Furniture Row Racing To Cease Operations In NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series

(Press Release from Furniture Row Racing)

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates winning the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series championship with Furniture Row Racing in November 2017 (Photo: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Due to a lack of necessary funding to field a competitive team, Furniture Row Racing has been left with no reasonable option but to cease operations following the completion of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

“This is not good for anybody,” said team owner Barney Visser. “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. I strongly believe that all of our people have enhanced their careers by working at Furniture Row Racing.”

Martin Truex Jr., who joined Furniture Row Racing in 2014 as the driver of the No. 78 car, said, “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.

“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.”

Based in Denver, Colo. and the only NASCAR Cup Series team headquartered west of the Carolinas, Furniture Row Racing started its NASCAR program in 2005 — first as a Xfinity team and later in the same year as a Cup team. (see team career Cup record below).

While the team had its share of struggles in the early years it refused to listen to the naysayers that a single-car team based in Denver, Colorado could not be competitive in NASCAR’s elite series.

But with the combination of Visser’s positive vision and team-building skills of President Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing grew into a competitive team. It has qualified for the post-season playoffs in five of the last six years with the No. 78 car, including winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship in 2017 with driver Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn.

A second full time car was fielded by Furniture Row Racing in 2017 – the No. 77 Toyota driven by Erik Jones, who won the NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year honors.

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.

The team’s first victory was by driver Regan Smith in the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Truex scored the other 17 Furniture Row Racing wins, all coming since the 2015 season.

Both Visser and Garone have made it crystal clear that the team will be provided with the best equipment as it competes for a repeat championship in the upcoming playoffs.

Visser, a 69-year-old Denver native and Vietnam veteran, is the owner of Furniture Row Companies, one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers in the country.

As a race team owner Visser never wavered in his belief that Furniture Row Racing would develop into a championship contender.

“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.”

Visser added, “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.

“There are so many people I want to thank because without them winning a championship and being competitive would never have happened: Joe Gibbs Racing for our technical alliance, Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development), Bass Pro Shops, 5-hour ENERGY, Auto-Owners Insurance, Furniture Row and Denver Mattress.

“A heartfelt thank you to Joe Garone, Martin Truex Jr, Cole Pearn and all of our team members for their talent, dedication and sacrifices they made along the way. To the Furniture Row and Denver Mattress employees I want to express a special thank you for always having my back from the early years of our race team to our championship run.

“I also want to thank the fans, the Denver community, NASCAR, International Speedway Corporation (ISC), Speedway Motorsports Inc. (SMI) and independent track owners for providing and maintaining the venues that we compete at. A special tip of the hat to the media and to NASCAR’s broadcast partners – FOX, NBC, Motor Racing Network (MRN), Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM Radio. We’ve always been treated fairly by members of the media and I appreciate their hard work in one of the most demanding schedules in major league sports.”

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Comments

  1. Fast Eddie says:

    It’s a pretty sad state of affairs for the NASCAR MECS when their defending national champion can’t find suitable sponsors to replace an existing one. NASCAR should be looking real closely at this and formulating a game plan to entice sponsors to be part of their race teams if they expect to continue. If people aren’t watching and people aren’t showing up at events, who’s going to see the sponsors and their products?

  2. Maybe NASCAR should put a spending cap in place. Other sports have it. It also might make for better competition.

  3. This is a sad day for racing and the Vissar team. They are a GREAT team. NASCAR does not care about teams leaving the sport in all 3 series. Too many penalties and fines on teams. Always making rules changes and costing teams more money. No sell outs at most tracks, only Darlington & Daytona. They just do not care, they get their money from TV and that is it. Remember the 95 team is out also. How many more will leave. The want smaller fields, what a JOKE that is. Let them race up to 43 teams in ALL three series.

  4. Bad news. Feel bad for all the employees. It’s sad when the defending champion team can’t find sponsors, but NASCAR itself has a hard time finding sponsors for the series. Just bad news all around.

  5. Very sad day in NASCAR. The sport continues to circle the drain. A 14 race sponsorship shortage was enough to end this championship team. The owner for years paid the bill each week and not it’s come to this. New teams almost always fail more than succeed and pretty soon the fields will keep shrinking and no one will want to buy a charter. It’s all very sad. The title sponsor is leaving, jimmy Johnson lost the Lowe’s sponsorship and nothing new announced. If the champions are having a hard time getting sponsorship then the rest are in worse trouble. On a different note I am looking forward to three days of racing this weekend.

  6. Well when the front running defending champ can not find a sponsor, you may have an issue. Lowes is out next year too. I believe that was the last full season sponsor in the sport. I haven’t heard of a replacement yet, though I don’t follow cup that closely. Nascar had a difficult time finding a series sponsor. If sponsorship money has dried up as these stories would indicate you are going to have to reduce costs. However, it seems every rule change just costs more money. I don’t know the answer but there is definitely a problem when good teams are folding saying they cant afford to compete. My guess is you do not see significant changes until they start looking for another tv deal and find out that money isn’t what it used to be. Its a little concerning what is happening at the elite level of the sport.

  7. How have trucks and xfinity series survived so long? They’ve never had fans in the stands

  8. One solution to the overall cost of running a cup team would be to limit the number of chassis’s a team could use each year. They could also require the teams to use composite bodies. Maybe limit the amount of wind tunnel time. The only problem is when you start imposing limits like these, people lose their jobs because they are no longer needed. Another solution is to shorten the season, which no one wants to see happen. What I don’t understand is with this booming economy and tax cuts ect… Why is there no one willing to sponsor a cup team? Could NASCAR itself be to blame?

  9. OK well 1st the lack of leadership from Brian France hasn’t helped, when sponsors don’t see TV RATINGS OR people in stands they don’t pay 10 Million to sponsor a team, Cost of 450 people race teams with college educations and teams willing to pay what it takes, NOTHING on these cars is STOCK in stock car racing, THE CAR industry not supporting teams as in past, NASCAR being greddy with TV MONEY not shared with teams just tracks, tooo many rule changes the raise cost, long dull racing where people will not sit for 4-5 hrs for not much action, too many 1.5 mile tracks, Charter system sucks, so say ED PATRIDGE said I want Ryan Preece to drive NMHS, DOVER, BRISTOL, POCONO, MARTINSVILLE, WATKINS GLEN next yr and had Gillette, or Coca cola as a major sponsor he would have to pay millions to buy a existing charter not show up and out qualify some team like Derick Cope, and I could go on and on

  10. This move really hurt Ryan Preece. With truex moving to joe Gibbs it takes a driving seat away. Bell will probably take hamlins spot in 2020 and Daniel suerez will go to the 95 team next year. That leaves no spots at joe Gibbs racing. All of the other teams are full also accept one. That one is at JTG racing. (Sources have reported). In the infinity series there is also nothing available with Gragson talking over for Sadler.

  11. Wmass, all valid points concerning NASCAR. Greggie88 it was reported this week that JGR does not expect it’s cup line up to change as far as drivers. I really think MTJ will end up in the 95 with backing from Toyota. Gibbs #18 Xfinity car is still an open seat where Preece could end up, along with the JTG #47 cup car, hopefully an announcement comes soon. Think Kurt Busch will end up back in the 41. Remember there was this same drama last year, even after the season ended, but Monster Energy is committed to Kurt, and that’s allot of money. This should be called speculation season, not silly season. Nothing silly about it.

  12. “One solution to the overall cost of running a cup team would be to limit the number of chassis’s a team could use each year. They could also require the teams to use composite bodies. Maybe limit the amount of wind tunnel time. ”

    Great points, straight out of Formula 1 and Indycar… It might be worth a look around to see if some best practices can be identified and adopted from other series. One of the reasons we rarely see post race donuts in F1 and Indycar are around equipment limits and the need to make it last.

  13. Martin going to Gibbs in the #19. Cole Pearn going with him! (Bass Pro Shops, main sponsor )

  14. What about this guys. Listened to nascar sirrius today, with trd racing president. It was alluded to, that trd wants another team owner. So I wonder, with jamie mcmurry apparently out of the 1 at years end, and the basic lackluster performance of the chevrolets this year at the monster cup level, is this scenario a possibility? TRD wine and dine chip ganassi, they go from chevy to toyotas, and martin truex/ cole pearn become the 1? Certainly would lower the curt bush stock value as well. Just a pondering thought as I said, no rumor or fact to back that thought up.

  15. dareal and i may be helpi g furniture row
    he has 67 dollars and of course i have 8.9 million.
    dateal is still my best friend

  16. great point dareal
    i once went to a truck race ..there were 7 people in stands

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