Furniture Row Racing is ceasing operations
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[September 05, 2018]
One year after winning the
NASCAR Cup Series title, Furniture Row Racing announced Tuesday it
will not field a racing team in 2019.
The entity was unable to find the needed sponsorship to continue
despite having 2017 champ Martin Truex Jr. in its stable of drivers.
"This is not good for anybody," team owner Barney Visser said in a
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.
"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."
The decision to cease operations comes just before the start of the
NASCAR playoffs as Truex looks to defend his title in the No. 78
Truex has known for months that it was possible Denver-based
Furniture Row Racing might not be back in 2019. He has been with the
team since 2014.
"While I am saddened by today's announcement, I totally understand
the decision," Truex said in a statement. "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
"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."
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Rumors in recent weeks have Truex a candidate to end up at Joe Gibbs
Racing for next season.
Meanwhile, NASCAR offered the following comment on Furniture Row
"NASCAR wishes the very best to Barney Visser and his family,"
NASCAR said in a statement. "Barney has been a successful owner and
an amazing champion, and his presence will certainly be missed. We
look forward to seeing Martin Truex Jr., (crew chief) Cole Pearn and
the entire No. 78 team finish the 2018 season strong and competing
for another championship.
"NASCAR will continue to work on growing the sport and working with
the race teams on competitive and operational excellence. Much of
those efforts have already been put in place, and will continue to
be a focus."
Furniture Row Racing's demise was cemented when 5-hour Energy didn't
renew its sponsorship for 2019.
That left 69-year-old Visser in the position of personally investing
more of his own money to keep the team afloat after already
reportedly pouring tens of millions into FRR.
In addition, Visser suffered a heart attack two weeks before the
2017 final -- he was unable to attend Truex's winning effort in
Miami -- and that personal crisis affected his outlook.
"I had a wake-up call last year and while I feel great, I need to
make the best decisions that will have an impact on myself and my
family," Visser said.
--Field Level Media
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