Races [9+1*] that Bass Pro Shops is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Daytona, Budweiser Duel - 2/18*
Daytona 500 - 2/21
Phoenix - 3/13
Texas - 4/9
Talladega - 5/1
Kansas - 5/7
Charlotte - 5/29
Daytona - 7/2
Bristol - 8/20
Homestead - 11/20
Races  that Auto-Owners Insurance is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Indianapolis - 7/24
Darlington - 9/4
Martinsville - 10/30
Contract Status: Driver: 2016; Primary Sponsor: Furniture Row = owner, Bass Pro Shops 2016?, Auto-Owners Insurance 2016?; Manufacturer: 2017?
#78 team make pit crew change: Furniture Row Racing has made a change to its #78 pit crew. Tire changer Chris Taylor will be taking over front duties from Brian Eastlund for the foreseeable future. Taylor is a veteran changer who experienced success with Jamie McMurray at Chip Ganassi Racing and more recently on the #20 of Matt Kenseth. Taylor has spent most of his career as a rear changer and had worked with Kenseth's crew up until this year when a change was made.(Pit Talks)(4-20-2016)
Decision not to pit dooms Truex, Jr.: When the yellow flag waved on Lap 289 of 334 Truex's #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota was in command of the race. The decision at that time was to pit or not to pit for tires. Truex's crew chief Cole Pearn opted not to pit while the majority of the cars came down pit road for fresh rubber. Truex continued to lead, but when another caution came out a few laps later the Furniture Row Racing driver got passed on the restart by cars with fresher Goodyears, and he eventually fell back to finish sixth in the Duck Commander 500 Sprint Cup Series race. "I was hoping more cars would have stayed out, but when you have the dominant car that's the only chance they have to beat you," said Furniture Row Racing crew chief Cole Pearn. "By staying out and leading, we felt that having clean air would be an equalizer. But in that situation it's easier to make the call when you're running second and not first. We've seen this happen many times in NASCAR when the race leader is sometimes in a no win situation. It was a bummer to finish where we did tonight." Truex never ran lower than third before the final restart and at one point of the race had a whopping eight-second lead.(Furniture Row Racing)(4-10-2016)
Penalties coming for Danica, Kyle Busch, Kahne, Pearn? Does NASCAR's competition brass fine Danica Patrick for walking on a hot race track during the Auto Club 400? Do they believe Kasey Kahne's explanation of what happened in the wreck with Patrick? Do they fine Kyle Busch for an in-car radio rant (XFINITY race)? Patrick walked up toward Kahne's car under caution and held out her hands in a "what was that?" fashion as Kahne drove around under caution after turning her and sending her hard into the Auto Club Speedway wall. NASCAR instituted a rule in 2014 after the Kevin Ward Jr. tragedy -- Ward, in a non-NASCAR sprint-car event, walked on to a track and was struck and killed by Tony Stewart, who has said he did not see Ward until the last moment -- and has fined drivers for leaving the area of their cars to motion at drivers as they pedal under caution. Last year, Jennifer Jo Cobb was fined $5,000 for walking up the track during a Camping World Truck Series race at Dover. Sprint Cup fines are typically larger than truck fines, although whether Patrick walked far enough up the track for NASCAR to consider fining her will likely be discussed this week.
Fines and penalties typically now are announced Wednesday afternoon instead of Tuesday afternoon as in previous years. It is unlikely Kahne will face any additional penalties but it is so rare that a driver gets hooked like that, NASCAR probably wanted at least to talk to him.
As far as Busch, he tweeted that he expects a fine this week. That fine most likely will stem from an in-car radio rant after the Xfinity Series race where he thanked NASCAR for fixing the race by not throwing a caution for his flat tire on the final lap. Busch declined to talk to the media after the race Saturday and tweeted Sunday night in response to a fan comment that "By not doing interview, I'll b getting a discount on my fine on Tuesday."
NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell also told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Monday that NASCAR will look into #78-Martin Truex Jr. crew chief Cole Pearn's tweet following the race. He tweeted Logano can't see through his "squinty ... eyes."(ESPN)(3-21-2016)
Incident with Logano leaves Truex upset: #78-Martin Truex Jr. and #22-Joey Logano were racing for 4th place on lap 151 of the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway when Logano either took the air off or made contact with the #78 sending the car up and into the wall. Truex was able to keep racing but fell back when he was caught speeding during a pit stop on lap 154. Truex Jr. finished 32nd and was not happy with Logano. Comments from each driver:
Q) How was your race?
Truex Jr.: "We had a good run going until the #22 (Joey Logano) put our car into the fence. There was a lot of right-side damage to the car, and we were pretty much toast after that incident. Not sure what he (Logano) was thinking about at the time, but that hit spoiled our day. We went from being a contender to the back of the field. Really frustrating to have a good car and not have anything to show for it. I think we were running in or close to the top five when the 22 rammed our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota."(Toyota Racing)
Q) MARTIN TRUEX JR. TALKED WITH YOU AFTER THE RACE. WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?
Logano: "It was completely my fault. I was gonna go in on the outside of him and he was gonna go in on the top as well and I just ended up being right on him. We never touched each other, but just taking the air off these cars makes them uncontrollable. I didn't mean to do that. I was gonna try to go to the top and I just got a little bit close to him and got him free, so I'm taking the hit on that one."
Q) WE HEAR HOW AGGRESSIVE YOU LIKE TO BE AT THE END OF RACES, SO WERE YOU LICKING YOUR CHOPS ON THAT FINAL RESTART?
Logano: "I was in a decent spot. I was gonna try everything I could to try to get a run and do what I had to do, but I just spun the tires. I don't know why. It didn't really do that all day. I don't know what made it do that at the end. I'll have to watch the replay."(Ford Racing)(3-21-2016)
Three teams given written warnings for failing Phoenix inspections: Three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams were warned for failing inspection at Phoenix International Raceway. #78-Martin Truex Jr. was given a written warning by NASCAR for failing NASCAR's Laser Inspection System twice in pre-race inspection. #38-Landon Cassill's car failed template inspection twice before qualifying at Phoenix and was given a warning. #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s car failed the Laser Inspection System three times in pre-race inspection and was given a warning and will lose 15 minutes of practice time on Friday at Auto Club Speedway. See the Phoenix Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(3-16-2016)
Furniture Row to drop appeal of penalty? UPDATE: By the start of the Kobalt 400 on Sunday in Las Vegas, NASCAR had not yet received word from Furniture Row Racing that it was officially withdrawing its appeal of crew chief Cole Pearn's one-race suspension. FOX reported during the early portion of Sunday's race that Pearn told the network the team would withdraw its appeal and he would serve the one-race suspension issued to him as punishment next week at Phoenix. The team was found to have illegal roof flaps before the Atlanta event. It resulted in a P3 penalty that included a $50,000 fine, 15-point deductions of championship driver points and owner points and Pearn's suspension. The team initially said it would appeal the punishment because it was a "safety issue" not something that resulted in a competitive edge. Furniture Row officials told NASCAR.com the team had no official announcement regarding its appeal.(NASCAR.com)(3-7-2016)
UPDATE: Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing, has informed NASCAR it has withdrawn the appeal for a prerace infraction at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Garone, who met with NASCAR officials, said he was satisfied with the clarification of the penalty and was appreciative of the sanctioning body's cooperation on this matter. Furniture Row Racing crew chief Cole Pearn will serve his one-race suspension at this weekend's NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix. Subbing for Pearn on race day in Phoenix will be former Furniture Row Racing crew chief Todd Berrier, who is now the director of fabrication at Joe Gibbs Racing. Berrier will call the race strategy on top the pit box for Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota. "Being able to secure the services of Todd for Phoenix was an incredible and selfless gesture by Joe Gibbs Racing," said Garone. "We are very proud to have a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and are deeply grateful for its quick response to offer assistance. I also want to thank Todd. He has plenty on his plate and to go the extra mile to help us out is appreciated by everyone at Furniture Row Racing." Berrier and Pearn have had a long-standing relationship as co-workers. Berrier was the crew chief at Furniture Row Racing from July 2012 through the 2014 season while Pearn served as the team's lead race engineer during the same period. Berrier and Pearn also worked together at Richard Childress Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-8-2016)
Garone explains Furniture Row's penalty appeal: As Furniture Row awaits word on when it will conduct its formal appeals hearing with NASCAR, [crew chief Cole] Pearn is allowed to work this weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Meanwhile, Garone spent some time dissecting the nature of the violation during an appearance Wednesday evening on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
"In the thrash through the winter of getting cars ready and cars built, we managed to let a part on the car, on the roof flap, get in the car that is unapproved, and it's a spring up inside the roof flap," Garone told host Dave Moody."It's not necessarily easy to catch, and NASCAR found it. I'm actually grateful that they found it before we got on the track because it is a safety issue, no doubt, and we certainly aren't questioning that."
Garone then explained what he sees as the basis for the team's appeal. "The nice thing about NASCAR's appeals system is it gives you the opportunity to sit across from NASCAR and discuss the circumstances, and that's what we'd like to do is understand clearly why it's such a severe penalty," he said. "There was never anything intended on competition, there's nothing to gain from it on competition, for sure, and it was found before we got on the track."(Fox Sports)(3-4-2015)
Atlanta Post-Event Penalties announced: NASCAR released the Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report from Atlanta on Wednesday, among the penalties announced:
#78 Furniture Row Racing crew chief Cole Pearn has been fined $50,000, suspended from the next NSCS championship event [Las Vegas] and remains on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31; team has been assessed with the loss of 15 championship owner and 15 championship driver [Martin Truex Jr.] points for a roof flap violation at Atlanta.
#78 Team Statement: The following statement is attributed to Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing. "Due to the severity of the P3 penalty levied against Furniture Row Racing and its crew chief Cole Pearn today (Wednesday), the #78 Sprint Cup team has informed NASCAR it will appeal the decision. The infraction, which was immediately corrected following technical inspection at Atlanta Motor Speedway last week, was safety related and not competition related. We sincerely appreciate that NASCAR has an appeal process so we can review the level of the penalty. The one-race suspension to Cole Pearn and monetary fine are temporarily deferred until the conclusion of the appeal hearing (FRR).
#47 JTG Daugherty Racing crew chief Randall Burnett has been fined $15,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31; team has been assessed with the loss of 10 championship owner and 10 championship driver [AJ Allmendinger] points for illegal body attachment mounts/supports.
Crew chiefs from the #3 (Slugger Labbe), #27 (Jason Alexander) & #31 (Luke Lambert) Richard Childress Racing teams and #95 Circle Racing - Leavine Family Racing team (Dave Winston) have been fined $15,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31; teams have been assessed with the loss of 10 championship owner and 10 championship driver (Austin Dillon, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, Michael McDowell) points for illegal body attachment mounts/supports.
#32 Go Fas Racing team of Jeffrey Earnhardt failed template inspection three times, pre-qualifying and received a written warning/loss of 15 min. practice time.
#83-Matt DiBenedetto, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. and #98-Cole Whitt failed template inspection twice, pre-qualifying and received a written warning.(NASCAR)
Pearn has appealed the suspension and will be at Las Vegas this weekend.
see full report on the Atlanta Post-Event Penalties Page (pdf).(3-2-2016)
No word yet on penalties for the #78 on roof flap violation UPDATE: NASCAR is not expected to announce until next week if Furniture Row Racing will be penalized further for a roof flap violation discovered while Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Toyota was in line for qualifying Sunday. A series official noticed an issue with the roof flap and the car was sent back to the inspection area. The team was unable to leave the garage area in time to make a qualifying attempt. Truex will start at the rear of his qualifying race Thursday night. "Honestly, I can't tell you what happened," said Joe Garone, team president, about the issue with the roof flap. "We haven't had any conversation with NASCAR other than the fact it didn't fit tight against the roof. Rather than push it down, which it would have gone down, they had us take it back to the inspection bay to look at it. I understand they wanted to look at it. Where they took the car to look at it was so far away. They kind of waited a little bit and said we were on the five-minute clock before we even left pit road and then we had to push it a quarter mile or half mile down to inspection and then get enough people over there to look at it and then we were out of time to go back out." If NASCAR finds an issue with a car on the qualifying grid, it has the car return to the inspection area. At most tracks, the inspection area is much closer than it is at Daytona.(NBC Sports)(2-19-2016)
UPDATE: #78 crew chief Cole Pearn was issued a P2 penalty Tuesday for violations of Sections 12.1 [Actions detrimental to stock car racing or NASCAR] and 22.214.171.124 [roof flap assembly]. He has been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(2-24-2015)
Truex misses Daytona 500 glory by inches: There is a new sponsor and a bright, glitzy new paint job for #78-Martin Truex Jr., whose 2015 car was black as a funeral suit. Still, two more coats of new paint on the front bumper and Truex is the Daytona 500 champion. Instead, in a finish he'll be forced to replay for a lifetime, Truex lost to Denny Hamlin by 0.010 seconds, the closest finish in Daytona 500 history. "I just said, 'Damn, that was close,'" Truex said, recalling his initial thoughts, when he was just past the finish line and wasn't yet sure who had won the race. The gold standard had been -- at least since Lee Petty's controversial photo-finish over Johnny Beauchamp in the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959 -- Kevin Harvick's 0.020-second margin against Mark Martin in 2007. "Mark Martin, poor guy," said poor Martin Truex Jr. Truex noted that the Harvick-Martin finish is pictured on a mural in the turn 1 tunnel leading to the Daytona infield. He figured he's bound for the same sort of immortality now. "Just going to have to watch that on the highlight reel for the rest of my career, I suppose, the rest of my life," Truex said. He was barely out of the car before he watched it the first time. "I just wanted to see how much I got beat by," Truex said "Honestly, I don't know that I could have done anything better to have a better chance of winning it." If he had a mulligan, it's that "maybe I should have maybe rubbed (Hamlin) up the track a little harder." Ruefully, he added, "You'd rather get beat by a few feet than four inches, absolutely."
Truex spent countless laps on Hamlin's bumper in the middle third of the race, but it was Matt Kenseth who owned the lead after a restart with 12 to go, and Truex hooked up behind him. But when Hamlin built up a head of steam on the outside, Kenseth went high to block with a quarter of a lap to go. The sudden move caused Kenseth to get loose and free Hamlin for the sprint to the finish. Truex is what Kenseth called "an adopted teammate," with owner Barney Visser's Furniture Row Racing team moving from Chevrolet to Toyota and affiliating with Joe Gibbs Racing, which fields the cars of Hamlin, Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. "For them to welcome us in as a group into their way of racing, part of their team, that quickly, and trust us was a huge deal," Truex said. "You've got to give those guys a lot of credit," Gibbs said. The vision of the narrow loss may never fade, but the agony is short-lived. "I'm fine," Truex said. "I'm proud of what we did. ... It's my best finish ever in this race. Probably one of the strongest runs I've ever had at a restrictor plate track throughout the entire day. It was a big day for us for a lot of reasons. I realize the position I'm in, the opportunities I'm going to have this year. I'm going to have a lot more opportunities to win races. I feel like we did everything right today to put ourselves in position to win."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-22-2016)
Truex Jr. picks up another sponsor for the #78 Toyota UPDATE: Lee Janis, Auto-Owners Insurance VP, driver Martin Truex Jr., and Furniture Row Racing General Manager, Joe Garone announced that Auto-Owners Insurance will sponsor Truex Jr. and thew #78 Toyota for three races in 2016 (Furniture Row Racing Facebook)
UPDATE Furniture Row Racing announced at Daytona International Speedway that it has formed a partnership with Auto-Owners Insurance. The Fortune 500 company will be a primary sponsor on Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Toyota Camry for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races -- at Indianapolis in July, Darlington in September and Martinsville in October - and become the Official Insurance Sponsor of Furniture Row Racing and Truex. Auto-Owners Insurance offers auto, home, life and business coverage for NASCAR fans and consumers through local, independent agents in 26 states. This year marks Auto-Owners Insurance 100th year in business with success based on the core values the company was built upon in 1916. "Furniture Row Racing and Martin had a tremendous 2015 season and we're looking forward to being on board for even more success this season," said Lee Janis, Vice President of Sales for Auto-Owners Insurance. "We often say, 'It's not what you do, it's how you do it,' and Martin and the team have earned success by that same mantra. We've been embraced by the NASCAR family and have greatly enjoyed the loyalty and passion we've experienced with the fans. To be a part of this dedicated community is a real privilege for all of us at Auto-Owners." Auto-Owners Insurance, based in Lansing, Mich., joins Furniture Row and Bass Pro Shops as a primary sponsor on the #78 Toyota for the 2016 season.
"When you have one of the nation's leading companies join your team as a partner it's not only a great day but also a great opportunity for Furniture Row Racing," said team president Joe Garone. "As is the case with all of our partners, Auto-Owners Insurance is a winning company and we look forward to returning the confidence they placed in us with strong performances on the race track." Truex finished fourth in the Sprint Cup final standings last season after garnering a victory along with eight top-five and 22 top-10 finishes. "Anytime you have a major and successful company come on board it is definitely exciting for a driver because it tells me that we're doing something right," said Truex. "The three Auto-Owners Insurance primary races are good tracks for us and we look forward to competing for a victory with the Auto-Owners Insurance colors on the #78 Toyota."(Furniture Row Racing), see images of the car on the #78-Team Schemes page.(2-17-2016)
Truex Jr. tells story of Sherry Pollex's cancer battle: Just over a month ago Sherry Pollex, the long-time girlfriend of Sprint Cup driver #78-Martin Truex Jr., celebrated the end of almost two years of precautionary chemotherapy for Stage III ovarian cancer. Now Truex, about to start his third season with Furniture Row Racing, has shared his perspective on Pollex's journey in a blog for the Players' Tribune. Truex begins with the genesis of his relationship with Pollex, who he met 10 years ago at a race track and quickly began dating. They moved in together after just six months. Pollex's cancer diagnosis came in August 2014 after months of mysterious pain in her abdomen. The chemotherapy Pollex would finish in January 2016 began to take a toll. Even before her diagnosis, the couple had done work in the cancer community with the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. The foundation had primarily focused on research and support of pediatric cancer. Now it has rebranded to also fight ovarian cancer.(NBC Sports and read Truex's story at the Players' Tribune site)(2-16-2016)
Furniture Row ready for new season; still looking at 2nd team in 2017: Much is new for 2016 at Furniture Row Racing, which will have a new manufacturer, a new means of engine and chassis delivery and a new pit crew. But one thing hasn't changed for the Denver-based team that enjoyed a breakthrough 2015 that culminated with reaching the championship round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Among the new elements the team will be adapting to this year:
-Its engines will be shipped via airfreight from Toyota Racing Development headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, instead of trucked in from Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, North Carolina (actually cutting the transport time in half to Furniture Row Racing's shop in Denver, Colorado).
-The pit crew will be supplied by Joe Gibbs Racing, which has become a technical partner of Furniture Row as Toyota's flagship team.
-TRD has relocated two of its technicians to Denver for embedding with the team.
As part of its new alliance with JGR, Furniture Row Racing will be using the same chassis as Gibbs but start with an older model before switching a few races into the season - which has Visser slightly concerned. "That throws everything off," team owner Barney Visser said. "So it's going to be kind of a rocky start. I'm expecting a rocky start, but hopefully by May or June, we'll be rolling again."
With Bass Pro Shops as a primary sponsor on Truex's #78 for several races this season, the team has corporate sponsorship independent of Visser's furniture business for the first time. Team owner Barney Visser hints that prospects are solid for expanding to a second car next season. "There's some things going on that I can't really talk about right now, but we're excited about the possibility of a second car that Toyota may bring to us," he said. "We'll see."(NBC Sports)(2-8-2016)
Bass Pro Shops to sponsor Truex Jr. in 2016: during the Charlotte Motor Speedway media tour at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Furniture Row Motorsports General Manager Joe Garone announced that Bass Pro Shops will sponsor Martin Truex, Jr. in the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota for nine races in 2016. First race scheduled is the Daytona 500. The Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte is another scheduled race. No word on terms or how many years. Bass Pro Shops has sponsored Tony Stewart's #14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevy for 14-15 races a year along with one-race deals with #3-Austin Dillon and #1-Jamie McMurray.
See images of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(1-19-2016)
UPDATE: Bass Pro Shops, America's most popular outdoor store, will be a primary co-sponsor on Martin Truex Jr.'s Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The partnership calls for nine primary Bass Pro Shops paint schemes on Truex's #78 Toyota, beginning with two races during Daytona Speedweeks - the 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday Feb. 18 and the season-opening Daytona 500 on Sunday Feb. 21. Bass Pro Shops' remaining seven primary races on the #78 will be at Phoenix (March 13), Texas (April 9), Talladega (May 1), Kansas (May 7), Charlotte (May 29), Daytona (July 2), Bristol (Aug. 20) and Homestead. (Nov. 20). Bass Pro Shops will have an associate sponsorship status when it's not a primary on the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota.
The partnership represents an expansion of Bass Pro Shops' longstanding relationship with Truex, an avid outdoorsman, who was previously sponsored by the Springfield, Missouri-based company from 2004 through 2009 when he drove for Dale Earnhardt Inc., which resulted in two Xfinity Series Championships (2004, 2005). Bass Pro Shops was the primary sponsor of these two championships.
"I'm very excited to have Bass Pro Shops as a primary co-sponsor on the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota," said Truex. "In addition to my passion for fishing, hunting and the outdoors, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is a personal friend and a hunting buddy. With our manufacturer changing to Toyota, our Furniture Row Racing team is positioned to take both companies to Victory Lane and contend for the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship."
Racing and the outdoors are life-long passions for Truex, who grew up fishing with his father Martin Truex Sr., owner of one of the largest privately held fishing companies in the United States -- Sea Watch International. Truex Jr. discovered his love of racing on a go-kart track at age 11. Today he is recognized as an experienced sportsman, and has appeared on national hunting and fishing television shows alongside outdoor legends Jimmy Houston and Roland Martin.
"We are thrilled to continue our longstanding relationship with Martin Truex Jr. - a passionate driver and outdoor lover - while further aligning with our friends at Toyota," said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. "NASCAR is an excellent platform for Bass Pro Shops and we are pleased to continue our strong alignments with Tony Stewart, Ty Dillon and Jamie McMurray."
Truex celebrated his 10th year in 2015 on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit with his best performance to date. He qualified for the Chase and advanced to the Championship 4 round. The 35-year-old driver from Mayetta, N.J. garnered 22 top-10 finishes out of 36 events including one win and eight top-fives. He finished a career high fourth in the final Sprint Cup point standings.
"Partnering with Bass Pro Shops, a high-profile NASCAR sponsor and a national retail leader in the outdoor sportsman market, has added to an already high excitement level at Furniture Row Racing following a successful 2015 campaign," said Joe Garone, president and general manager of Furniture Row Racing. "Bass Pro Shops and its founder Johnny Morris have been dedicated supporters of NASCAR racing and we are elated that they have recognized our team's potential by becoming a partner." With Furniture Row Racing fielding Toyota Camrys in 2016, the sponsorship further extends an ongoing affiliation with Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., a Bass Pro Shops partner on a wide range of collaborations since 2004.
"Toyota has been the official vehicle of Bass Pro Shops since 2004 and our partnership over the last decade has provided additional platforms to showcase Toyota vehicles to outdoorsmen and women who shop at one of the best brands in America," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. "With Martin Truex Jr. continuing his relationship with Bass Pro as he drives a Furniture Row Camry, it further deepens our connection with Bass Pro Shops."(Furniture Row Racing)(1-19-2016)
Truex celebrates girlfriend beating ovarian cancer: For all his racing triumphs last season, Martin Truex's true championship headline came this week when longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex announced she was cancer free following her last chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer. Pollex tweeted a photo on Monday of herself ringing a bell that signaled the end of active treatment and wrote, "After 17 months straight, I'm going to live my life!!!!" Truex and Pollex, who started dating in 2005, are ready to promote ovarian cancer awareness with what they learned from a grueling fight with the disease. "She's going to live her life and enjoy her life," Truex said. "She had always kind of stayed in the background, but she's embraced this. She wants to teach other people about what she's been through. She wants to help a lot of people that are really scared."
Truex was at the Philadelphia Flyers game Wednesday night after three days in Ohio hunting on a farm he owns with Dale Earnhardt Jr. Truex, Earnhardt and two friends hunt deer and turkeys on the property about an hour outside Columbus, Ohio. "It's an exciting thing to envision the future there and how many years we're going to sit on the front porch and drink beer," Truex said.(Associated Press)(1-15-2016)
Furniture Row expected to have several new pit crew members: Last year #78-Martin Truex Jr. made an impressive run for a championship. In 2016 he looks to back that up with a new and improved pit crew. As of next year, the #78 pit crew will be trained and assembled by [Joe Gibbs Racing]. With that being said, it appears that the #78 will have a whole new look to their team. There is no official word on this nor will [Pit Talks] claim this is a final roster, but we do have an idea of what the team might end up looking like. At the end of last year JGR hired long time front man David Mayo. Mayo spent the last couple of years at [Hendrick] on the fronts so it would make sense that he would get a shot on the #78. You also have Adam Hartman who was a changer on the #78 last year that could compete for that spot. At the front carrier position we are hearing that MWR #55 carrier Chris Hall could be an option. Jacking the car could look like this, if Jason Tate comes back and jacks the #20, which we think he is, it would make sense for Baily Walker to move over to the #78. Walker was hired mid season to take over on the #20 when Tate went out with an injury. So that leads us to the rear. Lee Cunningham, who changed on the #15 last year, has been rumored to be a JGR guy next year. If so, we would expect him to be on this team as well. This leaves the rear carrier and Gas Man as the only two guys we're missing. We've heard that Adam Mosher and Brian Dheel, who pitted the #78 last year, will continue next year at those two positions.(Pit Talks)(12-15-2015)
Truex Jr. named Colorado Professional Athlete of the Year: Mile High Sports Magazine has named Furniture Row Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. the 2015 Colorado Professional Athlete of the Year. Truex, who enjoyed his best season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, joins a list of famed athletes who previously received the Mile High Sports Magazine honor, including Peyton Manning (NFL Denver Broncos), Carmelo Anthony (NBA Denver Nuggets) and Joe Sakic (NHL Colorado Avalanche). Driving for the Denver-based single-car team headquartered 1500 miles from the racing hub in Charlotte, N.C., Truex defied the pundits by advancing to the final four in NASCAR's Chase playoffs. His season statistics were highlighted with a victory at Pocono Raceway, eight top fives, 22 top 10s and 567 laps led. He was NASCAR's biggest gainer in the point standings, vaulting from 24th in 2014 to fourth in 2015. "On Monday mornings in Colorado, you talk about how the Broncos played on Sunday. It's just what you do. But this year, on more than one occasion, Monday morning included conversations about how well Furniture Row Racing and Martin Truex Jr. did over the weekend," said Mile High Sports Magazine editor-in-chief Doug Ottewill. "The fact that this team got the general sports fan talking about, and interested in, motor sports is remarkable. Truex and his team put our state on the map in a sport where we'd previously had little, if any, representation. That's a remarkable feat, and it's exactly why we chose to honor him. Simply put, they were excellent all season long."(Furniture Row Racing)(12-11-2015)
Gordon leads in 2015 television time: As the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season offered excitement on the track, it also provided nearly $1-billion in media value during race broadcasts according to Repucom, a trusted advisor in sports and entertainment intelligence. Repucom takes into account audience size and the quality of a brand exposure during in-race broadcasts. The location, size and duration of signage are among some of the factors that are also considered. The top five overall brands ranked by media value in 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series broadcasts were entitlement sponsor Sprint; followed by Chevrolet, Toyota, Ford and Coca-Cola.
The top five primary sponsors for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams in 2015 ranked by media value as analyzed by Repucom were Lowe's, Nationwide, Jimmy John's, Shell-Pennzoil and Haas Automation.
• #24-Jeff Gordon topped all competitors for media value and time on screen during race broadcasts, accumulating just over 24 hours of television time in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Season.
• In addition to finishing second in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and collecting a record 13 second-place finishes, #4-Kevin Harvick ranked second for time on screen and media value in 2015.
• 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion #18-Kyle Busch improved the primary sponsor ranking for M&Ms, moving it up six positions to seventh this year. The team also increased its time on screen. The car, driven by substitute drivers and Busch, accumulated just shy of 16 hours of television broadcast time, four more hours than last year.
• The biggest mover in 2015 was #78-Martin Truex, Jr. It took just seven weeks into the 2015 season for Furniture Row Racing to surpass its total 2014 exposure level. The media value increased three and a half times over last year and Furniture Row moved up 18 positions in the primary car sponsor rankings.
Martin Truex Jr. Is Homestead's Hidden Heavyweight: #78-Martin Truex Jr. might be the Holly Holm to Kevin Harvick's Ronda Rousey in Sunday's Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Considered the Cinderella of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season due to his struggles last year and the fact he's the only driver for Furniture Row Racing, based far from NASCAR's North Carolina hotbed in Denver, Colorado, Truex might actually be the driver to beat at Homestead. In 10 starts at the Miami oval, the No. 78 Chevrolet driver has no wins, three top fives (30%), seven top 10s (70%) and a 10.0 average finish (second among active drivers). What sets him apart from the rest of the Championship 4 at Homestead is his loop data success. He tops the Championship 4 drivers in Homestead average running position (9.0, second among active drivers), driver rating (106.6, third) and average Green Flag speed (162.357 mph, first). A Truex championship would make him the first title-winner from New Jersey and just the second from the Northeast (Bill Rexford, New York). Additionally, Truex would be the first driver from a one-car team to win an NSCS championship since Dale Earnhardt and Richard Childress Racing achieved the feat in 1994. Truex would also join Bobby Labonte, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick as the fourth driver to earn a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series championship.(NASCAR)(11-22-2015)
Three cars for Furniture Row? Furniture Row Racing [#78-Martin Truex Jr.] has big changes on the horizon, with a manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota coming in 2016 and an expansion to two cars coming in 2017. The team may not be done at two teams, either. During Thursday's live chat with Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone answered a fan question of where he saw his team in five years. "I see three race teams, with a super strong relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing," Garone replied.(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2015)
Homestead-Miami-Specific Statistics - Chase Driver
4) - Martin Truex, Jr (#78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevy)
· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100
· One win, eight top fives, 22 top 10s,
· Led 564 laps
· Average Finish of 12.2
Homestead-Miami Speedway Outlook:
· Three top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 10, second-best
· Average Running Position of 9.037, second-best
· Driver Rating of 106.6, third-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 162.357, Series-fastest
· 1981 Laps in the Top 15 (82.4), second-most
· 563 Quality Passes, Series-most
Chase drivers to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" tonight: The four NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship 4 drivers, #24-Jeff Gordon, #78-Martin Truex Jr., #4-Kevin Harvick and #18-Kyle Busch are scheduled to appear on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" Tuesday night, November 17th, scheduled for 11:35pm/et on NBC. Also scheduled to appear is singer Justin Bieber.(11-17-2015)
David Ferroni wins 2015 Jim Chapman Award: David Ferroni, who has been involved in motorsports for 30 years and currently is media representative for Furniture Row Racing and driver Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, today was announced as winner of the 2015 Jim Chapman Award for excellence in motorsports public relations. The Chapman Award is considered by many in the industry as the highest honor in racing public relations. It is named in memory of Chapman, the legendary PR executive and innovator, who worked with Babe Ruth and was named Indy Car racing's "most influential man" of the 1980s. Chapman died in 1996 at age 80. The announcement and presentation were made at Phoenix International Raceway by Michael Knight, chairman of the selection committee, and one of Chapman's closest friends. The award is determined by a vote of national media members, most of who knew Chapman, and is authorized by the Chapman family. PR representatives from all forms of motorsports are eligible for consideration.
"Dave is an 'old-school' publicist in the very best sense of that term," said Knight, the longtime journalist/publicist and award rights-holder. "His open approach to working with the media is in the best tradition as set by Jim Chapman and so this award is very appropriate. Jim set the ultimate standard of professionalism, class and dignity. He knew that building good one-on-one professional relationships with journalists was important in good times and absolutely essential in bad times. That's too often missing today in a communications age where an E-mail or text message or over-reliance on social media is incorrectly considered 'relationship-building.' Jim was a true 'people person' and knew nothing could replace a handshake, a face-to-face conversation, or the sound of another person's voice."
Ferroni started his career as publicist for Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway before traveling the NASCAR and NHRA national circuits. His blue-chip corporate clients have included Miller Brewing Co., McDonald's, Valvoline, Interstate Batteries, Pennzoil, the U.S. Army and Furniture Row. Ferroni was PR director for the famed "Miracle On Ice" 1980 U.S. Men's Olympic hockey team, which won the gold medal in Lake Placid, N.Y. He also worked in professional soccer and the U.S. Women's Indoor Tennis Championship in Bloomington, Minn. Established in 1991 by media and publicists within the CART series, the Chapman Award originally focused on achievement in CART. After a hiatus of several years, the award was resumed in 2004, with eligibility expanded to anyone working in racing PR. Chapman started as sports editor or managing editor of several Southern newspapers before joining the New York Times. He entered the PR business in 1946, as regional PR director for Ford Motor Co. in Detroit.
Soon thereafter, Chapman hired Ruth as consultant to the automaker's sponsorship of American Legion Junior Baseball. They traveled together for more than two years for personal appearances and became close friends. Chapman was one of only three friends at Ruth's bedside when he died in August 1948 and then officially announced Ruth's death to the press corps that had maintained an around-the-clock vigil at New York's Memorial Hospital.
Chapman kept with him a money clip with a pockmarked silver dollar that Ruth used to carry during games for good luck. Chapman said Ruth had used the coin for target practice. He proudly showcased several photos of Ruth in his office. One was inscribed: "To a pal that is a pal." Chapman also displayed a framed letter, written on Ruth's personal stationery from Memorial Hospital, dated July 13, 1948, inviting him to the July 26 premier of the film, The Babe Ruth Story. That letter read, in part, "That evening would not be complete without your being my guest. To you, Jimmy, I say you must be with me that evening."In 1950, Chapman left Ford to start his own PR firm. One of his first clients was Avis founder Warren Avis. Chapman devoted much of his time to financial PR, which he once called his "favorite form of PR," and helped companies get recognition among analysts and even gain admission to the New York and American stock exchanges. Chapman's first venture into motorsports was in 1951, when he joined with NASCAR founder Bill France to promote the Motor City 250. The race was part of Detroit's 250th birthday celebration, a Chapman client. In 1967, Chapman entered Indy Car racing with client Ozzie Olson's Olsonite sponsorship of Dan Gurney's team, which later featured Bobby Unser as driver.
"Jim was one of the most innovative and imaginative PR men ever to grace a pit lane," said Gurney. "Jim practically invented most of what is now considered routine sponsor PR work. He was the first, as far as I know, who thought of putting up a sponsor hospitality tent alongside a racetrack (at the old Riverside International Raceway), filling it with extravagant race car ice-sculptures, beautiful food and beautiful people from the business, sports and movie industries. He started an 'open house' tradition in Ozzie's hotel suite in Indianapolis, where journalists could rub shoulders with John Wayne or (astronaut) Scott Carpenter." Chapman also directed Olsonite's sponsorship of the Driver of the Year award. He orchestrated all the details, including the media panel voting, and an annual luncheon at New York City's famed '21' Club. That gathering was considered so prestigious it was routinely attended by leaders of all the major U.S. sanctioning organizations regardless of what series the Driver of the Year competed in. Chapman's greatest professional acclaim came from 1981-1992, as director of CART series sponsor PPG Industries' program. Chapman was instrumental in raising PPG's prize fund from $250,000 to more than $3.75 million at the time of his retirement in February 1993. The all-female PPG Pace Car Driving Team was another Chapman innovation, as were the PPG Editors' Days, when he brought business and feature writers to the tracks for lunch, pace car rides, and driver interviews.
In 1982, Chapman negotiated a landmark sponsorship for PPG with then- Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Joe Cloutier, which formally made the Indy 500 a points-paying event in the PPG Indy Car World Series, an arrangement that continued through the 1995 season. "That was one of the most satisfying moments of my career," Chapman recalled. "Roger Penske, among others, told me it was the best thing that had ever happened to CART." In addition to a major contribution to the prize fund, PPG later became sponsor of the $100,000 Indy 500 pole award, and paid a special winner's bonus in the early years of NASCAR's Brickyard 400. "With Jim, when he says 'jump,' we just ask 'how high?," Indy 500 winner and PPG Cup champion Al Unser Jr. said on behalf of his fellow drivers. "And we do it right then."
Indy Car Racing magazine named Chapman the sport's "most influential" man of the 1980s, saying he turned "a public relations assignment into an art form." After his retirement, Chapman continued to consult PPG, and agreed to Mario Andretti's personal request that he serve as honorary chairman of Andretti's "Arrivederci, Mario" farewell tour in 1994. Chapman's professional achievements earned him vast recognition. The mayors of Detroit and Long Beach, Calif., presented him proclamations and the key to each city. In 1993, Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh named him Sagamore of the Wabash, the state's highest honor. He served as president and/or director of more than 30 Michigan and Detroit-area civic and charitable organizations. Chapman became active in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and represented the Detroit Urban League and United Negro College Fund in several controversial situations. He admitted to shedding "buckets of tears of joy" when Willy T. Ribbs became the first African-American driver to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1991. "The true honor of this award is not the plaque," Knight concluded. "The true honor is having your name forever associated with that of the great James P. Chapman."
JIM CHAPMAN AWARD HONOREES:
1991 - Michael Knight
1992 - Tom Blattler
1993-94 - Deke Houlgate and Hank Ives
1995 - Kathi Lauterbach
1996 - Marc Spiegel
1997 - Mike Zizzo
1998 - Tamy Valkosky
1999 -- Carol Wilkins
2000-2003 - (Award not presented)
2004 - Doug Stokes
2005 - Susan Arnold
2006 - Kevin Kennedy
2007 - Dave Densmore and Bob Carlson
2008 - Judy Stropus
2009 - (Award not presented)
2010 -- Jim Hunter
2011 -- Bill York
2012 -- Judy Kouba Dominick and Nancy Wager
2013 -- Anne Fornoro
2014 -- Jon Edwards and Elon Werner
2015 -- Linda Vaughn (honorary)
2015 -- David Ferroni
Truex Jr. Racing With Heavy Heart: Martin Truex Jr. will be racing with a heavy heart in today's Sprint Cup Series Race at Phoenix International Raceway. He will race in memory of 10-year-old Elijah Aschbrenner, who died Wednesday of a rare form of cancer. A photograph of Elijah and his name will be displayed on Truex's race car. Elijah was someone special to both Truex and his girlfriend Sherry Pollex. The youngster from Huntersville, N.C. took part in the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation Catwalk for a Cause in May, a fundraiser for pediatric and ovarian cancer research. Elijah was also a guest of Martin and Sherry during the spring race at Talladega. He flew on Truex's airplane to Talladega and watched the race from the pit box. "Our brave Catwalk hero has gone home to be with the Lord," said Martin and Sherry in a Facebook post. "Our lives will forever be changed because of him. We will never stop fighting for this horrible disease. He was the strongest little boy we've ever had the privilege of knowing. Now we focus on lifting his family in prayer. We shall meet again one day my sweet friend."(Furniture Row Racing PR)(11-15-2015)
Finalists for Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award named: Comcast announced three finalists selected for the inaugural Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award. As part of its long-term partnership with NASCAR, Comcast created the award to honor NASCAR team members for their outstanding charitable endeavors. The 2015 finalists include an individual from each of the top-three national NASCAR series: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Chevy SS, for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Joey Gase, driver of the #52 Ford Mustang, for the NASCAR XFINITY Series; and Martha Nemechek, whose son and grandson, Joe and John Hunter Nemechek, currently compete in the NASCAR ranks, for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The 2015 Comcast Community Champion of the Year will be determined by a panel comprised of executives from Comcast and The NASCAR Foundation, as well as former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and NASCAR.com reporter Holly Cain. In recognition of their efforts, Comcast will make a donation of $60,000 to the Comcast Community Champion of the Year's affiliated charitable organization. A $30,000 contribution will also be made to each of the remaining finalists' charitable organizations. The winner will be named at the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Banquet on November 23 at the Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida, which will air on NBC Sports Network at 7:00pm on Sunday, November 29.(Comcast)(11-6-2015)
Truex, Jr's qualifying time disallowed: #78-Martin Truex Jr.'s time during the first round of single-car qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday was disallowed after he dipped below the double-yellow line during his lap. His lap of 191.762 mph would have been good for 21st in the starting lineup but instead he will start from the back of the field in 43rd for Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega. "The double-yellow line deal, I just didn't know anything about it. So, Cole (Pearn, crew chief) said, 'Sorry, guess I should have told you the change.' Just one of those memos that I didn't get, so a little confused there." NASCAR ruled in July prior to the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway that drivers' qualifying times at superspeedways would be disallowed if they passed below the double-yellow line. However, Daytona's qualifying rainout meant the rule premiered this weekend at Talladega, the next restrictor-plate race on the Sprint Cup schedule. Because of the disqualification, the #78 team will have the last choice for pit stall selection. Nonetheless, the mistake isn't detrimental to the #78 team, who had strategized they would ride in the back from the start. "We kinda planned to ride in the back for the first part anyways, so it makes it a lot easier to get back there," Pearn said in the garage.(NASCAR.com)(10-25-2015)
Western Union joins #78 as associate sponsor: Western Union is looking to Martin Truex Jr. to deliver this weekend at Kansas Speedway. The Englewood, Colo.-based financial services and communication company is partnering with Denver's Furniture Row Racing for the final six races of the 2015 Sprint Cup season. Western Union - and its Money-Moving Ambassadors will serve as a major associate sponsor for the #78 Chevy and Truex, who is currently third in the standings and competing in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.(Motorsport)(10-17-2015)
Truex Jr. Inspired by Adaptive Motorsports Technology for Spinal Cord Injured and Disabled Individuals: #78-Martin Truex Jr. experienced a new form of cutting-edge technology that will enable spinal cord injured and disabled individuals to participate in motorsports. Truex attended Wednesday's (Oct. 7) Falci Adaptive Motorsports NeuroGroove RaceDay at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) in Fountain, Colo., giving rides in an adaptive stock car to paraplegic and quadriplegic individuals around the 1-mile oval. "What an awesome day to be a firsthand witness to some incredible technology," said Truex. "Life is about giving back and Dr. (Scott) Falci and his partners are doing just that. To see the joy of the individuals I gave a ride to was very inspirational." One of the individuals who rode with Truex was Denver resident Stewart Lundy, a paraplegic who experienced a range of emotions as a passenger in the adaptive car. When the ride was completed an overjoyed Lundy said, "And he (Truex) gets paid to do this! I need to reassess my life goals. That is probably one them now. I loved every minute of it -- I'm coming down from an adrenalin high." The modified race car that Truex drove was donated to Falci Adaptive Motorsports by Furniture Row Racing. A number of employees at the team shop in Denver volunteered their time to help in the transformation of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car into an adaptive race car for spinal cord and disabled individuals to drive. "I wanted to add another adapted sport for the spinal cord and disabled population," said Dr. Scott Falci, a neurosurgeon at Denver's Craig Hospital. "Motorsports is a real exciting sport and we're utilizing the #78 Furniture Row car as a platform to get involved in a new adaptive sporting event and also getting involved with the NASCAR community."
Falci added, "Barney Visser (Furniture Row Racing team owner) immediately loved the idea. He donated the race car and the guys in the shop worked many extra volunteer hours to help make this happen today. And to have Martin Truex Jr., who has plenty on his table right now competing for the NASCAR championship, to come all the way to Colorado from North Carolina to take part in the event was truly spectacular. "The emotional thrill of having Martin and his Furniture Row race car was an uplifting experience not only for the spinal cord injured individuals and their families but for all of our partners who have been passionately working on this new adaptive technology." Falci Adaptive Motorsports has an impressive list of partners including U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, FalconWorks, RaceKraft & Design, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Furniture Row Racing.
One of the highlights of the day was a demonstration of smart glasses technology enabling individuals to drive a car or wheelchair with head movement. "Dr. Falci and his partners are developing life-changing technology and we are thrilled to be involved in this altruistic endeavor," said Joe Garone, president and general manager of Furniture Row Racing. "It was an overwhelming experience to see the excitement of each spinal cord injured individual who rode with Martin at PPIR. We are proud to be affiliated with Falci Adaptive Motorsports."(FRR)(10-9-2015)
Truex advances to next Chase round despite pre-race penalty UPDATES: That last thing Martin Truex Jr. would have wanted was for his #78 Chevy to be pulled off the grid before the start of an elimination race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. But that's what happened minutes before cars were set to roll off pit road for the start of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway Sunday. NASCAR officials deemed that the body of Truex's car failed to conform to templates. Accordingly, Truex's crew had to fix the car before the race, and Truex was sent to the rear for the start. After dodging an early wreck involving Jeb Burton and Josh Wise, Truex worked his way through the field, running as high as third after a two-tire call and ultimately finishing 11th. The result was good enough to propel Truex into the 12-driver Contender Round of the Chase. It wasn't a comfortable day for the Furniture Row Racing driver, but the end result was positive. "Yeah, we had to start last," Truex said after the race. "It is what it is. We moved on. We did what we had to do. It wasn't a great day for us. It wasn't a great weekend. We have been just struggling trying to get the thing turning. All in all, we had good speed when we would get track position." According to NASCAR officials, Truex will face no additional sanctions beyond the demotion to the rear of the field on Sunday.(NASCAR Wire Service)(10-5-2015)
UPDATE: Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer, said Monday that Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy was brought back to the laser-inspection area minutes before Sunday's AAA 400 because it was suspected that the side skirt had been manipulated -- and further inspection proved that to be true. "One of our officials noticed the side skirt of that car and thought it had perhaps been manipulated," O'Donnell told NASCAR.com on Monday. "We brought it back to the laser-inspection station and sure enough were able to prove out that it had been." The result was Truex Jr.'s crew had to work to fix the area and get it back up to code before rolling to the grid and starting from the back of the field because of "unapproved adjustments." Originally slated to start ninth in the final race of the Challenger Round in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Truex rallied for an 11th-place finish and advanced to the Contender Round (NASCAR.com)
UPDATE 2 crew chief penalized: Furniture Row Racing received a P2 penalty on Tuesday following further review of a pre-race incident at Dover International Speedway. Cole Pearn, crew chief of the #78 Sprint Cup team, has been placed on probation until the end of the year. At the time of the incident, the team and the media was told by NASCAR the penalty had been served. However, when the sanctioning body reviewed the case earlier this week, additional details led to the P2 decision.(Motorsport)(10-7-2015)
Truex Jr. re-signs with Furniture Row Racing, team to move to Toyota UPDATE2: #78 Furniture Row Racing (FRR) has re-signed Martin Truex Jr. for 2016 - and beyond. "It's not just the place, it's the people - especially this year," Truex said. "Last year almost made me want to retire. It's funny what a year and a couple of different people can bring to the table." Furniture Row Racing is expected to switch to Toyotas in 2016, forming a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing from which it will receive chassis and engines. Furniture Row Racing will become just one of two factory-backed Toyota teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season. Furniture Row will remain a single-car team next season. Chevrolet officials confirmed FRR would not continue to field Chevrolets next season.(Motorsport), a Toyota news conference is scheduled for Sunday morning at New Hampshire Motor Speedway to announce new partner.(9-26-2015)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing announced at New Hampshire Motor Speedway that it has entered into a partnership with Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) to field Toyota Camrys for driver Martin Truex Jr. starting with the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The Denver, Colorado-based team also announced that it has picked up Truex's contract option for 2016. By joining the Toyota NASCAR fleet, the single-car Furniture Row Racing team will enter into a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and have Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A. (TRD) build engines for the #78 Furniture Row Camrys. "As we continue our quest to be a contender for this year's Sprint Cup championship, it's hard not to feel the excitement and enthusiasm of becoming an integral partner with Toyota next season," said Joe Garone, president and general manager of Furniture Row Racing. "The added resources and technical support that Toyota will provide, along with having a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, definitely increases the growth potential for our team. The track record of Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing speaks for itself. They are both proven winners with an unyielding commitment to raising the performance bar in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."
Toyota, which joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2007 and partnered a year later with Joe Gibbs Racing, is thrilled about the addition of Furniture Row Racing to its roster. "Partnering with Furniture Row Racing is a great fit for Toyota and we look forward to the team fielding a Camry in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2016," said Ed Laukes, vice president of marketing, performance and guest experience for Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. "Furniture Row Racing has proven to be a race-winning organization and we are confident the technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing will make Camrys even more competitive and improve performance on the race track. We welcome Furniture Row to the Toyota Racing family and are thrilled to have a championship-caliber driver like Martin Truex Jr. back in the Toyota lineup."
Garone, who has been with Furniture Row Racing since its inception (2005), expressed his gratitude to Chevrolet and to Richard Childress Racing (RCR). "I want to thank Chevrolet for its support the past 10 seasons and to Richard Childress Racing as our Chevrolet technical alliance partner since 2010," said Garone. "The support from Chevrolet and RCR has helped our growth pattern." Garone said that he and team owner Barney Visser were happy to pick up the contract option for Truex, a Chase qualifier, who is in his second season as the Furniture Row Racing driver. His season totals to date include one win, seven top fives, 17 top-10s and 536 laps led. "Martin has done a terrific job driving our #78 race car to a victory and into the Chase," said Garone. "He and crew chief Cole Pearn have established an outstanding chemistry. We look forward to having Martin as the Furniture Row Racing driver in 2016 and beyond."
The 35-year-old Truex said he is ready and anxious to drive the Furniture Row car in 2016 and rejoin Toyota. He drove a Toyota Camry for four seasons as a member of the Michael Waltrip Racing team from 2010 through 2013. "I am happy to continue in my role with Furniture Row Racing and feel that we've just begun a growth spurt that will take us to a new level," said Truex. "It's a great organization and Barney (Visser, team owner) gives us whatever we need to be successful. I know the folks from Toyota and I am looking forward to being part of their team again. They build fast engines and having a technical alliance with the highly-successful Joe Gibbs Racing is an added bonus to our program. While our primary focus right now is on the Chase, I am eagerly looking forward to what is in store for our Furniture Row Racing team."
Furniture Row Racing made its NASCAR debut in 2005, competing in 10 NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) races and two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) events that season. The team has qualified for the Chase in two of the last three seasons and was the first single-car team to earn a Chase berth.(Furniture Row Racing)(9-27-2015)
UPDATE2: Truex Jr. will return to Furniture Row Racing next year, but sponsorship will need to be found to help the team put together a long-term offer, team owner Barney Visser said Sunday. Truex confirmed Sunday he has a contract with Furniture Row for next season only. That coincides with the team's move from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2016. The key for the 35-year-old Truex is what kind of sponsorship Furniture Row can find for beyond 2016. Typically, a percentage of a primary sponsorship deal helps pay for a driver's salary. "We're looking for sponsorship to help us with that," Visser said of a long-term contract for Truex. "The kind of contract he deserves we're not able to do on our own right now. We're looking for sponsorship to help us pull that together. I do think he's just peaking in his career, and we don't want to lose him.''(NBC Sports)(9-28-2015)
Furniture Row Racing Will Have Replacement Tire Changers at NHMS: The over-the-wall pit crew for Martin Truex's #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet will have replacement tire changers for Sunday's Sylvania 300 Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Dave Collins, the regular front-tire changer, suffered an ankle injury on Wednesday during a practice session. He will be replaced by Josh Franko, who has been a backup pit-crew member for Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR). Adam Hartman will take over the rear-tire changing duties, replacing Kyle Turner. Hartman has also been a backup crew member at MWR. The Furniture Row Racing over-the-wall crew is based out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(9-25-2015)
Furniture Row Racing close to deal with Toyota: Furniture Row Racing is nearing a deal that would see the single-car Sprint Cup team sign a multi-year deal to run Toyotas beginning in 2016. Final details are still being negotiated, but officials with both Furniture Row and Toyota say the deal is close to completion. Furniture Row switching from Chevy to Toyota would include the formation of a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing to replace Furniture Row's existing alliance with Richard Childress, which supplies the team with cars and chassis. "There are a lot of components to such a move and it's not finished, but we're trying to work through it and make a relationship with Toyota happen," Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone told SB Nation Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. "Everyone wants to make it happen and we're getting close."
"I've made no secret of the fact that I've been talking with (Furniture Row) and have great respect for everyone associated with that team," Toyota Racing Development president David Wilson told SB Nation. "I would love to have them in the Toyota camp. But it's not a done deal and we're working on it. Hopefully we'll have something to announce in the next couple of weeks." Toyota is looking to add depth to a roster that will lose Michael Waltrip Racing, its only other supported team, when the two-car organization folds at the conclusion of the season. By shifting to Toyota, Furniture Row would become the carmaker's #2 outfit. At Chevy, the Denver-based team slotted behind Hendrick Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing and RCR.(SB Nation)(9-19-2015)
The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation: We will fight childhood and ovarian cancers: Responding to a yearlong journey that has sharpened their perspective on the devastating impact of ovarian and childhood cancers, NASCAR Driver Martin Truex Jr. and longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex today announced the foundation's new mission to raise awareness of and funding for childhood and ovarian cancer initiatives. September is the national awareness month for both childhood and ovarian cancers. The foundation also unveiled its logo symbolizing the combined focus and a goal to raise $500,000 to support research of childhood and ovarian cancers during this important month and continuing through The Chase. Already, a donor has pledged to match the first $100,000 in donations. Truex Jr. launched his foundation in 2007 to help children. Over the years, Truex Jr. and Pollex have become more passionate about helping children with cancer. Then Pollex was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer in August 2014. The next year catapulted Truex Jr. and Pollex into the trenches with others fighting for their lives, spurring them to adopt a "Never Give Up" attitude and a renewed focus to fight for the critically underfunded cancers specific to childhood and ovarian cancers.
The couple is determined to find less toxic, more effective drug treatments and cures for childhood cancer. Knowing firsthand how radiation, chemotherapy and toxic chemicals decimate a body's system, Martin and Pollex are determined to help find better, safer ways to save the lives of babies, toddlers and teenagers battling cancer. "The damage that these lifesaving drugs do to your system is awful and, at the end, there is still no guarantee that you will be cancer free," Pollex said. "What will the long-term effects be on these poor kids' systems 10, 20 and 30 years from now?" Pollex said only 4 percent of national funding goes toward childhood cancer research, and the percentage of funding allocated for ovarian cancer is equally abysmal.
Mr. Bob Douglas of Kihei, Hawaii, saw media coverage of Truex Jr. and Pollex leading into the August Pocono Race, and knew he had to help. "Martin and Sherry have been able to take a life-changing and near-death experience and turn it into an incredibly positive effort to help others," Douglas said.
"As part of our new mission and new look we have made it our goal is to raise a half million dollars to go toward research projects for both cancers," Truex Jr. said. "Bob has pledged $100,000 as part of a match, and with a race win, I will add another $50,000 to help reach our fundraising goal."
The MTJ Foundation urges donors to visit online, knowing that as part of that first $100,000, each donation is matched 100 percent.
Pollex continues to work with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) to help teach women about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. An estimated 22,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and 14,000 will die - a mortality rate of more than 60 percent. Ovarian cancer is called the "silent killer" because by the time the cancer is discovered, it is often too late to save a life. To symbolize the foundation's new mission, Switch, based in St. Louis, Missouri, created a logo that ties together both the teal color representing ovarian cancer with the gold representing childhood cancer in a ribbon reminiscent of a racetrack, as a nod to Truex Jr.'s racing roots. "We are so proud to have helped transform Martin's and Sherry's passion into a logo that symbolizes support for childhood and ovarian cancers as well as the momentum of a racetrack in motion," said Nicole Phillips with Switch, "This was a meaningful and heartfelt project." To donate, please visit www.martintruexjrfoundation.org. To learn more about ovarian cancer, please visit: www.OCNA.org. To learn more about childhood cancer, visit: www.CAC2.org. The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, a 501(c)(3) founded in 2007, is now dedicated to raising awareness of and funding for childhood and ovarian cancer initiatives.(9-18-2015)
Truex, Kurt Busch, Bowyer comment on contracts: #78-Martin Truex Jr. and #41-Kurt Busch expect to stay with their current teams, indicating Thursday that their deals are imminent and just announcements await. Neither Truex nor Busch was expected to go anywhere. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone has said it's been the team's intent to re-sign Truex. Stewart-Haas Racing officials have said they have a handshake deal done with Busch. But it still is a rare scenario: Three Chase-qualified drivers (Truex, Busch and Clint Bowyer) enter the opener this weekend without deals announced for next year. "I'm very fortunate I have a great race team," said Truex, who rebounded from 24th in the standings in his first year at Furniture Row to win a race and be 10th entering the Chase this year. "At the end of the day, this sport is all about timing, it's all about being at the right place at the right time. ... There were times last year where I thought, 'Am I ever going to get back to where I once was.' Now suddenly I feel like I'm better than I ever was, and it's kind of an awesome thing. You'll hear an announcement [of an extension] pretty soon. This sport, every year, it gets later and later and later [to get deals done]."
Busch said talks continue with potential sponsors in addition to Haas, whose Haas Automation is the primary sponsor for Busch. "Everything is pretty close," Busch said. "We'll have the announcement soon. It's great to know that the team and myself and everybody is on the same page. ... Everybody is going through the talks and checking the different positions and the temperatures of certain situations. We'll have some things to announce here soon."
The one Chase-qualified driver who appears unsure of what he's doing is Bowyer, who began looking for a 2016 ride last month after Michael Waltrip Racing announced it would cease operations after this season. Bowyer declined to say which teams he still is negotiating with. "We're digging, honestly," Bowyer said. "I'm working on that. I think we're getting close. I'm excited. Holy cow, who would have ever thought in a million years that would happen eight months into a three-year contract? When you sign three-year contracts, that means you put the contract in the desk and you forget about it and you're secure and you're happy and you're good for three years, right? No, that's not right. I've learned that is not correct." (ESPN.com)(9-17-2015)
Joe Garone Elected to Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame: Joe Garone, a native of Denver and president and general manager of #78 Furniture Row Racing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, has been elected for enshrinement to the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will take place Wednesday, Oct. 14, 6:00-9:00pm/mt at The Vehicle Vault in Parker, Colo. The Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame is committed to honoring and preserving the achievements of individuals and organizations that have left an indelible mark on motorsports in Colorado and beyond. The new inductees come from all facets of motorsports - drivers, builders, mechanics, owners, facility operators and non-profit organizations. "This is a humbling honor to be recognized by your home state," said Garone. "I never expected to reach this pinnacle while growing up and competing on the Colorado short tracks. For me, it has always been working hard and pushing myself to do my best. My Dad told me as a child the key to happiness was to treat others like you would want to be treated, work hard and work smart. Everything else in life would follow. My parents gave me the foundation to pursue a successful career whether it be in motorsports or another profession. I wish they were still here to be with me for this prestigious event. But they'll be just as proud of their son watching the ceremony from a different location."
Garone's parents - Joseph and Beverly Garone - both raced in the Denver area. His father competed in the modified series and his mother won several races and championships. "She was certainly the most talented behind the wheel," said Garone. A 1978 graduate of Westminster High School in Denver, Garone raced in Colorado for several years and then spent six successful seasons (1989-1994) as crew chief for Arvada, Colo. native Rick Carelli in NASCAR's Southwest and Winston West Tour circuits and the NASCAR Truck Series. Garone's and Carelli's unyielding commitment to win races and having the same general philosophy helped them to secure more than 100 victories and two championships during the six-year period. Garone joined NASCAR's Cup series in 1995 as a suspension specialist for Bill Elliott Racing. He later advanced to the crew chief role for Bill Elliott. After four seasons with Bill Elliott Racing he became the program manager for PPI Motorsports, which fielded two cars in the Cup series. From 2001-2003 Garone worked directly for NASCAR. He was responsible for implementing a business-plan structure for the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. as well as hiring the staff and starting the initial safety programs, most of which are still in force today. He was later named NASCAR's director of officiating. He spent one season as the director of competition for Michael Waltrip Racing before returning to his native Colorado in 2005 to oversee the upstart Furniture Row Racing, owned by Denver businessman Barney Visser. Under Garone's guidance, Furniture Row Racing has qualified for NASCAR's Chase playoffs in two of the past three seasons (2013 & 2015) and was the first single-car team to qualify for the Chase. Garone and his wife Leann reside in Denver. They have three daughters - Ashlie, Jordan and Carey and one granddaughter Claire.(Furniture Row Racing)(9-11-2015)
Truex, Jr. sets team record for top 10s: Plagued with rear-side damage to his #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevy, Martin Truex Jr. held on to post a ninth-place finish in Sunday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The result was Truex's 17th top-10 finish in the first 25 races, which set a team record for most top-10s in a season. The previous team record of 16 top 10s in a season was set by Kurt Busch in 2013. Truex ran as high as second in the 367 lapper that saw a track record 18 cautions. With 60 laps remaining he was solidly running in fourth place but when he made his final pit stop following a lap 355 caution, he was positioned in 10th place. "We were in a survival mode at that stage of the race and managed to get one position back," noted Truex, whose teal-accented car raised awareness for ovarian cancer. "There are times when you're ok with a top-10, but not tonight." Truex remains sixth in driver points with one race remaining before the start of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.(Furniture Row Racing)(9-7-2015)
Truex Jr.'s Darlington Car to Promote National Ovarian Cancer Awareness: With September designated as National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Martin Truex Jr.'s Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevy will showcase a teal appearance for Sunday night's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. The teal look, which is the official ribbon color for ovarian cancer awareness, will be displayed on the hood, roof, quarter panels and rear bumper (TV panel) of Truex's #78 race car. Truex's steering wheel and gloves will also have a teal appearance. Thanks to the spirited volunteer work of Truex's girlfriend Sherry Pollex, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than a year ago, a number of Sprint Cup Series drivers will also be involved in the fundraising effort to help raise awareness, advocacy and research for ovarian cancer during the Darlington race weekend. Danica Patrick will have a teal-accented steering wheel in her #10 GoDaddy Chevy. She will also wear the teal-accented race gloves as will #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr., #31-Ryan Newman and #5-Kasey Kahne. With support from the NASCAR Foundation, Truex's and Patrick's teal-inspired steering wheels and the teal gloves worn by Truex, Patrick, Kahne and Newman will be autographed and auctioned off at nascarfoundation.org/go-teal. Earnhardt's gloves will be auctioned off as part of his Driven To Give campaign to benefit Teal Diva, an ovarian cancer awareness charity out of Charlotte. He will be wearing the teal gloves at all the September Sprint Cup races. NASCAR has also approved the teal ribbon to be placed on the Sprint Cup Series race cars.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the car on the #78 team paint schemes page.(9-1-2015)
Pollex, Truex, Jr. design "Never Give Up" bracelet for ovarian cancer: During a post-race interview following his June 7 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Pocono Raceway, Martin Truex Jr. was asked by a member of the media how he was able to keep going forward after all the adversity that's confronted him over the past two seasons. Without hesitation Truex gave a succinct and heartfelt answer -- "Never Give Up." The "Never Give Up" saying has taken on a meaning of its own, touching Truex's social media followers and race fans throughout the country and the world. Due to the global reaction to the slogan, Truex and his girlfriend Sherry Pollex have designed a NEVER GIVE UP wristband to help raise awareness, advocacy and research funding for ovarian cancer through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation in cooperation with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA). The cost of the NEVER GIVE UP wristband is $4 and can be ordered online by visiting www.martintruexjr.com. With September being National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the OCNA will also be selling the NEVER GIVE UP wristbands at its Teal Appeal display booth during the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series weekend at Darlington Raceway. The black and teal NEVER GIVE UP silicone wristbands carry a personal message from Martin and Sherry along with their signatures separated by a teal ribbon. The wristband will also include a card that lists the symptoms of ovarian cancer. The outside matte black finish of the wristband represents Truex's #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet and the inside teal finish represents the official ribbon color for ovarian cancer awareness.(Martin Truex, Jr. Foundation)(8-27-2015)
Mechanical Issue Forces Truex Jr. to Backup Car at Bristol: Martin Truex Jr. was forced to a backup car after his primary car suffered damage during Friday's first practice session at Bristol Motor Speedway. With 15 minutes remaining in the opening practice, the left-control arm broke in the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevy, sending it into the wall and resulting in right-side damage. The single-car Furniture Row team didn't have much time to get the backup ready for the second and final practice since there were only 55 minutes between the two sessions. But the spirited crew put the final touches on the backup 16 minutes after practice started. Truex went on to make some race-trim runs and a few qualifying-trim runs on the half-mile, all-concrete oval. He was listed as 21st fastest. "The backup car, which had some better points to it than the primary, felt pretty good," said Truex. "We were jammed for time in the final practice and didn't get as many runs in as we would have liked. But my hats off to the crew for getting the backup ready in a short period of time. We've had our backs to the wall a number of times this year and seem to eventually work out the glitches, as we did last week in Michigan where we qualified 23rd and finished third."(Furniture Row Racing)(8-21-2015)
Truex Jr. ties team record for Top-10s: Martin Truex Jr. had mixed feelings after posting a strong third-place finish in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The Furniture Row Racing driver felt he had a winning car for the 200-lap race that was contested in sweltering heat in Michigan's Irish Hills. The final result was Truex's seventh top-five and 16th top-10 in the first 23 races of the season. The 16 top-10s tied a team season record, set in 2013 with Kurt Busch behind the wheel of the #78. Truex, who clinched a qualifying berth for the upcoming Chase, stands fourth in driver points and eighth in the Chase playoff standings.(Furniture Row Racing)(8-17-2015)
DraftKings joins Furniture Row Racing as associate sponsor: Furniture Row Racing has entered into a four-race agreement to carry the DraftKings logo as an associate sponsor on Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Chevy. DraftKings is the "Official Daily Fantasy Sports Partner" of NASCAR. The company has an exclusive license to develop NASCAR-branded games across the daily fantasy sports category. The DraftKings/Furniture Row partnership will officially make its debut at this weekend's Cheez-It 355 Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International. The remaining races for the partnership have yet to be determined. DraftKings will offer two different types of NASCAR-themed games -- a free game for casual players and paid games for avid followers.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the logo on the #78 team paint schemes page.(8-6-2015)
Truex Jr. Tries For First Sweep Of Season At Pocono: When the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Pocono Raceway on Sunday - its second repeat track on the schedule - June Pocono winner #78-Martin Truex Jr. will attempt to become the eighth driver to sweep the "Tricky Triangle." Last season, #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. notched one of two track sweeps with his two wins at Pocono. #4-Kevin Harvick recorded the second sweep at Phoenix. The other six drivers to win both Pocono races were Denny Hamlin (2006), Jimmie Johnson (2004), Bobby Labonte (1999), Tim Richmond (1986), Bill Elliott (1985) and Bobby Allison (1982). Bobby Allison (1982 sweep and spring 1983) and Tim Richmond (1986 sweep and spring 1987) are the only drivers to win three consecutive Pocono races.(NASCAR)(8-2-2015)
MWR to Chevy? Ragan to return? What about Vickers? UPDATE: What in the world will Toyota Racing's Sprint Cup program look like next year? One persistent, hot rumor features a manufacturer swap of sorts, with Rob Kauffman, currently the principal owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, taking his racing interests and partnering with a Chevy team. Furniture Row Racing is currently eyeing the Toyota camp with an ardor that has progressed well beyond flirtation.
Two potential partnerships mentioned for Kauffman are Chip Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing. Ganassi absorbed Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Martin Truex Jr. into the fold back in 2009. RCR expressed interest in acquiring a minority partner after Chartwell Investments expressed a desire to sell its stake in the company in 2012. Kauffman did not offer a definitive reply when asked about a possible realignment.
Furniture Row's Barney Visser has been more forthcoming. The Denver, Colorado-based team owner hopes to make a manufacturer decision in the next few weeks to accommodate a possible restructuring with Toyota for next year.
Although FRR currently receives no financial support from Chevrolet, the team's move could open the door for Kauffman to enter into a technical alliance with RCR, with whom the #78 currently shares data. However, sources told Motorsport.com that Ganassi appears to be the frontrunner for Kauffman's capital at this time.
Michael Waltrip Racing's driver lineup likely hinges on Aaron's continued support with the #55 team. Both Kauffman and Clint Bowyer, who is in the first year of a three-year contract, are high on driver David Ragan. Aaron's has been a sponsor of Michael Waltrip's since 2000 but has yet to renew with MWR. A decision on the company's involvement could come in the next six to eight weeks.
Last week Brian Vickers expressed interest in returning to racing. Given the unpredictability of Vickers situation, Kauffman isn't sure whether they could accommodate the driver. "...The most important thing right now is his health. I haven't really had a conversation with him regarding coming back to racing and the like. It's a big medical issue that I haven't been involved with up until now.," Kauffman said. "He loves racing, so I'm sure he does (want to return), but I think it would be a challenge to try and figure something out--but I would never say never."(Motorsport)(7-23-2015)
UPDATE: David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that the manufacturer has its sights set on more teams making the 2015 Chase while also looking ahead to its 2016 lineup. Michael Waltrip Racing with Clint Bowyer's #15 team and David Ragan's #55 are the manufacturer's two highest-ranked drivers without wins, sitting 15th and 24th respectively in the standings. Based on points, the #15 driver is currently in the provisional Chase Grid, but if Busch makes the top 30, Bowyer will be bounced without a win. As the manufacturer attempts to add those MWR teams to this year's Chase, Wilson wasn't certain about the organization's future with Toyota.
"We are talking to a number of organizations about the future, and certainly in the near-term, we're not sure what Michael Waltrip Racing is going to do," Wilson said. "They've yet to announce their plans. Certainly we have had a rich history in the sport together. We got our butts kicked together in 2007, our first year, and you forge very close and personal relationships when you have those trials together. Whatever they decide to do, we certainly wish nothing but the best for them."
Wilson has acknowledged discussions with #78 Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser about the Denver-based team's potential manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota. But the TRD president suggested that Furniture Row, like Toyota itself, was focused on its 2015 Chase efforts. "Regarding Furniture Row Racing, again they haven't announced their plans for next year certainly," Wilson said. "I imagine they're focusing on getting Martin Truex well-positioned in the Chase as well and competitive."(NASCAR.com)(7-29-2015)
Toyota talking to additional teams: David Wilson, president of Toyota Racing Development, told NASCAR Talk on Sunday that the manufacturer does not have any deals with additional teams for next season but is "talking to a couple of teams." #78-Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser has expressed interest in switching manufacturers after this season. "We'd definitely be open to (adding Furniture Row)," Wilson said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "I'd said consistently, particularly with this new Chase format, we could use a couple more quality cars. It's not about numbers. We've got to have quality. We could expand as early as next year if the circumstances present themselves." Wilson said Toyota likely would need to decide by mid-September if it wanted to add a team for next season but added the manufacturer also was considering deals that would begin in 2017. "Because (every team) is structured differently, some of it is looking out at 2017," he said. "The challenge (is) we have this stable of young drivers, and we need to make sure we can keep Toyotas underneath them. It's not good enough to look at just one year out. You need to look at three to five years out and try to position yourself as best you can."(NBC Sports)(7-20-2015)
Sherry Pollex going to Washington to advocate for ovarian cancer research: Sherry Pollex, a longtime champion of pediatric cancer fundraising through the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, is taking on another cancer-related mission. Pollex, who was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer 11 months ago, will be on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Wednesday (July 15) on behalf of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. She will meet with Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to discuss ovarian cancer funding and advocate for policies ensuring that cancer patients have access to cancer therapy at affordable out-of-pocket costs. Pollex will advocate for full federal funding of ovarian cancer research and education programs at the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pollex will also advocate on behalf of a bill called The Cancer Treatment Parity Act that ensures women to have access to affordable oral chemotherapy treatments. Oral chemotherapy treatments, unlike traditional intravenous drugs, are not always covered by insurance companies, and many patients are responsible for extremely high and unmanageable co-pays. Pollex, who is the girlfriend of NASCAR star driver Martin Truex Jr. of the Furniture Row Racing team, will be accompanied to Capitol Hill by three members of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance team -- Calaneet Balas (CEO), Jeremy Scott (Policy Counsel) and Lisa Mauti (Vice President of Cause Marketing).(Furniture Row Racing)(7-14-2015)
Furniture Row now aiming for second team in 2017: Furniture Row Racing is having its best season to date with driver Martin Truex Jr. earning 14 top-10 finishes in the first 17 races of the season, which has the Denver, Colorado-based organization looking toward the future. Owner Barney Visser told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Saturday that he would like to have a second team in less than two years. "We'd like to have (a second team) by '17," Visser said. "I doubt that it will happen by '16, but we think maybe '17 it's going to roll around the way we need it to. We're going to have to attract the sponsors. When we finally get the sponsors, we'll be able to do it." Earlier this season, Visser also said his team needed more manufacturer support than Chevrolet was currently providing, and the team had spoken with the sport's other manufacturers, Ford and Toyota.(NASCAR.com)(7-12-2015)
Truex Jr. has hand-shake deal with Furniture Row Racing: #78-Furniture Row Racing has exceeded expectations this season, but it might have a tough time maintaining the continuity next year that has place Martin Truex Jr. second in the Sprint Cup points standings. The big unknown is whether Truex has priced himself out of FRR's range. Truex signed a two-year contract with owner Barney Visser's team in 2014 after Kurt Busch left FRR for Stewart-Haas Racing. His contract expires after the season. "Honestly, I wish my contract was longer before this year started," Truex said. "I have no plans of going anywhere without something crazy happening." Visser has every intention in keeping Truex, but he needs to find another main sponsor. Currently Visser self-sponsors FRR through his two companies, Furniture Row and Visser Precision, LLC. Truex said he has a handshake agreement with general manager Joe Garone that he will return. "I expect it won't be too far out," Truex said of an agreement. "There are some things that the team needs to figure out and get their ducks in a row before we nail down all the details." One option to generate more money to help keep Truex is switching manufacturers. FRR has been the owner of the black Chevrolet 78 car since its inception in 2005. Visser said there hasn't been any money coming from Chevy, and he doesn't see that changing anytime soon. Toyota offered incentives for Visser to make a switch in cars last season, and calls are likely to increase this offseason with FRR's success.(Denver Post)(7-2-2015)
Truex Jr. to make 350th career Sprint Cup start: The success that Martin Truex Jr. and Furniture Row Racing enjoyed in February at Daytona International Speedway to open the 2015 season turned out to be an omen for the single-car team. Truex and his #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevy sent an early message in the three races during Daytona Speedweeks. Truex finished second in the Sprint Unlimited and fifth in the 150-mile qualifying race, both non-points events. He ended Speedweeks with a strong eighth-place result in the Daytona 500. "Those three races during Speedweeks told us that we were on the right course of what we were working on at the end of 2014 and during the offseason," said Truex, who celebrated his 35th birthday on Monday (June 29). "Speedweeks also gave us a big confidence boost to start the season." Truex is off to his best start in the Sprint Cup Series. In the first 16 races he has one win (at Pocono), five top-fives, 14 top-10s and has led 486 laps. He has been second in driver points since finishing fifth at Talladega on May 3. The above performance numbers are a vast improvement for the New Jersey native, who had one top-five, five top-10s and led only one lap in last year's 36-race season. Truex will be looking for another Daytona bounce as he returns to the hallowed superspeedway for Sunday night's Coke Zero 400, which will mark his 350th career Sprint Cup start. He is coming off his worst finish of the season (42nd) after getting knocked off the track and into a tire wall by a fellow competitor at the Sonoma Raceway road course. The incident ended his day early -- on Lap 28 of 110 -- with severe front-end damage to his race car.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(7-2-2015)
Truex Jr.'s #78 car to Carry Special Logo at Daytona: Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Furniture Row Chevy will carry a special logo as part of NASCAR's Salute to Veterans at Daytona. The logo that will appear on the lower quarter panels of the #78 Chevy will be Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, who participated in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the War on Terror. For their distinguished service as allies of the United States, the Borinqueneers were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Barack Obama on June 14, 2014. "It is our honor to celebrate the heroic contributions of our friends from Puerto Rico for their acts of bravery and fight to preserve democracy," said Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser, a U.S. Army veteran, who served in Vietnam. "To receive the Congressional Gold Medal demonstrates the highest standard of heroism and patriotism that the Borinqueneers have exemplified throughout the history of the 65th Infantry Regiment."
The Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States Congress, has been awarded to minority veterans who served in segregated military units, including the Native American Navajo Wind Talkers, the Japanese American Nisei Soldiers, and the African American Tuskegee Airmen.
Rafael A. Fantauzzi, president and CEO of the National Puerto Rican Coalition stated the following about the Borinqueneers, "For their dedicated service in Korea alone, the Borinqueneers received 10 Distinguished Service crosses, 256 Silver Stars, 606 Bronze Stars and 2,771 Purple Hearts. These brave soldiers overcame the hurdles of segregation and prejudice while protecting our nation's interests and impacting American history and culture."(FRR). See an image of the logo on the car on the #78 Team Schemes page.(7-1-2015)
Truex Jr. comments on wreck at Sonoma: #78-Martin Truex Jr. was involved in an on-track accident on lap 29, when he got together with #55-David Ragan in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, Truex Jr.'s comments:
Q) YOU JUST MADE SOME ADJUSTMENTS TO MAKE THE CAR BETTER. WHAT HAPPENED?
Truex Jr.: "We were going to be okay. It's just a product of restarts here. When you are in mid-pack, it's not a good place to be. It's just really congested. We were a lot faster than a couple of guys around us. You're trying not to get run over. You've got to make moves. Every time I passed the No. 55 (David Ragan), he would just stay on the side of me and not give me three or four inches to get clear, so we can all kind of get going. After the fourth time of doing that, it's just, we both ran out of room and I guess he turned me on purpose. I ran into the side of him first, so I kind of had it coming. But that was an accident. I thought I gave him enough room there, coming out of the esses, and I felt like he probably just turned me on purpose where it happened and how it happened. But, it's just a product of the racing here and we'll go on and do our thing."
Q) HOW DID THAT DEVELOP?
Truex Jr.: "Just a Sonoma restart, mid-pack, just a lot of congestion. Cars being desperate trying to get some track position. We were just kind of in the wrong place at the wrong time. I kind of had the No. 55 (David Ragan) passed about four times and every time he just didn't really give an inch. I hit him down there in Turn 7 on accident and kind of doored him and I think he got pissed off and turned me on purpose. It's just unfortunate that happened, but that is part of the restarts here and part of the craziness that happens. You have to be up front. We had a decent car. We made some adjustments there and felt like it made a big improvement just didn't get to show it."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED OUT THERE?
Truex Jr.: "We got wrecked bottom line. Definitely a tough day. I felt like we had a decent car all weekend. We were off a little bit that first run, made some adjustments, felt like it helped. When you start around 20th on those restarts it is just a recipe for disaster. I was trying to be aggressive, made some moves. I had a couple of cars passed and then the lane I was in jammed up and the guys I had passed got back by me. You just get frustrated, you lose patience and I got into the No. 55 (David Ragan) doors a little bit in Turn 7 and I guess he didn't like it and he figured he would just dump me. He probably has one coming, but other than that it's just part of the restart deal. I hate that I got my guys car tore up."
Q) HOW AGGRESSIVE HAS THIS RACE BEEN FOR THE FIRST PART OF THE RACE?
Truex Jr.: "It was fine in the beginning. I started in a decent position. I didn't make contact with anyone. Got passed a few times, passed a few guys and you get back there in the 20's and some of those guys' heads come unscrewed. It is just the way it works here."(Team Chevy)(6-28-2015)
No second team for Furniture Row in 2016: Furniture Row Racing currently fields only the #78 Chevy of driver Martin Truex Jr. Speaking Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone indicated there's no rush to add a second team and that the earliest the Denver, Colorado-based organization would likely expand is 2017. "It's still not a priority for us," Garone said. "It kind of falls in getting sponsorship. So while we're working on getting additional sponsorship for the 78 car, we're also working on a second team, but it's really, in priorities, it's funding for the 78, support funding for the 78 and then a second program. So it's not a huge priority right now, especially with the way the 78 has performed this year, and then being in the Chase, we want to keep 100 percent focused on what's ahead of us here. We don't have to have a second team. I think long-term we certainly do, but it's got to come in the right steps." Garone revealed that the addition of a second team could even be three years away. "To add a second team looking at right now, it would be a '17 or an '18 deal, not a '16 deal, absolutely," he said. "It all depends on funding. If a Wells Fargo truck pulled up and dropped enough money, you could probably do it because you could overpower some of the challenges with money, with resources. But that isn't going to happen, so we've got to just lay it out ahead at least a year." As for re-signing Truex, who is in the second-year of a two-year contract with the organization, Garone corroborated his driver's comments from earlier this month that he expects to come to terms with the team on a new deal. "We're starting to get a little bit serious about it," Garone said. "We both have certainly said to each other, 'We want to race together and continue racing,' but we haven't actually sat down and said, 'What's it look like?' There's a timeline for that, and everything's going to be fine. We'll just take it as it comes. Again, we're trying to keep our focus on what we're doing week to week."(FoxSports)(6-28-2015)
Drivers with all their wins with different teams: When #78-Martin Truex Jr. won at Pocono for the #78 Furniture Row team, it was his third career win. The other two wins came with two different teams. Some other drivers who have won one race with separate teams/owners (3 or more wins):
Morgan Shepherd, four wins, four teams:
Martinsville, 4/26/1981, #5-Cliff Stewart
Atlanta, 3/16/1986, #47-Jack Beebe
Atlanta, 11/18/1990, #15-Bud Moore Engineering
Atlanta, 3/20/1993, #21-Wood Brothers Racing
Joe Nemechek, four wins, four teams:
Kansas, 10/10/2004, #01-MB2 Motorsports
Richmond, 5/3/2003, #25-Hendrick Motorsports
Rockingham, 11/4/2001, #33-Andy Petree Racing
New Hampshire, 9/19/1999, #42-SABCO (Felix Sabates)
Martin Truex Jr., three wins, three teams:(also, won all 3 races in the month of June)
Pocono, 6/7/2015, #78-Furniture Row Racing
Sonoma, 6/23/2013, #56-Michael Waltrip Racing
Dover, 6/4/2007, #1-Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Brian Vickers, three wins, three teams:
New Hampshire, 7/14/2013, #55-Michael Waltrip Racing
Michigan, 8/16/2009, #83-Red Bull Racing
Talladega, 10/8/2006, #25-Hendrick Motorsports
Bill Blair, three wins, three teams:
Vernon, 6/18/1950, #2-Sam Rice
Atlanta/Lakewood Speedway, 4/20/1952, #2-George Hutchens
Daytona Beach, 2/15/1953, #2-Bill Blair
(Checked stats at racing-reference.info)(6-17-2015)
14th Top-10 for Truex, Jr.: #78-Martin Truex Jr. charged to a third-place finish and in the process tied a 46-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup Series record. With the third-place result in Sunday's rain-shortened Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Truex became the first driver to score 14 top-10 finishes in the first 15 races since Richard Petty accomplished the feat in 1969. "Really proud to have my name mentioned next to Richard Petty," said Truex. "The King is pretty special and I am so thankful for my team and what they've done this year. Hopefully we'll keep this thing rolling." Truex narrowed the gap in the driver point standings. He remains second, 15 points behind leader Kevin Harvick.(Furniture Row Racing)(6-15-2015)
Truex, Jr interested in contract extension; team looking at manufacturers UPDATES: Martin Truex Jr. hopes that his success early this season, especially his win Sunday at Pocono Raceway, will spark discussions on a contract extension at Furniture Row Racing. Truex, in the second year of a two-year deal, and team general manager Joe Garone both said Wednesday that while they plan to get a new deal done, they have not talked about an extension because they have been so focused on racing. "We haven't really talked about it," Truex said about a possible contract extension Wednesday during a break in testing at Darlington Raceway. "You know, with the team that we're building, that we've built, I feel like this is the kind of situation that I've really looked for my whole career. ... I hope [the win sparks talks]. I'm ready to go, so we'll have to figure it all out and see what happens with it." Furniture Row appears ready to make sure he doesn't entertain any thoughts of moving and start those talks, especially now that the team has solidified a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. "We've been so busy focusing on what we're doing, we haven't talked about it yet ," Garone said in a phone interview Tuesday. "It's obvious things are working well, and it might be time to start talking about it."(ESPN.com)(6-11-2015)
UPDATE: After Sunday's win at Pocono Raceway, Furniture Row Racing wants to lock down its future with driver Martin Truex Jr. The team's manufacturer relationship seems hazier. In a Wednesday interview on Sirius Satellite Radio's NASCAR channel, #78 Chevy owner Barney Visser said the team would weigh its options in working on an extension with Truex, whose contract expires after this season. "We're looking for sponsorship," Visser told Sirius Speedway host Dave Moody. "We need to get some of that in place to negotiate the kind of contract (for Truex) that we'd both like to see. It may involve a change in manufacturer here. We're not sure. There just doesn't seem to be any money out of General Motors and probably never will be for us. So something's got to give. We'll see where it goes." Chevys comprise roughly half the 43-car field in every Sprint Cup race, and rival manufacturers Toyota and Ford have indicated a desire to expand their rosters. Toyota Racing Development builds engines for six cars but has the capacity to add two more. Furniture Row Racing has fielded Chevrolets exclusively since entering NASCAR's premier series part time in 2005, currently receiving chassis and engines from Richard Childress Racing since 2013. Furniture Row Racing had preliminary negotiations with Dodge three years ago before its exit from Sprint Cup.(NBC Sports)(6-11-2015)
UPDATE 2: For the second consecutive season, Toyota is trying to sign Furniture Row Racing, a team that's fielded Chevys since its inception in 2005. Sources in the Toyota camp confirmed to FOXSports.com that the automaker would like to sign Furniture Row to give it another championship-capable team to go along with Joe Gibbs Racing. The need for another contending Toyota team has increased over the past two seasons, with the fall off in performance of Michael Waltrip Racing, which has not won a race since mid-2013. Last year, Toyota offered Furniture Row incentives to make the change, but the team decided to stay with Chevy for 2015. Now, the push is on to sign Furniture Row to Toyota for 2016, sources have confirmed.(FoxSports)
AND: Chevy officials took note this week when team owner Barney Visser broached the subject of a possible manufacturer change for his Furniture Row Racing #78 team. "We don't want to lose them; we've been there with them in every stage of their business and we're very happy to see they are doing that great," Alba Colon, General Motors program manager for its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effort said Thursday. It would be disappointing if the relationship with Furniture Row came to an end, Colon said. "We have a good relationship with our teams; we don't want to lose any of our teams. But at the end of the day, outside of the personal side, business is business and manufacturers and teams make the decisions that they think are the best for their circumstances.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2015)
UPDATE 3: Toyota's United States racing boss confirmed that he is indeed interested in signing Furniture Row Racing for 2016, and is looking at some other NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams as well. "We would love to have the 78 team," David Wilson, the president and general manager of TRD, U.S.A., told FOXSports.com Saturday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. "Who wouldn't really, the way they're running right now? ... If you asked me, 'Would I like to have Furniture Row in the Toyota stable?' Absolutely. Love to. Martin Truex Jr., we go back. That would be a great story." Wilson said he wants to expand the number of contending Toyota teams in the Cup field beyond Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. "I'm always quality over quantity, but we're undersubscribed with quality Toyotas right now," said Wilson. "We've got our eyes open." Asked if Toyota would consider adding teams besides Furniture Row, Wilson said, "There's a couple other teams that are interesting to look at. I don't whether they're available. So many of these things have to do with timing."(FoxSports)(6-14-2015)
Truex, Jr. wins at Pocono: #78-Martin Truex, Jr. won the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Pocono and 3rd career win. It is his first win since Sonoma in 2013.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd, his 10th top 2 finish of the season. #48-Johnson was 3rd followed by #22-Logano, pole sitter #41-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #1-McMurray, #42-Larson, #18-Busch, and #11-Hamlin.
Harvick maintains the drivers points lead with 559, 39 points over #78-Truex, Jr.
There were 12 lead changes among 6 drivers. There were 8 cautions for 31 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 134.266mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, money won, laps led, cautions and more on the Unofficial Race Results page (pdf) and check out the Penalty Report (pdf) and Lap Summary Report (pdf).
See the Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf).(6-7-2015)
Colorado Freedom featured on the #78: the Colorado Freedom Memorial will be featured on the quarter panels of Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(Furniture Row Facebook), see an image of the decal on the #78 Team Schemes page.(5-23-2015)
A second team for Furniture Row Racing? #78-Furniture Row Racing is enjoying its most successful start to a season in the 10-year history of the organization. Martin Truex Jr. has piloted the #78 Chevy to 10 top-10 finishes in the first 11 races of the year, and sits second in driver standings. This has come with a single-car operation based in Denver, CO. However, Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone says that may change. "Long-term, we're constantly looking for sponsorships to come on the 78 with Furniture Row and also to start a second team down the road to help support the overall effort," Garone said. A single-car team for the entirety of its existence, Furniture Row Racing has finally started to see success under that setup. However, Garone believes if funding was found, there would be few reservations about expanding to a second car. "Being a single-car for so long and now feeling like we're getting it to work really well, you feel like now is the time to go ahead and look at bringing something else on," Garone said. "You feel like you don't have to go through all the learning processes that you go through building a single-car team; you've kind of gone through that. We look forward to going through that process. Again, it all comes down to raising the money," he said. Another key part of the equation would be finding a driver. Garone said the team is not that far along in the process and needs to focus on finding the funding before searching for drivers. "Generally in that process there are companies that have their eye on a driver and the team has an eye on a driver and you kind of combine that together," he said. "When that bridge is crossed, we'll figure it out then." With Barney Visser owning both the team and the sponsor, the organization has been able to field the #78 without an additional major primary sponsor, but Garone says doing that for a second driver would be a challenge.(FoxSports)(5-20-2015)
Furniture Row celebrates race team's 10th Top-10 with sale: When Furniture Row Racing driver #78-Martin Truex Jr. finished ninth in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway it marked his 10th top-10 result of the season. To celebrate the 10 top-10s in the race team's 10th anniversary in NASCAR, Furniture Row will offer a 10-percent discount on all furniture, accessories and mattresses at its four retail stores - Sofa Mart, Denver Mattress, Bedroom Expressions and Oak Express. The 10-percent sale will commence on Sunday May 10, 2015 and conclude one week later on Sunday May 17. Furniture Row is the owner and exclusive sponsor of the #78 Furniture Row Racing team.(Furniture Row Racing)(5-11-2015)
Three drivers start season with top-ten streaks UPDATES: #78-Martin Truex Jr.'s 7th place finish at Martinsville marked his sixth consecutive top-10 finish. That's the longest top-10 streak to open a season since Greg Biffle scored six top-10s to begin the 2010 campaign (finishing 6th in the standings). Truex isn't the only one though. Points leader #4-Kevin Harvick and #22-Joey Logano also have opened the season with six consecutive top-10s to open the season. The NASCAR record for most top-10 finishes to open a season is 10 set by Lee Petty in 1955 (finished 3rd in the standings) and James Hylton in 1972 (finished 3rd in the standings).(NBC Sports)
UPDATE: the record is actually held by Morgan Shepherd, who opened the 1990 season with 11 consecutive top-10 finishes in the #15 Motorcraft Ford owned by Hall of Famer Bud Moore. Shepherd finished with 16 top-10 finishes in 29 races during the 1990 season, finishing 5th in the Championship.(3-31-2015)
UPDATE 2: #4-Kevin Harvick, #22-Joey Logano, and #78-Martin Truex, Jr. all continued their top-10 streaks Saturday night at Texas. The streaks are the longest in each driver's career.
Logano has 2 previous streaks of 6 races -- Indianapolis to Atlanta in 2013 and Richmond to Charlotte in the fall of 2014.
Truex, Jr's previous streak is 5 races -- Bristol to Kansas in the spring of 2012.
Harvick has now finished in the top-10 in the last 10 races, starting at Texas last November. Previously he had top-10 streaks of 9 races -- Pocono to Kansas in 2008 and Darlington to New Hampshire in 2013.(4-13-2015)
Another top 10 for Truex, Jr.: A strong team effort propelled #78-Martin Truex Jr. and the Furniture Row Racing team to a sixth-place finish in Sunday's STP 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. It was the sixth straight top-eight finish to start the season for Truex, who set a career best of six consecutive top-10 results. He remains third in the driver point standings as the NASCAR circuit heads into an off weekend for Easter. The top-10 finish also surpassed the five top-10s that Truex posted in 2014, his first season with the single-car Furniture Row Racing team.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-30-2015)
Furniture Row Racing looking for sponsorship, ability to expand: Ever since its formation in 2005, Furniture Row Racing has been a self-sponsored team, with the name of owner Barney Visser's business on the fenders of the team's black #78 Chevy. But that could be about to change. In an exclusive interview with FOXSports.com, team General Manager Joe Garone said the team is actively looking for a primary sponsor for next year, with the eventual goal of becoming a multi-car team. "I think there's a misconception that we're sponsored and we're really not," Garone told FOXSports.com. "Our owner owns a company that sponsors the car, but we really would like to find a partner to come on board with us to be a part of the program. I think it will enhance our team and make it more competitive." Asked if Furniture Row wants to become a multi-car team, Garone said, "Ultimately, absolutely. We'd like to bring some sponsorship on the 78 car and then, obviously, full sponsorship on a second program." Garone said the Denver-based team would benefit from having a second car.(FoxSports)(3-23-2015)
Truex, Jr. ties last year's top 10s: #78-Martin Truex Jr. finished eighth at Auto Club Speedway Sunday. By scoring a fifth straight top-10 finish, Truex, Jr. equaled a career best for consecutive top 10s. The five top 10s to start the season equals the number of top 10s Truex had all of last year, his first season with Furniture Row Racing.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-23-2015)
Four consecutive Top-10s for Truex, Jr.: Four straight top-10 finishes by #78-Martin Truex Jr. is a Furniture Row Racing team record. The previous record of three straight top 10s for a Furniture Row Racing driver was set by Kurt Busch in 2012 and 2013.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-15-2015)
Engine issues with the #31 and #78 in Daytona practice: #31-Newman experienced an engine failure during the 2nd practice for the Daytona 500 on Saturday, some quotes from Newman:
THIS PRACTICE SESSION A LITTLE BIT OF WORK FOR YOUR GUYS:
Newman: "Something just happened in the bottom end of the motor going into Turn 3. Everything was going as planned until then. The Caterpillar Chevrolet tried to diesel on me and it doesn't like to diesel. We will change the motor, figure out what happened to this one and get ready for tonight with a different race car and qualifying tomorrow."
AND #78-Truex Jr.'s Furniture Row Chevy experienced a crack in the oil pan during the second NSCS practice session for the Daytona 500. The team will NOT change the engine.(Team Chevy)(2-14-2015)
Truex's girlfriend passes milestone in cancer recovery: #78-Martin Truex Jr. shared some welcome off-track news during Furniture Row Racing's media session on Thursday morning at the Charlotte Convention Center. Truex's girlfriend Sherry Pollex has been battling ovarian cancer and recently completed her last chemotherapy treatment. "We had a little celebration for her," Truex said. "She's feeling good, and it seems like every day she's getting more back to normal, and it's only been four days. So, hopefully, in the next couple weeks she's going to be back to her old self, running 180 miles an hour. It's been great to see. It's been a tough road, and obviously it's had its challenges. But, all in all, she did an amazing job. She's special. The way she was able to get through it-like no one had ever done before-was inspiring. It's going to make me work harder, that's for sure."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-30-2014)
Visser Precision Joins Furniture Row Racing as associate sponsor: Visser Precision, LLC, an advanced manufacturing solutions provider utilizing special alloys and proprietary manufacturing methods, joins Furniture Row Racing as an associate sponsor on the team's #78 Chevy, driven by Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Headquartered in a state-of-the-art facility in Denver, Colorado, Visser Precision started to manufacture its products in 2011 for industries ranging from aerospace and defense to luxury goods. Visser Precision operates with cutting-edge technologies in the areas of super alloys, precision machining, amorphous metal casting and 3D metal printing to help solve difficult engineering and manufacturing challenges. Visser Precision is owned by Barney Visser, a Vietnam veteran, who is also the owner of Furniture Row Racing. The company's president is Ryan Coniam, a former race engineer and crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
"This is an exciting move for not only our teammates at Visser Precision but also for our growing list of domestic and international clients," said Coniam. "Visser Precision with its advanced technologies shares many of the same attributes that you will find in the high-tech, competitive world of NASCAR. There is definitely some DNA between the two businesses and we are thrilled to be included with Furniture Row Racing."
Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing, said the Visser Precision name will be positioned on the roof of the #78 Chevy. "We welcome Visser Precision as our new associate sponsor," said Garone. "Visser Precision has a success story that is quite remarkable for such a young company. We are proud to be a partner on the car and in the race shop to help tackle the challenges of NASCAR's competitive sport." Visser precision joins Furniture Row's specialty stores -- Denver Mattress, Oak Express, Bedroom Expressions and Sofa Mart -- as associate sponsors.(FRR)(1-29-2015)
10th Anniversary in NASCAR for Furniture Row Racing: The 2015 season will be Furniture Row Racing's 10th anniversary in NASCAR. The single-car team based in the Mile High City of Denver began its NASCAR career in the Xfinity Series (formerly known as the Nationwide Series) with driver Jerry Robertson qualifying on March 26, 2005 at Nashville Superspeedway. The team's first Sprint Cup race was a few months later (June 5) with driver Kenny Wallace qualifying the #78 Chevrolet at Dover International Speedway. "It's hard to imagine that it has been 10 years," said owner Barney Visser, who defied skeptics by basing his team in Denver, Colorado, nearly 1400 miles from NASCAR's racing hub in Charlotte, N.C. "To be involved in NASCAR has been an exciting time for everyone involved with Furniture Row and Furniture Row Racing." Visser added, "We've enjoyed success over the years and also taken our lumps. But we remain committed as an organization to field a Chase-contending team on a weekly basis." Visser, who is also owner of Furniture Row, one of America's largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers with more than 330 stores in 31 states, took up auto racing as a driver after semi-retiring from his businesses. He competed at local events at Colorado National Speedway. His passion for motorsports and the marketing potential the sport provided eventually led Visser to NASCAR. Furniture Row Racing has competed in 290 NASCAR races since 2005 --19 in the Xfinity Series (2005 & 2006) and 271 in the premier Sprint Cup Series (2005 to present). Colorado native Jerry Robertson was the team's driver for all 19 Xfinity races and there were seven different drivers who drove the#78 in 271 Cup races -- Wallace (29), Robertson (1), Jimmy Spencer (2), Joe Nemechek (41), Regan Smith (120), Kurt Busch (42) and current driver Martin Truex Jr. (36). The only Sprint Cup team based west of the Carolinas, Furniture Row Racing has qualified for every scheduled Cup race the past five seasons.
Furniture Row's best season was 2013 when it made history by becoming the first single-car team to qualify for NASCAR's postseason Chase playoffs. Busch drove the #78 Chevy that season to 11 top fives, 16 top 10s and finished 10th in the final point standings. The team's first victory was scored by Smith in 2011 at Darlington. Nemechek notched the team's first pole in May 2008 at Talladega. The catalyst behind the growth of Furniture Row Racing since its inception has been the team's general manager Joe Garone, a Denver native, who previously worked as a crewmember in NASCAR and later worked directly for NASCAR at its Research and Development Center in Charlotte. He also served as NASCAR's director of officiating. "To personally see how we've developed over the years has been very gratifying," said Garone. "It all starts at the top and Barney has given us the resources to compete at a contending level. By being based in Denver we had some early logistics to work out. But we figured it out fairly quickly, and right now we're a smoothly run race team, which has been strengthened for the 2015 season."(FRR)(1-29-2015)
Jack Men changes so far in 2015 season: There are a lot of teams making moves in the off season and the Jack Man position seems to be one that is getting a lot of attention. Below is a list of changes for 2015 with more to come.
#5 of HMS replaces Jack Man Trey Burklin with long time HMS Jack Man Eric Ludwig
#9 of RPM replaces Kevin Wing with Gabe Martin from the #10 team
#10 of SHR-We arn't sure about this but we heard Tony Cardamone will be replacing Gabe Martin who is now at the #9
#18 of JGR replacing retired Jeff Fender with David Odell from the #78
#19 of JGR has hired Trey Burklin from the #5
#27 of RCR replacing Carey Wimbish with Sam Abney
#42 of GR is replacing long time Jack Man Mark Jacobs with Mark Janssen
#43 of RPM is replacing Mike Brown with T.J. Ford from the #48
#78 of Furniture Row is replacing David Odell-who left for the #18- with Carey Wimbish from the #27.(Pit Talks)(1-6-2015)
Todd Berrier joins Joe Gibbs Racing: Todd Berrier has joined Joe Gibbs Racing. The veteran crew chief started his new job on Monday and is expected to transition into Jimmy Makar's role. Makar, who has been with JGR since its inception in 1992 as Dale Jarrett's crew chief, is currently the senior vice president of racing operations. JGR president J.D. Gibbs confirmed Berrier's hiring on Thursday but was not certain of his title. Berrier was most recently the crew chief for Furniture Row Racing and the #78 Chevy but transitioned out of his role over the last year. Berrier honed his crew chief skills at Richard Childress Racing starting with truck in 1997. He led Kevin Harvick to the Nationwide Series title in 2001 before graduating to Cup full-time in 2002. Berrier has four Chase appearances, eight Cup wins, six Nationwide Series wins and four truck victories.(Motorsport)(12-5-2014)
Furniture Row Racing Announces New Crew Chief: Furniture Row Racing announced that Cole Pearn has been promoted from lead race engineer to crew chief of the #78 Chevy driven by Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Pearn, 32, replaces Todd Berrier, who has been offered a key position to remain at Furniture Row Racing. Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing's general manager, said the team has also made new hires to strengthen the engineering staff. "In an effort to continue to move the team forward we feel the personnel changes and new additions will yield positive results on the race track," said Garone. "Cole has played a vital role in our growth. The well-rounded skill sets that be brings to the table in his new position as crew chief will he instrumental in our commitment to once again become a Chase participant. As a former racer and an experienced engineer, Cole has a thorough understanding of what it takes to bring us to that level." Pearn initially joined Furniture Row Racing from Richard Childress Racing at the start of the 2010 season. He led Furniture Row's race-engineering staff through mid-year of 2011. He returned to the Denver-based team as the lead race engineer in the middle of 2012. "I am looking forward with a great deal of enthusiasm to continue our work in progress at Furniture Row Racing," said Pearn. "The ownership is 100 percent committed of fielding a competitive team on a weekly basis. We have the resources to be a Chase contender." A native of London, Ontario, Pearn competed as a racer in what is now known as the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. He also raced late models and was a three-time Canadian national go-kart champion. Pearn is a mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.(FRR)(12-3-2014)
Teams showing support for Pollex at NHMS: NASCAR teams are showing their support for Sherry Pollex this weekend, as #78-Martin Truex Jr.'s longtime girlfriend continues her fight with ovarian cancer. A number of cars at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will feature a teal ribbon with Pollex's name. Teal is the official color of ovarian cancer awareness. #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is also breaking out his teal racing gloves again. Junior wore a pair last week at Chicagoland Speedway that are currently up for auction on eBay. All proceeds will be donated to an ovarian cancer research charity of Pollex's choice.(FoxSports)(9-20-2014)
Truex, Jr to miss practice and qualifying at Michigan: #78-Martin Truex Jr. will miss Friday's practice and qualifying sessions at Michigan International Speedway. Recently, Sherry Pollex, Martin's longtime partner and girlfriend was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Sherry and Martin would like to thank the NASCAR community for all the well wishes. They have requested that everyone respect the family's privacy as Sherry begins her treatment and recovery. Matt Crafton, reigning Camping World Truck Series champion, will sub for Truex on Friday. Truex will join his Furniture Row Racing team Saturday and compete in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race. Sherry's passion in life is fighting pediatric cancer. To learn more about Sherry's work with children, go to www.martintruexjrfoundation.org. "Everyone at Furniture Row Racing extends their thoughts and prayers to Sherry during her treatment and recovery period," said Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing General Manager. "She is a devoted supporter of our race team and we can't wait for her return to the track."(Furniture Row Racing)(8-13-2014)
Martin Truex Jr signs deal to upgrade his Hawker business jet: #78-Martin Truex has signed an order for an upgrade package for his Hawker 400XPR business jet. Delivery is expected to take place in the first half of this year, Beechcraft said. The upgrade package includes winglets, new Williams International engines, a refurbished interior and new exterior paint, aimed to improve performance, operating costs and resale value, Beechcraft said. "I have evaluated many aircraft that have the speed and efficiency to get me to 36 NASCAR events annually," Truex said in a statement. The range, cabin volume, operating costs and support expected from an aircraft partner led him to choose the jet, he said. "The overall value proposition of this aircraft made this a very simple decision for our team," Truex said.(Wichita Eagle)(2-22-2014)
Truex Jr. introduced as #78 driver, but on vacation: Officials from Furniture Row Racing participated in the mid-afternoon session of the 32nd annual NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway. Martin Truex Jr. takes over driving duties of the #78 Furniture Row Chevy for the 2014 season. Furniture Row Racing is located in Denver, Colo., and is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team headquartered west of the Mississippi. The team is also the only single-car team to earn a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup (2013). "I think every team in the garage area, especially with the new format that's coming out, everybody wants to be in that Chase and everybody wants to race for a championship," said Truex Jr. "At the end of the day we all talk about it. That's what we're here for is to race for a championship." Truex Jr. said he's learned a lot about his new team over the off-season that gives him a lot of enthusiasm heading into 2014. "I think that the coolest thing about this team is they're such a close, tight-knit group of guys and they've come so far as a race team," he said. "I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to being a part of that and trying to help 'em grow to that next level."(CMS Notes)
AND A scheduling snafu had Martin Truex Jr. planning to be on his annual family vacation at the same time Furniture Row Racing expected him to participate in NASCAR's annual media tour. Truex solved the problem Tuesday by using Skype to participate in his new team's news conference. It made for one of the more entertaining moments in the 32 years of Charlotte Motor Speedway's tour as a grinning Truex answered questions from a postcard-like scene in Anguilla. Everyone else was hunkered down in the Charlotte Convention Center awaiting a rare Southern snowstorm. He told his viewers: "It's not snowing and I'm pretty damn happy." Almost on cue, someone's arm appeared in the corner of the screen and handed Truex a tropical drink.(Associated Press)(1-29-2014)
Furniture Row hires Truex, Jr's pit crew as well:
Joe Garone of Furniture Row said Friday that the team has hired Martin Truex, Jr's pit crew from Michael Waltrip Racing to pit the team in 2014:
IS THE RCR ALLIANCE A MULTI-YEAR THING OR AN INDIVIDUAL YEAR-BY-YEAR? THE TEAM ITSELF, YOU MADE SOME CHANGES AROUND DOVER, CREW MEMBERS, ETC. WHAT KINDS OF THINGS ARE YOU DOING TO STRENGTHEN THE TEAM FOR NEXT YEAR?
Joe Garone, General Manager of Furniture Row Racing: "It is a continual process. Our RCR deal is that we do them year-to-year, and that has been a strong program. Richard (Childress) made a commitment to make sure that that program ran as a complete open-book type of relationship, and they have stood by that. It is certainly something that we utilize. But, as Martin said earlier, one of the big advantages that we have as a single-car team with that type of alliance, is our ability to move quick. We are real agile, and focus out in Colorado is 100% is about what we are doing in that shop with a staff of about 60 people, and that makes it really strong. The RCR deal is real important. As far as personnel goes, we've had some struggles, it's not a secret, on pit road. We have been working hard to overcome that. Our pit crew didn't grow as fast as the performance of the car did last year. We've been able to secure Martin's pit crew; actually bring them on-board in full-time positions for 2014. I think that is going to really help that part of our program."(Chevy PR)(11-2-2013)
Truex, Furniture Row still finalizing deal UPDATES: When is a deal with terms acceptable to all parties not quite a done deal? When the parties involved have accepted those terms, but haven't yet put pen to paper to confirm those acceptable terms. Other than that small detail, it's a done deal and in this case, everyone knows it. That's the situation at Furniture Row Racing, the home of Martin Truex Jr. after this NASCAR season. According to knowledgeable sources close to and inside the Denver, Colo.-based Sprint-Cup company, Truex and team owner Barney Visser have agreed to terms. They just haven't gotten around to signing the contract to make it official. Thus the delay in formally announcing what everyone knows is eventually coming. Broadcasters and bloggers have reported for weeks that Truex is going to Furniture Row and the announcement will be made ... well, any day now. Last weekend, at Martinsville Speedway, team general manager Joe Garone said most of the details are done and acceptable to everyone. But he added that Truex has one small detail to clear up before moving forward. "I don't know where people are getting their information," Garone said. "Yes, we've agreed to terms, but we just haven't signed anything yet. The timing isn't a big priority because we know it's going to happen. It might even get done by the end of next week [when the tour is in Fort Worth]."(Autoweek)(10-29-2013)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing has scheduled a "major team announcement" Friday at 11:00am/et at Texas Motor Speedway.(10-31-2013)
UPDATE 2: Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone announced that the Denver, Colo.-based organization has entered into a multiyear agreement with Martin Truex Jr. to drive the team's #78 Chevy, beginning with the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season. "We couldn't be happier to have landed one of the top drivers in NASCAR," said Garone. "Martin's talents - both on and off the track -- have been well documented and everyone at Furniture Row Racing feels that he is an excellent fit to continue the success that we have enjoyed this season."
"Furniture Row Racing has been high on my radar," said Truex. "The team has done a great job this year. It's a talented organization and it has been impressive to see what they've accomplished over the past few seasons. What influenced my decision is team owner Barney Visser and that the team really wants me as its driver. Everything else is important, but I really felt like Furniture Row Racing genuinely wanted me to drive for them."(Furniture Row Racing)
AND Michael Waltrip Racing congratulates Martin on his announcement today. We are very happy to see him in a competitive ride next year and appreciate the professionalism everyone showed throughout this entire process.(MWR)(11-1-2013)
Truex looking at 2014 options UPDATE #78 Team: Martin Truex, Jr. has confirmed that he will not return to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2014. "I gave (Michael Waltrip) time to try and work it out and we tried to work it out together," said Truex. "But it's hard to put stuff together at this point of the year. So it's time now for me to figure out what I'm going to do, and figure it out quickly. I'm running out of time." Asked about speculation that he is the heir-apparent to Kurt Busch at Furniture Row Racing next season, Truex insisted, "there is nothing to talk about yet. They've done a great job this year and I'm interested in their program. They're definitely on my radar, but we'll just have to see where it goes." Truex said he has not made any inquiries about returning to the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage, where is a two-time champion, but did not rule out doing so in the future. "I've always loved the Nationwide Series and the time I was able to run there - even part-time while running Sprint Cup at DEI and MWR - was a lot of fun. It's something that I've missed in the past few seasons, and I'd be interested in going back there on a part-time basis (in addition to a full-time Sprint Cup ride)."
Truex admitted that the last few weeks have been among the most difficult of his career. It's been tough here lately, but we'll go back after them this weekend," he said. "All you can do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go back and try again. We've had a rough go of it lately, but it could always be worse. Hopefully, out of all this bad stuff that has happened, something good will develop."(Godfather Motorsports)(10-16-2013)
UPDATE: Martin Truex Jr. has agreed to drive the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in 2014. Sources say the parties came to terms on Wednesday night. A formal announcement is expected next Tuesday. In his eighth year as a full-time Sprint Cup driver, Truex has spent the past four seasons driving the #56 NAPA Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. However, MWR's manipulation of the outcome of the Sept. 7 race at Richmond International Raceway and subsequent sanctions from NASCAR resulted in Truex's disqualification from the Chase for the Sprint Cup and NAPA's decision to part ways with the organization at the end of the season.(A HREF="http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/martin-truex-jr-agrees-join-furniture-row-racing-team-2014-leaves-michael-waltrip-racing-101613">Fox Sports)(10-17-2013)
Truex Jr. to Furniture Row? A spokesman for the Barney Visser-Todd Berrier Chevy [#78 Furniture Row Racing] operation says the team is "very hopeful" of signing Martin Truex Jr. to a contract for 2014. Truex was victim of the Richmond (MWR) controversy, first making the championship playoffs in a hard stretch charge...only to be bounced out of the chase and replaced by #24-Jeff Gordon, in the wake of the #15-Clint Bowyer/#55-Brian Vickers flap. Not only did Truex get booted from the playoffs for no fault of his own, his sponsor NAPA is pulling the plug at the end of the season over the controversy. That has many Waltrip people quite worried about their own jobs for next season.(MikeMulhern.net)(10-12-2013)
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