John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 42 NASCAR Cup Series car beginning in 2024, the Legacy Motor Club announced Wednesday.
Nemechek will be Noah Gragson’s permanent replacement. The driver and crew parted ways after Gragson liked a George Floyd meme on social media.
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Nemechek drove for Front Row Motorsports from 2019 and raced a full program in 2020. He also made a Cup Series appearance for 23XI Racing in 2022, when he replaced the suspended Bubba Wallace. Next year he will return full time.
“Being able to announce my plans for next season so early and officially say that I will be competing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series relieves a lot of pressure,” Nemechek said in a press release. “There’s so much to do for next year, and it gives us the opportunity to spread the news and move forward. Plus, riding for Maury (Gallagher), Jimmie (Johnson) and Richard Petty is a dream come true for me.”
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Nemechek has three top-10 finishes in 40 races on the Cup Series circuit. In the Xfinity Series, he has seven wins in 88 races. In the Truck Series, he has 13 victories in 149 races.
“John Hunter has literally been riding a racetrack since the day he was born,” said Cal Wells III, general manager of the Legacy Motor Club. “I’ve watched him since he was little – from walking around the track in a fire suit to match his dad’s – to becoming the talent he is today. He is a perfect fit for the club and I expect great things from him.”
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Nemechek was racing for Joe Gibbs Racing this season in the Xfinity Series and Tricon Garage in the Truck Series.