CLUB NOTES

Leaving Las Vegas: LEGACY MOTOR CLUB drivers Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemechek battled through windy conditions at Las Vegas Motor to a 14th-place finish for Jones and a 22nd-place finish for Nemechek.

Double the Fun: Nemechek led 99 laps on his way to earning his 10th career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He will look to make it back-to-back wins in Phoenix when he straps into his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota GR Supra for the fourth time this season. For the second consecutive race, both of his cars will share the same primary partners, Safeway and Albertsons.

Kenseth and Johnson know Phoenix: LEGACY M.C. co-owner Jimmie Johnson and competition advisor Matt Kenseth have visited victory lane on several occasions at Phoenix Raceway. Johnson won four times at this track in his career (including Nov. ’07, April, ’08, Nov. ’08, and Nov. ’09). Kenseth has won twice in Cup (first in 2002 and later in Nov. ’17), in addition to one Xfinity Series win in Nov. ‘06.

Phoenix test-ed: Jones had the opportunity to test LEGACY MOTOR CLUB’s first Toyota Camry XSE in December during a closed test at Phoenix Raceway. With just a few weeks to prepare a car, the No. 43 team tested different aero and tire build combinations with the task of improving NASCAR’s short-track package.

Jones’s first win: Jones earned his first career NASCAR Truck Series victory at Phoenix Raceway in 2013 and backed it up by winning again in 2014. With an average start of 1.3 and an average finish of 3.7, Jones started on the pole or won the race in all three of his Truck Series starts.

ASU homecoming: Kellen Mills, jackman of the No. 43 team, returns to his home track this week as a Mesa, Arizona native. Before joining the “over the wall” crew, Mills played defensive end for Arizona State University’s football team in the early 2000s and was an all-state fullback at Mesa Mountain View High School before joining the Sun Devils. After college Mills moved to North Carolina and has been a pit crew member for the last five years.

MAJOR accomplishment: Earlier this week, Kenseth joined an elite group of athletes as he completed the Tokyo Marathon with a time of 3:06:52. With the completion of this race, Kenseth earned his sixth and final “major” to complete the famed “Six Star Medal”. Upon completion of the race, runners are inducted into the “Six Star Hall of Fame” as a nod to their hard work and dedication to over 150 miles of running.

Another Hall of Fame: Johnson will head back to the beach on Monday, March 11-12th for the 36th Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s (MSHFA) annual Induction Celebration presented by Toyota Racing. MSHFA’s Class of 2024 features past and present motorsports stars including Austin Coil (Drag Racing), Scott Dixon (Open Wheel), Earl B. Gilmore (Historic), Jim Downing & Dr. Robert Hubbard (Technology), Bud Ekins (Motorcycles), Johnson (Stock Cars), Paul Newman (At Large), John Surtees (Sports Cars) and Phil Walters, aka “Ted Tappett” (Historic).

CLUB QUOTES

John Hunter Nemechek, Driver of the No. 42 Safeway / Albertsons Toyota Camry XSE:

“I’m looking forward to the longer practice sessions in the No. 42 Safeway /Albertsons Toyota Camry this weekend and also another weekend of double duty. With Erik testing out here in December we have some good notes to go on as it will be my first time in this car on the track at Phoenix.”

Ben Beshore, Crew chief of the No. 42 Safeway / Albertsons Toyota Camry XSE:

On full-length practice sessions:

“I think it will be good for us, it’ll give John Hunter some more laps. We’ve got a new aero package, so it should give us some opportunities to try some different packages in practice and work on the car a little bit more than what we can on a normal condensed weekend.”

Erik Jones, Driver of the No. 43 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE:

Will anything from the test translate to the race weekend?

“I think the test that we got to do in Phoenix was good, it was our first-ever time with the new Toyota Camry XSE and getting used to that. We worked on a lot of aero packages and tire options during those days. We all settled on an aero package and tire that we thought would be better for racing at the short tracks and road courses going forward. So, we will get a chance to try those out this weekend with a full field, but having notes on that is really beneficial. We were able to work through a lot of different setups and packages with that aero package to see what it liked and didn’t like. Hopefully, we can apply some of that this weekend and start off strong.”

Dave Elenz, Crew chief of the No. 43 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE:

On the Phoenix test in December:

“It’s nice that we had the opportunity to test at Phoenix Raceway with the new rules package. It looked like it raced a little bit better than the other packages that we had out there. I am excited to see what it brings to the race and even more excited that we have a little bit of a head start on what the setup is going to be. Hopefully, we can unload a little bit better than we have been and show our speed right away, rather than delaying it until the race.”

LMC PR