NASCAR Cup Series
Furniture Row To Cease Operations At Season’s End
Furniture Row Racing has announced that at the end of the 2018 season they will be ceasing operations.
“This is not good for anybody,” team owner Barney Visser said in an official statement. “The numbers just don’t add up. I would have to borrow money to continue as a competitive team and I’m not going to do that. This was obviously a painful decision to arrive at knowing how it will affect a number of quality and talented people.”
The news comes after one of the team’s main sponsors, 5-Hour ENERGY, had announced in July plans to depart from the sport at the end of the year.
“We’ve been aggressively seeking sponsorship to replace 5-Hour ENERGY and to offset the rising costs of continuing a team alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing but haven’t had any success. I feel that it’s only proper to make the decision at this time to allow all team members to start seeking employment for next year. I strongly believe that all of our people have enhanced their careers by working at Furniture Row Racing,” Visser said.
The move comes on the heels of the team’s first championship season in 2017 with driver Martin Truex Jr. FRR has continued to be successful this year as they currently sit third in points with four wins and 15 top-five’s, further establishing themselves as one of the sport’s best.
“While I am saddened by today’s announcement, I totally understand the decision. Barney Visser, Joe Garone, and the entire Furniture Row Racing team took me in while my career was in a bad place, and together we reached the pinnacle of the sport. I will forever be grateful to each and every one of them, and also to Furniture Row, Denver Mattress and the Visser family,” Truex said. “But, make no mistake this is not the immediate end. We still have unfinished business to attend to and that’s to give everything we have to successfully defend our Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. Right now that is foremost on my mind as it is with the entire team.”
In addition to the loss of the competitive team, the news now means that Truex, a driver who has won 16 races in the last three years, joins the likes of other past champions Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch, and former Daytona 500 winners, Trevor Bayne and Jamie McMurray, with uncertain futures heading into 2019.
The turn of events also begs several other questions as well. What will happen to Cole Pearn? The crew chief that has been behind all of FRR’s recent accomplishments; will he follow Truex wherever he goes? Who gets assets? What about their charter? However, the biggest question mark of all though maybe the unknown impact the departure will have on NASCAR as a whole.
Notably, shortly after the announcement, both Motorsport.com and Fox Sports reported that multiple sources told them that Truex and Pearn, along with sponsor Bass Pro Shops, will make the move to Joe Gibbs Racing, replacing Daniel Suarez.
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