Toyota will finally expand its NASCAR fleet by adding Jimmie Johnson’s two-car team next season. The addition of Legacy Motor Club will give Toyota eight Camry TRDs in the Cup Series.
Toyota has long been NASCAR’s smallest manufacturer and has long wanted to add new teams to its roster. He currently backs four cars with Joe Gibbs Racing and two more with 23XI Racing.
Legacy, which is the backbone of Petty Enterprises acquired by Maury Gallagher who later added seven-time NASCAR champion Johnson as a co-owner, will leave Chevrolet. The team fields cars for Erik Jones and Noah Gragson, and occasionally for Johnson.
David Wilson said Toyota was “humbled and delighted” to add Legacy, president of TRD, USA, praising the team’s leadership in a statement on Tuesday.
“Jimmie Johnson and Maury Gallagher have impressed us with their long-term vision and commitment to building a championship-caliber organization,” Wilson said. “Most importantly, their character and values are aligned with ours and our current Cup Series partners, Joe Gibbs Racing and 23XI Racing.
“Of course, we’re also looking forward to reuniting with our old friends, Erik Jones and Noah Gragson.”
Jones was a Toyota development driver who reached the Cup Series with JGR before losing his seat. With not enough teams on the roster to find a new job for Jones, Toyota was forced to let go of a driver he had invested heavily in throughout his career.
Other top drivers Toyota has lost include two-time champion Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez, the only Mexican driver in NASCAR’s top series.
Toyota, in its 20th season of national NASCAR competition, has been successful despite its low car count. He has nearly 600 wins in NASCAR’s top three series.
“Maury Gallagher and I are very excited about partnering with Toyota and TRD from 2024,” said Jimmie Johnson, co-owner of LEGACY MC. “We admire and respect the level at which Toyota operates in this sport and look forward to forging a new legacy for the future.”
Johnson also thanked Chevrolet, which was his longtime supporter and helped him get to NASCAR. He won seven championships as a Chevy driver.
“I will always be grateful to Chevrolet and all that we have accomplished together,” said Johnson. “I’m so grateful that they took a chance on a kid from California so long ago and proud that the history books will forever commemorate our record-breaking success that we shared.”