Furniture Row To Cease Operations

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, September 4 2018

Furniture Row Racing, the 2017 winner of the NASCAR Cup championship, will shut down after the current season. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Andrew Coppley)

The team which won last year’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship will be shut down by its owners following the current season.

The reason, according to team owner Barney Visser, is money.

“This is not good for anybody,” Visser said Tuesday. “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.”

During the current season, the Denver-based team, with Martin Truex Jr. as its driver, has won four races and is locked into the championship-deciding, 10-race playoff.

FRR has been operating in partnership with the four-car operation of Joe Gibbs Racing for the past several years.

It has been funded by a number of alternating primary sponsors including 5-hour Energy. That company, however, has announced it would not be return for the 2019 season.

“We’ve been aggressively seeking sponsorship to replace 5-hour Energy,” Visser said, “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.”

Truex, who joined Furniture Row Racing in 2014 as the driver of the No. 78 car, has recently been telling the media that he did not know what his future would hold in racing.

“While I am saddened by today’s announcement, I totally understand the decision. Barney Visser, (general manager) 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.

“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.”

Furniture Row, mostly running as a one-car operation, started its NASCAR program in 2005 – first as a Xfinity team and later in the same year as a Cup team.

First with Kurt Busch as driver and then next with Truex, the team became competitive.

It has qualified for the post-season playoffs in five of the last six years with the No. 78 car.

After the first 25 races of the current season, Furniture Row Racing’s career NASCAR Cup Series statistics include 18 wins, 70 top fives, 126 top 10s, 15 poles and 6,142 laps led.

“I’ve always felt that we could be a competitive team and run for a championship even when it seemed like a pipe dream to many racing insiders,” Visser noted. “But to be successful in any business you need to assemble the right people and make a strong commitment to succeed. We achieved what we set out to do and feel like we climbed Mount Everest. To continue with anything less than a competitive team would not be acceptable.

“I had a wake-up call last year (heart attack) and while I feel great I need to make the best decisions that will have an impact on myself and my family. My wife Carolyn and the entire Visser family have been supportive of our racing journey and it’s been one incredible ride for all of us.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Tuesday, September 4 2018
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