LEGACY MOTOR CLUB Race Preview: Darlington Raceway – Noah Gragson

LEGACY Motor Club

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Win Races, Climb Fences: Noah Gragson hasn’t competed at Darlington Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series, but he and crew chief Luke Lambert have a very good track record in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at the 1.366-mile speedway.  Gragson’s first win at the South Carolina track came on Sept. 4, 2021, when he snapped a 49-race winless streak with a wild overtime finish. To commemorate the breakthrough win, Gragson and the team climbed the catchfence to celebrate the victory with the fans. Gragson followed it up by dominating the same race one year later on Sept. 3, 2022, by leading 85 laps and once again celebrating with the fans and team by climbing the fence. 

Darlington Throwback Inspiration: The paint scheme Gragson chose for this weekend’s Goodyear 400 is the same red-white-and blue livery driven by LEGACY MOTOR CLUB co-owner Jimmie Johnson in the 2014 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Johnson started that race on the pole and led 164 laps en route to his first win of the 2014 season, and his fourth win in NASCAR’s longest race. This dominating performance and iconic paint scheme led to the inspiration behind Gragson’s decision for the tribute paint scheme on the No. 42 Sunseeker Resorts Chevrolet.

Tribute Decal: Gragson was only three years old when LEGACY M.C. co-owner Jimmie Johnson made his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Oct. 7, 2001. Johnson did so with the heaviest of hearts, as he mourned the loss of his best friend, Blaise Alexander, who had lost his life at the track just three days before. Alexander, who was 25 at the time, suffered fatal injuries in an on-track accident in the ARCA Series event on Oct. 4, 2001. One of Johnson’s crew members, who was also friends with Alexander, drew flames and Alexander’s initials (BR for Blaise Racing) on the front left bumper of Johnson’s car. Johnson made the next 686 starts of his Cup Series career with the decal on his racecar, winning 83 times. Years later, Johnson would add tail number “501RH” inside the flame, to honor the 10 members of the Hendrick Motorsports family lost on Oct. 24. 2004, in a tragic plane crash. Gragson wanted the throwback to be special for Johnson, and the addition of the decal made it even more meaningful. 

JJ Is Also ‘Too Tough to Tame’: Seven-time Cup Series champion Johnson knows a thing or two about Darlington Raceway. He has three wins after sweeping both events in the 2004 season and then scored a third win eight years later. In 24 starts at Darlington, Johnson qualified second three times, has nine top-five, 13 top-10 finishes, and has 563 laps led. Johnson and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Herb Thomas are the only drivers to win at least three times at Darlington without ever winning a pole there.

Quoting Noah Gragson: I’m really excited for Darlington this weekend, I’ve had some success there in the past and the throwback paint scheme honoring Jimmie Johnson is going to be really special . It’s a great track for this team, Luke and I really had some good runs there in Xfinity and Erik (Jones) is really strong there. It should be a solid weekend for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB.”

LEGACY Motor Club PR

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