GMS Racing’s closure could pay benefits to Legacy Motor Club

DARLINGTON, SOUTH CAROLINA - SEPTEMBER 02: Carson Hocevar, driver of the #42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet, drives during during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 02, 2023 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Legacy Motor Club, a collaborative effort of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, GMS Racing’s Maury Gallagher and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, has been through a turbulent first season, to say the least.

The team’s on-track struggles were exacerbated by the suspension and dismissal of driver Noah Gragson for “liking” a meme on social media that made light of the murder of George Floyd.

The one constant within all the distraction has been defending Cook Out Southern 500 winner Erik Jones, who has posted three of his five top-10 finishes of 2023 in the last 10 races.

Gallagher announced in August that he planned to shutter his GMS Racing NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series team at the end of the season, and Jones believes that move may increase the critical mass of the Legacy Cup organization.

“We’re going to absorb a large amount of that personnel into the Cup side, which is a huge resource in itself,” Jones said Saturday at Darlington Raceway. “We needed to add some people on the competition side, on the shop floor and even probably upstairs.

“So people coming over is going to be a big resource in itself. As far as the financial gain from it – I don’t think a lot is going to change on that side of things. Maury is very dedicated in what he’s putting into this race team, even before that move.

“But I think on the personnel side, absorbing those guys into the shop for day-to-day procedures and what we do to prepare cars is going to be the biggest gain for us.”