Free agents and their contracts are the ones that steal the show during the NASCAR silly season, but just as important are the sponsorship announcements. Because while the drivers are the ones that make NASCAR go round (no pun intended), the teams need sponsors and their coveted cash in order to stay up and running.
There were plenty of sponsorship transactions during the offseason, which ranged from brand new sponsors to sponsors that left one team to join another.
Which teams left the offseason with the biggest gains, and which ones were left scrambling for replacements?
Legacy Motor Club
It there was an award for being champions of the offseason, it would easily go to Legacy Motor Club.
The team’s 2023 season was nothing short of a disaster between on-track performance and sponsorship. Erik Jones only scored one top five and had the worst average finish of his career, while the No. 42 (featuring multiple drivers after Noah Gragson‘s release) didn’t score a top-10 finish all season. Jimmie Johnson made his return behind the wheel for the first time since 2020, and he crashed out in all three races that he attempted.
To make matters worse, 55 of the 72 races between LMC’s two cars were sponsored by Allegiant or Sunseeker Resort, both of which are properties of team co-owner Maury Gallagher. Essentially, the team had to sponsor itself for more than three quarters of the year.
The poor performance makes sense when considering that it was a lame duck season with Chevrolet. With a talented driver in Jones and a new teammate in John Hunter Nemechek — who’s fresh off of a seven-win NASCAR Xfinity Series season and a Championship 4 appearance — the team is set for its Toyota debut, and it will have more manufacturer support and a foundation to build from now that all the pieces are in place.
But few expected just how much LMC would build in only one offseason.
The biggest sponsorship deal came in the form of Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. In an era when teams salivate at the possibility of a full-season sponsorship, LMC got one, as the two companies will cover an entire season’s worth of races between the cars of Nemechek, Jones and Johnson.
An interesting twist in this development is the addition of Matt Kenseth, who joined LMC as a competition advisor last fall. Dollar General was one of Kenseth’s primary sponsors at Joe Gibbs Racing from 2013 to 2016, and at the time, the company’s…