One of NASCAR’s most dominant teams soon will not exist.
Furniture Row Racing, the reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship-winning team, announced Tuesday that it will cease operations after this season. The move comes after 5-Hour Energy, the primary sponsor of Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 78 Toyota Camry team, announced in July that it will leave NASCAR. In addition to trying to replace the money lost from 5-Hour Energy’s exit, Furniture Row also was tasked with offsetting the rising costs of its technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Furniture Row recently attempted to sell its assets to NASCAR Xfinity Series/Camping World Truck Series team GMS Racing, but negotiations broke down in mid-August, according to SportsBusiness Daily’s Adam Stern.
“This is not good for anybody,” FRR 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.
” … 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.”
Of course, the biggest question to emerge from FRR’s impending end is what does the future hold for Truex?
To put it lightly: There are a ton of rumors on this situation. Some have Truex replacing Daniel Suarez in the No. 19 car at Gibbs, with Suarez then moving to the No. 95 at Leavine Family Racing. There’s also some talk of Truex eyeing the No. 41 car at Stewart-Haas Racing, should Kurt Busch leave the team after this season.
(You can click here for a series of tweets from Stern that offer useful context on this situation, as well as multiple rumors on Truex’s future.)
At the end of the day, it’s unfortunate, to say the least, that Furniture Row soon will close its doors. The team joined NASCAR in 2005 as an Xfinity outfit, and made its Cup debut later that year.
Busch, Regan Smith, Erik Jones, Kenny Wallace and Joe Nemechek are among the other notable drivers from Furniture Row’s short, yet impressive NASCAR history.
Thumbnail photo via Mike DiNovo/USA TODAY Sports Images
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