LEGACY MOTOR CLUB Race Preview | Darlington Raceway I

CLUB NOTES

EJ Update: Erik Jones returns to the No. 43 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB after sitting out the past two weeks due to a back injury that he sustained in a multi-car accident at Talladega Superspeedway. Jones attended events at Dover and Kansas but did not sit in the driver’s seat. Reserve driver Corey Heim piloted the No. 43 to a 25th-place finish at Dover and a 22nd-place finish at Kansas Speedway.

Dancing with the Lady in Black: There is no better place for Jones to return to the helm than Darlington. Two of his three career NASCAR Cup Series victories have come at Darlington. Jones has led a total of 102 combined laps at Darlington in the Cup Series. Jones’ 2022 Southern 500 win marked the 200th victory for the iconic number 43. Other drivers who won in the number came by drivers among the likes of Jim Paschal, Lee Petty, Aric Almirola, Bobby Hamilton, John Andretti, and, of course, Richard Petty.

Getting it done at Darlington: John Hunter Nemechek returns to the track “Too Tough to Tame” to make his 12th career start across NASCAR’s top three series. Sunday will be his fourth NASCAR Cup Series start at Darlington; his first since 2020. In the 11 starts, Nemechek has recorded one victory in the 2022 NASCAR Truck Series and five top-five finishes across the NCTS and Xfinity Series.

JHN Double Duty: For the sixth time this season, Nemechek will pull double duty in the NASCAR Xfinity Series as well as the NASCAR Cup Series. On Saturday, in the Xfinity race, Nemechek will pilot the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota while on Sunday, he will be behind the wheel of the No. 42 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB.

In the five events that Nemechek has raced both in the Xfinity Series and Cup Series in 2024, his average finish in the Cup Series is 19.2 compared to just running Cup Series alone it is 24.1.

May with the EJF: May marks an important month for the Erik Jones Foundation (EJF) as it represents melanoma awareness month. The EJF focuses on three key pillars: early cancer detection and prevention, childhood literacy, and animal welfare. May will be filled with charitable events, from Clays for Causes to NASCAR’s Give-a-thon and a handful of at-track activations. For a full list of events with the EJF in May, click here.

NASCAR Give-a-thon: The NASCAR Foundation kicked off its annual NASCAR Day give-a-thon, and The Erik Jones Foundation will join the initiative in hopes of supporting the mission of the EJF. Anyone interested in supporting the mission of the EJF can find more information and details on how to donate here.

Dave at Darlington: Crew chief Dave Elenz has found comfort in one of the toughest tracks on the NASCAR circuit. Elenz has a win in both the Xfinity Series at JR Motorsports and in the Cup Series with Jones and the No. 43. During his Xfinity tenure, Elenz has one win (spring race 2020), six top-five, and eight top-10 finishes. Elenz has coached his drivers to 142 laps led with an average start of 6.7 and an average finish of 8.0. Elenz’s only has one Xfinity finish outside of the top 10 with Kevin Harvick in 2016 due to an engine issue.

Ben at Darlington: Crew chief Ben Beshore has a strong resume when it comes to Darlington Raceway. With nine trips to the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, across the Cup Series and Xfinity Series, Beshore has amassed seven total top-10 finishes. In 2023 when Beshore was paired up with Nemechek, the duo swept the pole positions at Darlington and brought home two top-five finishes as a result. Beshore has coached his Xfinity Series drivers to 183 laps led around the place they call “Too Tough to Tame”. Beshore also has four Cup Series attempts with Kyle Busch during the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

All-Star Voting: With the NASCAR All-Star Race around the corner, you can vote for your favorite LEGACY MOTOR CLUB driver to make it in the NASCAR All-Star race by visiting www.nascar.com/fanvote. Fans are eligible to vote up to five times per day.

Going for G.O.L.D: Family Dollar Gold Star: Partner Family Dollar will honor store #11422 this weekend as a part of the company’s “Go For G.O.L.D.” (Grand Opening Look Daily) program. The Dollar Tree and Family Dollar primaries will highlight these stores on the deck lid of all three LEGACY M.C. entries throughout the race season. Store #11422 is located in Columbia, S.C.

Thinking of DC8: All LEGACY M.C. entries will run decals through the Charlotte Motor Speedway race in support of the Dollar Tree Distribution Center 8 (DC8) in Marietta, Okla. DC8 was impacted by the devastating tornadoes that hit the Oklahoma region last weekend. Although the distribution center was severely damaged, fortunately, none of the 456 associates employed by the distribution center were injured by the disaster.

Honoring the King: Jones and the No. 43 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE will honor “The King” as the team returns to an early rendition of the 1959 Plymouth Fury. The No. 43 will be wrapped in a white and Petty Blue livery with AdventHealth’s “Feel Whole” slogan on the side, a nod to the “Air Lift” logo that was previously on the car in the sport’s early days.

Throwing it back: The No. 42 team will throw it back to 1956 to honor the legendary Lee Petty and his 1956 Dodge Coronet at Darlington Raceway. The No. 42 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE will be wrapped in a white and red livery along with the historic No. 42 font. The eye-popping red and white will be complemented by chrome accents and classic NASCAR International Series logos.

Experience at Darlington: LEGACY M.C. co-owner Jimmie Johnson and competition advisor Matt Kenseth have had their fair share of wins at Darlington Raceway. Johnson has made 24 attempts at the track and swept the 2004 races, with 193 laps leading across the two races. Johnson returned to victory lane in 2012, leading for 134 laps after starting from the second position, giving Hendrick Motorsports its 250th Cup Series win. The seven-time champion is a three-time Darlington winner, which includes two “crown jewel” Southern 500’s nine top-five, and 13 top-10 finishes with 563 laps led. Kenseth took a trip to victory lane during the 2013 spring event, and has a career record of three top-five and 13 top-10 finishes with 193 laps led across 28 attempts.

Tune In Alert: John Hunter joins the Fox Sports 1’s RaceHub crew in studio on Thursday, May 9 at 6:00 p.m. ET on FS1. Be sure to tune in as John Hunter will reveal a special NASCAR All-Star paint scheme that will be sure to bring back some memories for NASCAR fans.

CLUB QUOTES

John Hunter Nemechek

Driver of the No. 42 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE:

“It will be cool to run a Petty scheme, with it being the 75th anniversary year, I think that is super neat. Darlington has been a really good place for me, I’ve led a lot of laps and contended for quite a few wins so it’s a place I enjoy going to – it’s tough; mentally tough, physically tough running the fence all day but you need to run there to make grip.”

Ben Beshore

Crew chief of the No. 42 Family Dollar Toyota Camry XSE:

“We had really good speed at the start of the race and the end of the race last week at Kansas. With Darlington being a similar type of track, I think that says a lot about our intermediate program and its potential. It will be important to be close on balance unloading off the truck this weekend so we can have a good qualifying effort. The expectation is to get another top-15 finish this weekend and have another solid day to build on.”

Erik Jones

Driver of the No. 43 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE:

“The last few weeks have been busy. A lot of preparation to get back in the car and making sure that I am feeling good. The first week, there was a lot of rest and healing up, then feeling better once the soreness went away. The second week, I really started to work to get some more motion going again and get back in the gym, I will be back at the Toyota Performance Center this week to get a little more motion going into this weekend. Overall, it has been busy working through everything, but a great place to make my return. I feel like Darlington is a place where I am super comfortable and where I have had success. I am really excited to get back, and I am thankful that Corey kept the No. 43 rolling for me during those couple of weeks. I am super excited to get back to Darlington and hopefully go out and have a good run for our first race back with a pretty neat tribute to the Petty Family on the car.”

Dave Elenz

Crew chief of the No. 43 AdventHealth Toyota Camry XSE:

“It’s good to have Erik back in the car; I look forward to seeing him excel at Darlington. He has been really good there; it is a track that takes a lot of discipline and a lot of patience. You have to be pretty precise on your lines, all characteristics that he has in his driving style, so it plays into that track very well. Hopefully, he can show all of his talent at Darlington, and we hope to have a good run with him in his first race back.”

LMC PR