NASCAR: Another team dropping back to two cars for Darlington

After running the No. 84 Toyota for Jimmie Johnson in back-to-back NASCAR Cup Series races, Legacy Motor Club will not do so at Darlington Raceway.
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR
Jimmie Johnson, Legacy Motor Club, NASCAR / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson made his third and fourth starts of the 2024 season in the two most recent races at Dover Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, and he has five more races planned behind the wheel of the No. 84 Toyota this year.

However, this Sunday afternoon's 293-lap race around the four-turn, 1.366-mile (2.198-kilometer) egg-shaped Darlington Raceway oval is not one of them, as the team Johnson co-owns will only be entering their two full-time entries in the Goodyear 400: the No. 42 Toyota for John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 43 Toyota for Erik Jones.

Jones is set to return after missing the last two races with a back injury he suffered at Talladega Superspeedway. He was replaced by reserve driver Corey Heim, who competes full-time for Toyota's Tricon Garage team in the Truck Series.

With primary sponsorship from Carvana, Johnson made his first start of the 2024 season in the Daytona 500 opener at Daytona International Speedway, and his 28th place finish was his first finish of any kind in a Cup Series race since the 2020 season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

Jimmie Johnson not driving at Darlington

After spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons in IndyCar, he returned to the Cup Series in 2023 as both a part-time driver and co-owner of the rebranded Legacy Motor Club (formerly Petty GMS Motorsports) organization, but all three of his starts resulted DNFs.

He did not make his second start of the 2024 season until the mid-April race at Texas Motor Speedway, where he competed with primary sponsorship from AdventHealth and recorded his first lead-lap finish since the 2020 finale in the form of a 29th place result.

He finished in 28th place at Dover with primary sponsorship from Dollar Tree and Family Dollar before crashing out and finishing in 38th (last) at Kansas with sponsorship from AdventHealth.

Johnson's absence is not scheduled to last long, however, as he is set to compete in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 26, also with primary sponsorship from AdventHealth.

His other four starts this season are slated to come at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 21; Kansas again on Sunday, September 29; Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, October 20; and Phoenix on Sunday, November 10. Carvana is set to back his efforts at Indianapolis and Phoenix while Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are set to back his efforts at Kansas and Las Vegas.

Sunday's Goodyear 400 is not set to feature any non-charter entries, making it just the fourth points race this season with only the 36 charter cars.

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Tune in to Fox Sports 1 at 3:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, May 12 for the live broadcast of the Goodyear 400 from Darlington Raceway. If you have yet to begin a free trial of FuboTV, do so now and don't miss any of the action from "The Track Too Tough to Tame".