at Phoenix Raceway. For now, Gragson will make his return to Cup Series competition so that he can fight for points and solid finishes.


Read More