This past weekend, Legacy Motor Club announced that they were suspending NASCAR Cup Series driver Noah Gragson, effective immediately.
“We have made the decision to suspend Noah Gragson effective immediately regarding his actions that do not represent the values of our team. Josh Berry will drive the No. 42 entry for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan.”
Gragson issued a statement apologizing for his actions, saying that he was disappointed in himself for his “lack of attention and actions on social media.”
I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media. I understand the severity of this situation. I love and appreciate everyone. I try to treat everyone equally no matter who they are. I messed up plain and simple. https://t.co/PCX6iMJxRF
“NASCAR fully supports Legacy Motor Club’s decision to suspend Noah Gragson. Following his actions on social media, NASCAR has determined that Gragson has violated the Member Conduct section of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book and has placed him under indefinite suspension.”
NASCAR fully supports Legacy Motor Club’s decision to suspend Noah Gragson. Following his actions on social media, NASCAR has determined that Gragson has violated the Member Conduct section of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book and has placed him under indefinite suspension.
Then this morning, a report by The Athletic said that Legacy Motor Club had parted ways with Gragson for good, with the team expected to announce the news today.
NEWS: Noah Gragson and Legacy Motor Club have parted ways and Gragson will not return to the team once his suspension is lifted, sources tell @TheAthletic. Mike Rockenfeller to drive Legacy's No. 42 car at Indy and Watkins Glen. https://t.co/q4Y312vmwP
The team did, however, announce that Gragson will be replaced by road course racer Mike Rockenfeller for the next two races, at the Indianapolis Road Course and Watkins Glen, meaning Gragson will be out of the car for at least two more races.
At this point though, it may be inevitable that Gragson will be out of the car in 2024. Gragson was on a one-year contract with Legacy Motor Club, which would expire at the end of the 2023 season unless they were able to reach an agreement to keep him in the car for the future. And many suspected even before this latest incident that the team was planning on moving on from Gragson in favor of bringing up Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek at the end of the season anyway.
Gragson is having a tough rookie season in the Cup Series, his first with a Legacy Motor Club team co-owned by seven-time champions Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty.
After moving to NASCAR’s top series as one of the most promising young drivers in the sport, Gragson has zero top 10 finishes this season and an average finishing position of 28th.
The team has struggled in its first year under Johnson’s ownership, but plans to make the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota next season. It’s thought that Toyota prefers to have Nemechek, a current Toyota driver, in their Cup car, and that Gragson’s performance so far hasn’t done anything to secure his ride.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether Gragson’s time with Legacy Motor Club is really up or not, but at this point it sounds like all but a formality that he’ll be looking for a new ride in 2024.