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Mike Rockenfeller to replace Gragson at Indy and Watkins Glen

Another international racing star has joined the entry list for this weekend's NASCAR Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

#24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 of Mike Rockenfeller

Mike Rockenfeller, 39, will drive the No. 42 Legacy Motor Club (LMC) Chevrolet following the indefinite suspension of Noah Gragson.

The German racing driver will also run Watkins Glen the week after IMS. Josh Berry drove the car this past weekend in Michigan.

Gragson was suspended after liking a meme that mocked the 2020 murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

Rockenfeller won overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010 and claimed a class victory there in 2005. He also won the DTM title in 2013 and has two previous NASCAR Cup Series starts.

Both appearances came last year, driving the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet at Watkins Glen and later at the Charlotte Roval. He finished 30th and 29th, respectively. 

Rockenfeller is good friends with LMC co-owner Jimmie Johnson. They were co-drivers during this year's Le Mans 24, piloting the popular Garage 56 NASCAR entry alongside 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button.

Rockenfeller and Johnson were also co-drivers in several IMSA races over the past two years, finishing second in the 2021 Rolex 24 together. 'Rocky' also won the Rolex 24 overall in 2010.

#24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 of Mike Rockenfeller

#24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 of Mike Rockenfeller

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

“After racing with Jimmie in IMSA for two years and together in the Garage 56 program not only were we teammates, but we are now great friends,” said Rockenfeller in a release from the team.

“To get to race for him in the NASCAR Cup Series for LEGACY M.C. with him as a co-owner is such a true honor. It’s going to be a huge challenge as I have never raced at Indy. I was dreaming about being in a Cup Series car again and I’m thankful for the opportunity. I will try my best in this short timeframe to come together with the team and have a great race in Indy.”

Johnson, who will join the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2024, added: “Rocky and I were teammates and helped develop the G56 program. I couldn’t think of a better person to assist our Club in this tough situation. These back-to-back road course events will be great for Rocky from the technical side as they will bring out his expertise. Rocky is extremely knowledgeable and talented, and I know he will get us the best results possible.”

Rockenfeller joins an incredible entry list for the event. The race will also feature Button, Kamui Kobayashi, Shane van Gisbergen, and Brodie Kostecki.

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