NASCAR: Unexpected driver change confirmed for Homestead

Carson Hocevar, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Carson Hocevar, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Carson Hocevar had been set to finish out the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season for Legacy Motor Club, but a change has been made for the Homestead-Miami Speedway race.

Carson Hocevar, who drove the No. 42 Chevrolet for Legacy Motor Club in the first five races of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs before Mike Rockenfeller returned for the race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, was recently confirmed as the driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet for the remainder of the season.

Hocevar did indeed return for this past Sunday afternoon’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but Legacy Motor Club have confirmed a somewhat unexpected change for this coming Sunday afternoon’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

John Hunter Nemechek, who has already been confirmed as the full-time driver of the No. 42 car for next year when Legacy Motor Club switch from Chevrolet to Toyota, is set to compete in Sunday afternoon’s 267-lap Dixie Vodka 400 around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Homestead, Florida oval.

The move is somewhat surprising, considering the fact that Legacy Motor Club are still a Chevrolet team and Nemechek is currently competing for an Xfinity Series championship with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota.

But all parties worked together to make it happen for one race, giving Legacy Motor Club a preview of what they can expect in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season.

Noah Gragson had been the full-time driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet until August, when he was suspended and ultimately released by Legacy Motor Club after he was found to have “liked” an inappropriate meme on social media. He had already been viewed as being on the hot seat for 2024 due to his performance struggles throughout his rookie season.

Nemechek has made just one Cup Series start since the end of the 2020 season, when he opted to leave Front Row Motorsports so that he could reunite with Toyota by dropping down to the Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports, where he spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons before being promoted to Joe Gibbs Racing’s Xfinity Series team.

He ironically made that one start last year at Homestead, when he filled in for the suspended Bubba Wallace at 23XI Racing.

Hocevar, whose four top 20 finishes in six starts with Legacy Motor Club are twice as many as Gragson recorded in 21 races, is still set to drive the No. 42 Chevrolet in the season’s final two races at Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway.

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

Sunday afternoon’s Dixie Vodka 400 is set to be broadcast live on NBC from Homestead-Miami Speedway beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. Begin a free trial of FuboTV today if you have not already done so!