NASCAR driver change confirmed for two races

Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Noah Gragson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

With Noah Gragson still suspended, Mike Rockenfeller is set to compete in the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series road course races at Indianapolis and Watkins Glen.

Noah Gragson remains indefinitely suspended by both Legacy Motor Club and NASCAR themselves after being discovered to have “liked” a The Little Mermaid-themed meme mocking the death of George Floyd on Instagram.

JR Motorsports Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry, who has become somewhat of a Cup Series super-sub this season, replaced the 25-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet in this past weekend’s race at Michigan International Speedway.

But it is set to be Mike Rockenfeller, whose Cup Series experience is limited to just two starts late last season, who is set to drive the No. 42 Chevrolet in the next two races.

The 39-year-old German is set to compete for Legacy Motor Club in this coming Sunday afternoon’s race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, and he is set to return to the team for a second straight weekend at Watkins Glen International.

Rockenfeller, a 24 Hours of Le Mans champion, 24 Hours of Daytona champion, and DTM champion, made his Cup Series debut last year at Watkins Glen International driving for Spire Motorsports and finished in 30th place. He went on to compete for the team later in the season at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and finished in 29th.

Legacy Motor Club’s plans for the No. 42 Chevrolet beyond the NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen remain unconfirmed.

There is ongoing speculation that the team will cut ties with Gragson completely before then, with one report even suggesting that the decision has already been made and that last year’s Xfinity Series runner-up will not be back in a Cup car this year.

Even before the meme controversy, he was rumored to be on the hot seat due to lack of performance, having posted just two top 20 finishes in 21 starts this year. Joe Gibbs Racing Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek has been rumored to take his seat next year amid Legacy Motor Club’s switch from Chevrolet to Toyota.

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