NASCAR: 3 possible replacements for Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Noah Gragson, Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
3 of 3
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Possible Noah Gragson replacements: No. 3 – Jimmie Johnson

Jimmie Johnson would have been an easier pick had the Noah Gragson situation occurred a few months earlier. Since the tragic deaths of Johnson’s mother in-law Terry Janway, father in-law Jack Janway, and nephew Dalton Janway in an apparent murder-suicide on June 27, he has yet to race in any form of motorsport.

Johnson and his wife Chandra Janway, daughter to Terry and Jack, have understandably remained largely silent in the weeks since the tragedy, given the difficulty and sadness of the situation.

Only recently did Johnson appear and speak in public once again, after he was voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He has not spoken about anything else.

With that in mind, it is very unclear if and when Johnson will race again this year, and it is very important to respect his indecision as his family continues to heal. However, his understandable uncertainty doesn’t make the prospect of racing the No. 42 Chevrolet impossible.

Being the co-owner of Legacy Motor Club, Johnson is able to influence the team’s decisions. Should he feel that no other driver is suited to replace Gragson, or better yet, feel the itch to get back into a race car, he would be a great addition to the team’s on-track product.

Even though his time in the Next Gen car has been limited and he has made just three starts, all of which resulted in DNFs, he still has more experience than almost everybody driving a Cup car — and more importantly, more wins.

Given how poorly the No. 42 Chevrolet has performed compared to the No. 43 Chevrolet since it was added to the team in 2022, Johnson driving Gragson’s car, whether he runs well or not, will undoubtedly help him and the team identify what is going wrong.

Plus, with the race after the road course race at Watkins Glen International being the regular season finale at Daytona International Speedway, Johnson would have a great chance to get a good result — or even a win to vault the team into the owner playoffs.

And if he finishes the season in the car, he would also have an opportunity to race on a bunch of tracks that treated him very well in the past, such as Darlington Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, and of course, Martinsville Speedway.

Next. All-time NASCAR Cup Series wins list. dark

Getting a few good results on tracks such as these would help kickstart his on-track rebuild of Legacy Motor Club.