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, 100th Anniversary
Martinsville - 10/30
Races  that Tanger Outlets is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
Richmond - 9/10
Races  that 5-Hour Energy Racing is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Contract Status: Driver: 2018; Primary Sponsor: Furniture Row = owner, Bass Pro Shops 2018, Auto-Owners Insurance 2016?; Manufacturer: 2017?
Truex and Harvick ok after Chicago contact: #78-Martin Truex Jr. said he and #4-Kevin Harvick have cleared the air following contact during last week's race at Chicagoland Speedway. At one point in the opener for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Harvick door-slammed Truex and caused a tire rub on the #78 car. But Truex went on to win the race, so it ultimately didn't have an impact. At the time, Truex said he was certain Harvick initiated the contact on purpose and was trying to damage Truex's fast car. But on Friday, Truex said the drivers spoke this week and no longer have any problems. "We're fine; we're good to go," Truex said. "We just talked about what our perspectives were on it and agreed it's over, it's done with, we'll move on and race like we always have. We've raced very hard but always clean. So we agreed it was a racing deal and we'll move forward." Truex said he was angry with Harvick at the time and didn't realize Harvick also was mad. What did Harvick have to be upset about? "I guess he thought I ran into him," Truex said.(USA Today)(9-24-2016)
No penalties for Truex, Johnson; NASCAR to increase tolerances in post-race inspection: NASCAR has decided to increase the tolerances for postrace measurements, eliminating all lower-tier penalties and only issuing a penalty if it reaches the point where suspensions would be issued and a win would not be allowed to count toward advancement in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The decision is retroactive to the race last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, meaning that race winner Martin Truex Jr. and 12th-place finisher Jimmie Johnson will not be penalized for being outside the rear alignment tolerances by a minimal amount. Without a penalty, Johnson remains eighth in points. With the 10-point penalty he would have received, Johnson would have fallen into a tie for 12th in the standings. NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O'Donnell said the decision was made so that all penalties are equitable. Under the previous structure, Truex virtually would have no penalty because he won the race to automatically qualify for the next round of the Chase while Johnson would have had a major 10-point penalty that could have put his ability to advance to the next round in jeopardy. "We recognized if we were to apply those penalties as we listed them out for the event, those penalties would not have the same impact on the competitors based on the Chase format and the increased emphasis on win bonuses [to advance]," O'Donnell said. "If you look back as to why we created the deterrent system we put in place to insure that we had a level playing field for all 40 cars that were competing in the event and in this case, if we applied those penalties, the postrace penalty would not really treat each competitor fairly." O'Donnell said he feels the industry believes the Truex and Johnson infractions were minor in nature. All of the cars passed inspection prerace, and teams design the cars to bend and adjust at race speed and loads in the turns. O'Donnell also announced that every Chase car would go through the postrace measurement inspection station. Previously, it was the top-five and select others. If a car does fail postrace measurements at the standard NASCAR set last week as its most egregious violation, it would be a 35-point penalty, a three-race suspension for the crew chief and a $65,000 fine for the crew chief. If the car had won, the driver would not be allowed to use the win to advance to the next round of the Chase. A win is worth 44 or 45 points, depending on whether a driver leads the most laps.(ESPN.com(9-21-2016)
Truex took less money to stay with Furniture Row: It's been the best season of Martin Truex Jr.'s career, as his victory in Sunday's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway was his third win of 2016. Without question, Truex knows that his move to Furniture Row Racing in 2014 was a great decision. And team owner Barney Visser said Sunday evening that Truex was such a team player that he actually took less money to stay with Furniture Row. "He drove for a little bit less this year than I think a lot of the drivers in his class have, and he did it because he wanted to be here," said Visser, the founder and owner of the Denver-based team. "I can't thank him enough for all that." Truex confirmed that he had taken less money to stay with Furniture Row, which Visser has largely funded on his own since starting the team in 2005. "Barney has put a lot into his race team over the years, obviously," said Truex. "Seeing Furniture Row on that race car each and every year, that's Barney's race car and Barney is the one funding it. He had to change some things in the way he was running his race team." And that led to a discussion between the driver and the owner. "He (Visser) asked me if I would kind of not take the hit, but be the one that took a little bit of a hit for the team to make sure we could keep the competition up and make sure we could continue to get the things we needed to be competitive and win races and hopefully go after a championship," said Truex.(Fox Sports)(9-20-2016)
Truex, Johnson fail post-race inspection UPDATES: The race-winning car of #78-Martin Truex Jr. and the 12th-place car of #48-Jimmie Johnson failed postrace measurements. They were at the lowest levels so Truex will be able to use the win to advance to the second round of the Chase.(ESPN.com)(9-18-2016)
UPDATE: NASCAR announced that the cars' rear-alignment measurement failures were at minimal levels, meaning that Truex will be able to use his victory Sunday to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR reviews any extenuating circumstances and will announce any penalties this week, likely Wednesday. Johnson faces a potential 10-point penalty, which could drop him from eighth in the standings to a three-way tie for 12th with Austin Dillon and Kevin Harvick. The Chase field of 16 gets cut to 12 after two more races, with the winners automatically advancing and the four worst drivers in points eliminated. Johnson crew chief Chad Knaus also faces a potential $15,000 fine. Truex could face a 15-point penalty, with crew chief Cole Pearn being fined $22,500 because this is their second such violation in two weeks, which increases the penalties by 50 percent.(ESPN.com)
AND: Kickin' the Tires was in the garage when the Truex's car went through post-race inspection and spoke with Pearn about the forthcoming penalty. "The right rear was way safe, we were conservative, you know, just trying not to cause any trouble but I don't know, the left rear was the one showing in for whatever reason, showing too much," Pearn said. "Yeah, it's a bummer. It's like .01 (degrees) over - barely nothing but it's still over. It's sure stressful passing that thing right now, I know that. We got nailed in the left rear, I mean, the left rear is all crinkled in and it's the one showing in but that doesn't matter, that's the rules. If it's over it's over. It's a bummer, it will be a P2 or whatever, especially since we got one last week, so it's not really a good deal." A NASCAR official was seen looking at and taking photos of Truex's tires in the garage as the car was going through inspection and it was obvious one of them had worn so much that the cords were showing. Pearn said he believed that was caused by Truex getting hit by another car during the race, which may have played a factor in the car being out of spec.(Kickin The Tires)
AND: #16-Greg Biffle and #43-Aric Almirola's cars were missing a single lug nut on each car. Almirola's missing lug nut was because of a broken right front stud. Their crew chiefs face a potential fine of $10,000. Crew chiefs are only suspended now if there are more than 3 lug nuts missing.(9-19-2016)
UPDATE 2: Statement from Furniture Row Racing: "The right rear of our car was well within the tolerance margin, which showed that we were trying to be conservative. However, the left rear wheel alignment was off by approximately ten- thousandths of an inch, which in high probability was due to damage in that area as a result of being hit by the No. 4 car. We believe the laser inspection numbers were correct and accept NASCAR's decision that was made following Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway."(Furniture Row Racing)(9-19-2016)
Truex, Jr. wins at Chicago: #78-Martin Truex, Jr. won the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway for his 3rd win of the season, 1st win at Chicago and 6th career win. Truex, Jr. led 32 of the 270 laps. He lead early in the race, but had to pit under green for a tire going down. He spent much of the race a lap down before getting the free pass under the second caution. A late race caution brought most of the leaders down pit road where he got out of the pits ahead of #24-Chase Elliott, who had been leading the race.
Truex, Jr. now earns a spot in the Chase Round of 12 that begins at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
#22-Logano finished 2nd followed by #24-Elliott, #21-Blaney, #2-Keselowski, #11-Hamlin, #5-Kahne, pole sitter #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, and #88-Bowman.
#48-Johnson led the most laps on the day - 118 - but was caught speeding on pit road under green flag pit stops. He finished 12th. There were 17 lead changes among 9 drivers and 4 cautions for 22 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 145.161mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
Unofficial Drivers Points Standings (pdf).
Unofficial Owners Points Standings (pdf).
Richmond penalties/warnings announced: NASCAR has announced penalties and warnings following the Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on September 10, 2016.
#78-Truex, Jr was issued a P2 penalty for violation of Sections 12.1; 22.214.171.124.2 (Failed the post-race Laser Inspection Station (LIS) measurements.) Crew chief Cole Pearn has been fined $15,000; team has been assessed with the loss of 10 championship owner and 10 championship driver points (pre-Chase points reset)
#7-Smith (1) Failed LIS three times in pre-qualifying inspection. Given a written Warning and loss of 15 minutes practice time.
#16-Biffle (2), #18-Busch (1), #22-Logano (0; penalty served in Richmond), #78-Truex, Jr. (0; penalty served in Richmond) Failed LIS twice in pre-qualifying inspection. Given written warnings.
() -- total current warnings.
See the Richmond Post-Event Penalty & Warning Report (pdf) for more.(9-14-2016)
Truex, Jr. fails post-race inspection: NASCAR announced that #78-Martin Truex Jr.'s third-place car failed the Laser Inspection Station after Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway. Any penalty to Truex would not impact his points entering the Chase since it is considered to occur before the points are reset. NASCAR announced after Saturday's race that the cars of winner Denny Hamlin, Larson, Kasey Kahne and Greg Biffle will go back to the R&D Center for regular post-race inspection there.(NBC Sports)(9-11-2016)
Truex, Jr. wins at Darlington: #78-Martin Truex, Jr. won the Bojangles' Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for his 2nd win of the season, 1st win at Darlington and 5th career win. Truex led 28 of the 367 laps.
Pole sitter #4-Harvick finished 2nd followed by #42-Larson, #11-Hamlin, #22-Logano, #20-Kenseth, #5-Kahne, #31-Newman, #2-Keselowski, and #24-Elliott.
Harvick dominated much of the race, leading 214 laps on the night, but an airgun broke on a late pit stop and dropped him to 12th place. He was never able to regain the lead.
#34-Chris Buescher remains 30th in points, 11 points ahead of 31st. He must be 30th in points after next week's race to secure a spot in the Chase.
#24-Elliott, #3-Dillon, and #1-McMurray remain in position to get into the Chase on points. #31-Newman is the first driver out, 7 points behind McMurray.
There were 14 lead changes among 8 drivers and 10 cautions for 52 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 126.437 mph.
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
Unofficial Drivers Points Standings page (pdf) and
Unofficial Owners Points Standings page (pdf) (9-4-2016)
Tanger Outlets to make NASCAR Debut with Sponsorship on the #78: Tanger Outlets will be the primary sponsor on Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Saturday night Sept. 10 at Richmond International Raceway. The red, black and gray paint scheme that will be adorned on Truex's Tanger Outlets Toyota Camry will be showcased at NASCAR's final Sprint Cup Series race before the 10-race Chase playoffs begin. The sponsorship will be the first NASCAR involvement for Tanger Outlets. Headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., Tanger Factory Outlet Centers operates and owns, or has ownership interest, in 43 upscale outlet shopping centers located coast to coast in 21 states and Canada. More than 185 million shoppers visit the Tanger Outlet Centers annually.
"Tanger Outlets is known for its competitive spirit and partnerships with winning brands," said Steven B. Tanger, president and chief operating officer of Tanger Outlets. "The Furniture Row Racing team sponsorship allows us to team up with another best in class NASCAR brand and support Martin Truex Jr.'s efforts to reach Richmond's Victory Lane."
Truex, who already has clinched a Chase berth, said he is proud to be the first NASCAR driver with the Tanger Outlet sponsorship. "I take a great deal of pride that Tanger Outlets has chosen our Furniture Row Racing team for its first sponsorship venture in NASCAR," said Truex. "It's an honor to have a successful, high profile company be part of our team. The Tanger Outlets company has been a winning business story for decades and having its name on our car will give us even more incentive to get to Richmond's Victory Lane."(FRR), see images of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page (8-25-2016)
Lure of fishing draws Truex to Milliken State Park and Harbor: As an avid fisherman, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry, enjoys anytime he can put a fishing line in the water. On Wednesday (Aug 17th), the fisherman side of Truex was able to appreciate the day along the Detroit River. He was in downtown Detroit at Milliken State Park and Harbor to promote fishing in the state of Michigan and the upcoming Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 28. "I love fishing here," Truex said. "I am actually going to spend the whole week next week in Michigan just fishing for vacation. I love to fish. I love to fish in Michigan as well." Truex was immediately impressed by the scenic view along the Detroit River and could not wait to start fishing. But first he had to put his fishing pole down and talk to the media. Then it was finally time to fish and start the fun. He cast his line with Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley to see who could catch the biggest fish. Soon fans started to arrive to enjoy a beautiful day along the Detroit River fishing. Truex spent the afternoon talking lures, tackle and fishing experiences with the fans. He even took the fish off the hook when fans caught one. Truex is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys spending his free time with a fishing pole in hand. In fact, he often spends extended time in Michigan for both NASCAR Sprint Cup races at MIS to fish in any of the lakes in the state. But don't ask him about his favorite fishing locale. He keeps those private so he can get the biggest catch. Michigan is home to world-class freshwater fishing with 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,000 inland lakes, and tens of thousands of miles and rivers and streams. With low licensing fees and a large variety of species to choose from, the fish are always biting in Pure Michigan. Visit www.michigan.org/fishing to learn more. Pure Michigan 400 tickets are on sale at www.MISpeedway.com and 800-354-1010.(MIS)(8-19-2016)
Sherry Pollex announces she's a two-year cancer survivor: Sherry Pollex announced Monday evening that she's reached the two-year mark in her recovery from ovarian cancer. Pollex and longtime boyfriend #78-Martin Truex Jr. were the focus of one of the best moments of the 2016 in May, when the duo shared an emotional Victory Lane at Charlotte Motor Speedway after the Sprint Cup Series driver walloped the Coca-Cola 600 field, leading 392 of 400 laps for the win.(NASCAR.com)(8-17-2016)
#78 to showcase retro look at Darlington to honor Auto-Owners Insurance 100th Anniversary: The timing of being the primary sponsor on Martin Truex's #78 Toyota for the Bojangles' Southern 500 throwback weekend Sept. 2-4 at Darlington Raceway offered a unique opportunity for Auto-Owners Insurance, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. In the spirit of the throwback concept, Auto-Owners Insurance has opted for a retro look on Truex's race car that will pay tribute to the company's centennial milestone. The Lansing-Mich.-based company, which has been a staple in local communities since it was founded in 1916, is one of the nation's largest insurers. "We love the retro theme of the Darlington race and how it celebrates NASCAR's history," said Mary Pierce, Auto-Owners senior vice president of marketing and sales. "Auto-Owners really wanted to be part of this race as we celebrate our 100th year in business." Truex will also wear a special firesuit at the Darlington race, honoring independent insurance agents and the typical agent attire from back in 1916. "Darlington has just become an even more exciting race for our Furniture Row Racing team by having the retro Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme on our Toyota Camry and also my fire suit," said Truex, who has already clinched a 2016 Chase playoff berth. "Auto-Owners has put a lot of creative thought in activating its primary sponsorship and we would like nothing more than to reward the 100-year-old company with a victory at one of NASCAR's most celebrated tracks." The Auto-Owners paint scheme and firesuit for the Darlington Raceway weekend is part of a larger company promotion called Fast, Friendly, Local. "Fast, Friendly, Local exemplifies the way Auto-Owners and our independent agents serve our customers," said Pierce. "In 1916 you had to walk into an insurance agency to buy insurance. Now, you can use modern technology to contact your independent Auto-Owners agent, but at the end of the day you are still buying insurance from an expert who lives in your community. That experience is part of the outstanding service Auto-Owners wants to deliver to our customers."(Furniture Row Racing PR), see image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page (8-16-2016)
Truex Jr. and Keselowski comment on last lap incident at Watkins Glen: on the final turn of the final lap of the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, with #78-Martin Truex Jr. pressuring eventual race winner #11-Denny Hamlin and #2-Brad Keselowski third, contact from Keselowski's #2 Ford sent Truex's #78 Toyota spinning. #22-Joey Logano took advantage of the melee to finish second ahead of Keselowski. Truex finished seventh. Quotes by Truex Jr. and Keselowski:
Q) What are your thoughts on the last lap of the race and what happened with Brad Keselowski?
Truex Jr,: "Yeah, definitely unfortunate. I wish we could've seen what would've happened when we got to the start finish line. I felt like I maybe had the 11 (Denny Hamlin) squared up a little bit off (turn) 11 and maybe could've drag raced him to the line but it'd have been fun to see but it was all not to be with getting hit in the left rear. It's unfortunate, but hard racing at the end, all of us going for a win and all of us locked in the Chase it's - I guess he (Brad Keselowski) kind of races with that mentality that hey, it doesn't really matter where we finish or if we finish so just have to be mindful of that when we're around him for the rest of the time. All in all a good day for us. We had a good race car. Had a battle all day long to get from 14th to the front and got a shot at winning at the end. That's all you can ask for."(Toyota Racing)
WALK US THROUGH THE FINAL COUPLE OF CORNERS THERE COMING TO THE CHECKERED FLAG:
Keselowski: "I thought we had a really good Miller Lite Ford Fusion and got pushed back on a couple of the restarts. I was trying to sort my way back to the front and just couldn't quite get there at the end. I got right up to the bumper of the 78 and couldn't do anything there and he made a move to get by the 11 on the inside and the 11 blocked him. I went high and the 78 went high and by then I was already deep in the corner and got into him and turned him. That was really unfortunate and the last thing I wanted to see. This track here, when you drive into the corner, you commit and sometimes you don't know what will happen when you commit. The last thing I wanted to do was turn him. I am proud of my guys for a really fast race car and it was another crazy Watkins Glen day."
YOUR TAKE ON THE CONTACT WITH TRUEX COMING OFF THE FINAL CORNER:
Keselowski: "Yeah, it was obviously my fault when you run into the back of somebody. I saw the 11 was blocking low and thought the 78 would get in behind and rub up the 11 and I wanted to be outside to make a cross-over and see if I couldn't get both. At the last minute he came back up and I was already committed. I didn't think he would come back up. You make a commitment before you know what is going to happen and I made a commitment and it didn't work out. He got the bad end of it. I hit him from behind and that is my fault. Luckily with the way this Chase is, he probably won't want to hear it, but it doesn't hurt him too bad."(Ford Performance)(8-9-2016)
Second Furniture Row team next year with Erik Jones UPDATE OFFICIAL: Fox Sports' Kaitlyn Vincie reported on NASCAR Race Day Sunday morning that Furniture Row Racing is close to adding a second team next year. She says she spoke with Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone and he said the pieces were coming together but nothing is confirmed. Regarding speculation that Erik Jones would be the driver, he said Jones would be a good fit for the team but nothing is finalized. The second team would be headquartered in Denver, Colorado with the #78 team of Martin Truex, Jr.(7-31-2016)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing's alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing continues to bear fruit. An announcement planned Tuesday is expected to bring the small NASCAR team to a new level. Erik Jones could be part of the news. Reports surfaced Sunday that Jones might be getting the second Furniture Row full-time car. This season is Furniture Row's first as a Toyota team, leaving Chevy for technical assistance from Gibbs. Week after week, Truex showed himself to be a competitor as a de facto fifth Gibbs driver. No other alliance has been so successful in Cup racing. Jones is ready for Sprint Cup. Just 20 and boyish of face, he won the Truck Series championship last season. He won his third Xfinity race of the season on Saturday at Iowa. His victory total this season might be higher had Kyle Busch not stepped down to win seven times. Sunday, a second Furniture Row car was still a rumor. So was the selection of Jones. Suarez also is an option. Another question to be answered: Will the second FRR car carry a charter or race each week without one? Expect that to be decided in the offseason.(Sporting News)
UPDATE2: nothing was announced on Tuesday, August 2nd, no word when/if an announcement will be made.(8-2-2016)
UPDATE3: NASCAR Truck Series champion and Xfinity Series driver Erik Jones will join Furniture Row Racing in the Sprint Cup next season. Jones, who is currently fourth in the Xfinity Series standings after winning his third race of the season on Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, is expected to drive the #77 Toyota. Jones is expected to be sponsored by 5-hour Energy, which will serve as the primary sponsor for 22 races, sources said. An official announcement is tentatively scheduled for Sunday morning at Watkins Glen International. When asked about the possibility of adding a second team on Friday at WGI, team general manager Joe Garone said, "With the support we have from Toyota and Gibbs, we feel like now would be a good time for that. It's certainly part of it for the growth of our team."(Motorsport)(8-5-2016)
UPDATE4 Furniture Row Racing to Make Major Announcement on Sunday, Aug. 7 in the Watkins Glen International Media Center at 10:00am/et. Following the announcement there will be a car unveiling at the Toyota PitPass display located in the midway.
· NASCAR.com will live stream the news conference.
· A transcript of the news conference will be available and posted.
(Furniture Row Racing PR)
OFFICIAL: Furniture Row Racing announced that it will field a second team in 2017 with Erik Jones driving the #77 Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series. 5-hour ENERGY will be the primary sponsor on Jones' Camry for 22 races, launching the Cup Series rookie campaign for the 20-year-old driver. Jones, a native of Byron, Mich., won the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver's championship and moved to the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2016 where he currently has three wins piloting a Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. "I just can't believe this is really happening," said Jones, who will run the full Cup schedule in 2017. "We have been talking about Cup racing for a while, but to actually make the announcement is surreal. This is every young driver's dream, to be with a manufacturer like Toyota, an organization like Furniture Row with its successful technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, and an incredible sponsor like 5-hour ENERGY who is so well known for promoting its racing program. They have given me a life-changing opportunity and my mission is to make each of them proud."
The colors of the Farmington Hills, Michigan-based 5-hour ENERGY will also adorn Martin Truex Jr.'s Furniture Row Racing #78 Camry for two races, including the 2017 NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We take our NASCAR sponsorship very seriously as this is a major financial commitment, so we looked at several options for the 2017 season and beyond," said Rise' Meguiar, vice president of Living Essentials, parent company of 5-hour ENERGY. "The combination of a young incredibly talented driver, the success Toyota has had with all of its teams at Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row and the way Martin has been running in the #78, we just felt this opportunity met our company's objectives the best. Erik has earned the hype around him and we are proud to be a part of introducing him nationally with commercials, in-store displays and promotions. This is a really exciting opportunity for 5-hour ENERGY."
Furniture Row Racing, based in Denver, Colo., has earned a reputation as a consistent front-runner and a championship-contending organization with Truex and the #78 Camry. A Cup Series championship Chase finalist last season, Truex already has secured a 2016 Chase berth with one win, three poles and more than 1,000 laps led. "Today has been a long time coming for Furniture Row Racing," said team owner Barney Visser. "Since we started our NASCAR journey 11 years ago it was our goal as a single-car team to reach a competitive level that would allow us to be in position to win races and compete for championships. With the success the team has shown on the track we feel now is a good time to add a second team. We are thrilled to say that we have secured what we feel is the right mix of a driver, sponsor and manufacturer to support a second-car effort."
Visser added, "I can say with a great deal of pride and elation that having a young, talented driver in Erik Jones, a supportive and successful company in 5-hour ENERGY, support from TRD (Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.) and a strong technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing have propelled Furniture Row Racing into a new and exciting chapter as a participant in NASCAR's top racing series." Jones' ascension to the NASCAR Cup Series marks the first time a Toyota developmental driver has grown from local racing through the NASCAR national ranks to the Cup Series. "Watching Erik progress through the ranks of NASCAR has already been an incredible journey," said Ed Laukes, vice president for marketing, media, incentives, motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. "Erik is a true talent who has proven his abilities on the track as a champion and a race winner, but also off the track as an ambassador for Toyota, his sponsors and his team. The addition of Erik to Furniture Row Racing at the NASCAR Cup level is not only an asset for the team, but an added voice within the structure and teamwork that has proven successful between JGR, FRR, TRD and Toyota. We're all looking forward to seeing Erik behind the wheel of the 5-hour ENERGY Camry contending for Toyota victories and championships." Jones' hometown of Byron, Michigan is located less than an hour from 5-hour ENERGY's headquarters in Farmington Hills.(Furniture Row Racing PR)
AND Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said the team will attempt to gain a NASCAR charter for the #77 rather than competing as an open entry (ESPN)
Visser said Furniture Row has a one-year contract with Jones, and would like to have more. Jones, however, will remain a key cog in the future of Joe Gibbs Racing (USA Today), 5-Hour Energy will NOT move to Stewart-Haas Racing's #14 team with Clint Bowyer.
Image of the #77 car on the 2017 #77 Team Schemes page.(8-7-2016)
Truex Jr. Signs New Contract; Bass Pro Shops Increase Sponsorship: Furniture Row Racing announced that Martin Truex Jr. has signed a new two-year agreement to drive the team's #78 Toyota Camry in NASCAR's Cup Series. The new contract takes effect starting with the 2017 season. The Denver-based racing organization also announced that Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats, which joined Furniture Row Racing as a partner in 2016, will increase its primary sponsorship schedule on Truex's #78 Toyota from 12 to 16 races in 2017, starting with the season-opening Daytona 500.
The expansion builds on the long-standing relationship between Bass Pro Shops and Truex Jr., an avid outdoorsman and longtime fishing buddy of Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris. In addition to serving as Truex's first sponsor when he started his NASCAR career, Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats were the primary sponsors for two NASCAR Xfinity Series championships in 2004 and 2005, as well as the primary sponsor for Truex's first three years in the Sprint Cup Series.
"The signing of Martin Truex Jr. to a new contract and Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats adding more races to its primary sponsorship package are signs of strength and confidence for the future of Furniture Row Racing," said team president Joe Garone. "Martin has proved over and over that he is one of the blue chip drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we are elated that he will continue to drive our #78 Toyota."
Garone added, "Bass Pro Shops has been one of the most visible, committed and respected sponsors in NASCAR for many years. We are grateful that the company is making an additional commitment to our team. Adding Bass Pros Shops, Tracker Boats and Auto-Owners Insurance to our sponsorship family this season has played a vital role, along with Furniture Row and Denver Mattress, in the success and growth of our company."
Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris said of the announcement: "We are excited to elevate our support and partnership with our good friend Martin Truex Jr., an amazing competitor on the track and a passionate sportsman who loves the outdoors. It brings us tremendous pride to see Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats prominently displayed and have Martin personally representing our brands. Together with our longstanding friends at Toyota and Furniture Row Racing, we believe our partnership with Martin has a very bright future."
Truex, 36, said, "I am pleased that we're going to continue our momentum from this season. This is where I want to be, driving the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. We've come a long way in a short period of time. There are many reasons to feel excited and optimistic about the future of our racing program starting with the commitment from our team owner Barney Visser, the support from Toyota, the technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and the Bass Pro Shops sponsorship. We definitely have the resources and talent to go after victories and championships. I want to thank Barney and Joe Garone for the confidence that they have placed in me and also want to thank my good friend and hunting/fishing partner Johnny Morris for the continued support from Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats."(Furniture Row Racing)(8-4-2016)
Lug nut dooms Truex, Jr at Pocono again: Martin Truex Jr. called it "crazy bad luck." The Furniture Row Racing driver was referring to a peculiar incident that short-circuited his performance in Monday's rain-delayed and rain-shortened Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway. Truex, who started the 138 lapper from the pole, was owning the race early, leading the first 16 laps to raise his season laps led total to 1,005. But following a Lap-15 competition caution and a two-tire pit stop, trouble struck Truex's #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota, which posted an unsettling 38th-place finish in the Pennsylvania 400.
As Truex was coming off of Turn 2, his right-front tire blew, sending him into the wall, resulting in heavy damage to his car. What caused the tire to go flat on Truex's Toyota early in the race was an oddity to say the least. A lug nut that came off the old set of tires bounced off the ground, flew through one of the wheel holes, then lodged between the caliper and the wheel, knocking off the tire's inner stem valve.
Truex suffered a similar fate at the June race in Pocono. Following a pit stop on Lap 118 his right-rear tire blew as a result of a flying lug nut that got stuck behind the wheel, which eventually sheared off the inner stem valve. "I think it's weird to have a lug nut get stuck behind a wheel, but even more weird that it happened both times at Pocono this season," said Truex. "I don't have an explanation. I'm just calling it bad luck."(Furniture Row Racing)(8-2-2016)
New Sponsor, New Paint Scheme for Truex at Indy: The #78 Furniture Row Racing entry for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have a new paint scheme and a new primary sponsor. The color of Truex's Toyota Camry will be blue, the corporate hue for Auto-Owners Insurance, which announced earlier in the year that it will be the primary sponsor on Truex's car for three Sprint Cup Series races. Along with Indianapolis, Auto-Owners Insurance primary schedule includes Darlington Raceway on Sept. 4 and Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 30. It's only fitting that Truex's #78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry will make its debut with Furniture Row Racing at the fabled Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 2.5-mile oval, one of the crown jewel races in the NASCAR schedule. A few weeks after the Indianapolis 500 celebrated its 100th year of the race in May, Auto-Owners Insurance celebrated its 100th anniversary. Auto-Owners Insurance, based in Lansing, Mich., offers auto, home, life and business coverage for NASCAR fans and consumers through local, independent agents in 26 states.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the car on the #78 team paint schemes page.(7-18-2016)
Truex, Jr. to discuss penalty with NASCAR UPDATE: #78-Martin Truex Jr. shored up seventh place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup points standings with a 10th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday. But, he was not happy. During a caution with nearly 70 laps remaining in the Quaker State 400, Truex entered pit road trailing only Kevin Harvick for the lead. As he approached his pit stall, Truex dove in front of Harvick and much to Truex's chagrin, was penalized by NASCAR for making an illegal pass on pit road, a penalty that dropped him to 22nd and likely cost him a shot at the win. Truex insisted he did nothing wrong to deserve the penalty. He planned to speak with NASCAR officials about the decision to penalize his team. "I feel like I did the same thing guys do every week," Truex said. "You get to your timing line, you step on the gas, and you head straight toward your pit. Obviously I turned left and came up next to the 4 car (Harvick) and passed him as I was driving to my pit, which is what guys do every week. I don't know why it was different (Saturday). I would think that if they didn't want us to do it any more, they would tell us in the drivers' meeting. But I mean, hell, I've been passed on pit road 15 times this year that same exact way - and I didn't see guys get penalized."(Sporting News)(7-11-2016)
UPDATE: A NASCAR executive said series officials will "reiterate" this week the rule that drivers cannot pass to the inside on pit road after penalizing Martin Truex Jr. for that Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, made the comments Monday on "The Morning Drive" on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Truex was penalized on Lap 196 for passing leader Kevin Harvick on the inside on pit road before heading to his stall. Truex was the first Sprint Cup driver penalized this season for that specific violation. O'Donnell said series officials saw this issue happening more often this season and described what Truex did as "blatant," leading to the penalty. "It is clear in the rule book that you can't pass to the left," O'Donnell said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. "It's also brought up in every drivers meeting. If you look at drivers pulling off just as they pull into their pits and kind of pull up alongside a car, sure, that's happened. I would probably relate this to other sports. If you look at the three-second rule (in the NBA), it's always there but it's rarely called because you don't see it blatantly, and then you'll see a coach or some teams say, 'Hey, you've got to focus on this rule, it's getting out of hand.' That was the case certainly for us. We saw a trend that was getting bigger and bigger. For us, that was a blatant pass to the left. We felt we had to make that call. We'll certainly address it with the industry prior to New Hampshire again to reiterate what the rule is as well."(NBC Sports)(7-11-2016)
Furniture Row Racing looks for Truex Jr. to stay, 2nd team considered: For anyone worried about Martin Truex Jr.'s future at Furniture Row Racing, according to general manager, Joe Garone, everything will be just fine and even though the organization is looking for more funding behind the #78 Toyota, it is also exploring options for a second team and the possibility of bringing on current Camping World Truck Series Champion and Xfinity Series driver, Erik Jones.
"For us, we're going to be together, that is just the way it is," Garone told PRN's Garage Pass. "He's got a good thing going on with our team and our crew, they're just working really well together, which is obvious. You see those results on the track and he wants to be here. We all feel real confident about that, so in some ways we are just kind of putting it on the back burner, continuing to get the funding and then once we reach a satisfactory level we will get all the papers signed and we will get on with life." As of now, Truex Jr. doesn't have a signed contract for next year with Furniture Row but Garone said that's just a formality as the team is hoping to secure additional funding from sponsors. "We're getting real close to getting the things we need to get signed, signed, from a sponsorship side," Garone said. "We're just focusing on the 78 car right now trying to continue to get the car full-funded. What I can say is that is going well but it is not finished. And the other thing I can say is that we love Martin and Martin just feels like he wants to be here. And, at that point, we'll match Martin to the term of the sponsorship and we will have it behind us. It is really not a lot of drama."
Garone also addressed Furniture Row finally adding a second team and which driver would be on the wish-list to fill any future seat. He said, having Jones would be a big win for any team to lockdown for as a driver. "You want to get the first team put away, working right and set before you really spend any focus on a second team because you really don't want to draw any attention away from your primary team and it feels like from a competition side things are going really well there, obviously," Garone said. "So it does feel like a time when we could make that move to a second team. We are continuing to seek funding and if that comes up here in the next few weeks, maybe we can go ahead and make those plans. We've worked on our shop and have gotten it to where we feel like we can run two teams out of it. We're doing all of the things we can in the background to be prepared but again, it takes funding. The first thing you have to do is get a team put together then we can talk about a driver but I can tell you this if you look at all the drivers out there you would be honored to have Erik Jones. Again, it is funding issue and we are sitting here coming to the first of July and to realistically get a second team going to compete for wins right of the box - which is the only way we would do it - we are running out of time. We have set a stake in the sand and if we don't have the funding properly put in place by mid-July, I think we have to look at scrapping it and look maybe for the following year."(KickinTheTires)(7-2-2016)
Furniture Row Racing to Recognize USO at Daytona Race: Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota will carry the USO logo in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The USO (United Service Organizations) is celebrating 75 years of supporting America's service members and military families through the delivery of morale-boosting programs, services and entertainment. "Life is about caring and giving back and no one better exemplifies the true meaning of those human qualities than the USO," said Truex. "It is only fitting the USO will be on our race car on the same weekend we celebrate our independence." The Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, whose organization consists of nine former military members, will be recognizing the U.S. Armed Forces on its #78 race car throughout the 2016 season.(Furniture Row Racing)(7-1-2016)
Another Truex Rising Through The Ranks: If things go according to plan for Tyler Truex, his cousin Martin's victory in the May 29 Coca-Cola 600 won't be the only time a Truex wins this summer at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The younger Truex has proven in only three Bojangles' Summer Shootout races he's a legitimate contender in the AAA Carolinas Legend Car Semi-Pro division. Truex's white #69 car with bright neon yellow numbers stands out under the lights because of its bright design, but it's also been a staple at the front of the field. The 20-year-old New Jersey native appeared to have his first victory of the season in hand on Tuesday when he gained a 12 car-length lead on his competition with less than 10 laps to go, but his bid to win ended when he encountered throttle issues. That came only a night after Truex was in contention for a win, was involved in an accident and rallied to finish second. Truex flies into Charlotte on Monday, races on Tuesday, flies back home to New Jersey on Wednesday and works at Seawatch on Thursday and Friday. Travel doesn't bother Truex. His uncertain future as a racer is more of a concern. "I'm just open, trying to find sponsorship to maybe move onto late models down here, or really anything," Truex said. "I'd like to just go racing more. If we can find the money to keep running this Legend Car, I'd like to do that. I love being at the race track. I want to be at the race track as much as I can."(National Speed Sport News)(6-30-2016)
Furniture Row Racing to Recognize California National Guard: Furniture Row Racing's #78 Camry, driven by Martin Truex Jr., will carry the logo of the California National Guard during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series road race - the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway. The military recognition will continue throughout the 2016 season by the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team, which includes nine military veterans. "The longer I live and the more things I experience the more I appreciate the sacrifice and dedication that our military men and women have made, and will continue to make to preserve our freedom," said Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser, a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade in the late 1960s. "We are proud to showcase the California National Guard, which not only responds and takes action in state emergencies but also in combat deployment throughout the world."(FRR)(6-23-2016)
FRR needs more sponsorship for a Truex contract extension: While there has been speculation that Martin Truex Jr. could be the odd man out at Furniture Row Racing (#78) when Erik Jones is promoted to Sprint Cup, that's simply not the case. For now, the only obstacle between sealing the Truex deal appears to be sponsorship. "We're working on it as hard as we can," Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser said. "It's a matter of finding some sponsorship help right now. That's what he needs. That's what we need." Toyota Racing Development boss David Wilson said he hopes to have his 2017 lineup shored up by mid-July. Wilson jokes often that having an abundance of talented up-and-coming-drivers and not enough seats is a good problem to have. Truex has expressed his desire to stay the course with crew chief Cole Pearn and continue building a championship caliber club. Visser is open to operating two Cup teams. However, in order to afford multiple teams, Visser would need a second charter for a new squad as well as additional funding. "Yes, again, it's sponsorships," Visser added. "Toyota is doing everything they can to help us. They've been terrific to work with. They're doing everything they can. Joe Gibbs is doing everything he can to help us get this thing done."(Motorsport)(6-22-2016)
Seven winners in seven races: The last seven Cup points races each have had a different winner: #19-Carl Edwards (Richmond), #2-Brad Keselowski (Talladega), #18-Kyle Busch (Kansas), #20-Matt Kenseth (Dover), #78-Martin Truex Jr. (Charlotte), #41-Kurt Busch (Pocono) and #22-Joey Logano (Michigan). It's the longest streak of different winners since there were eight from the 2013 season finale to the first seven races of the 2014 season.(NBC Sports)(6-14-2016)
Martin Truex Jr. dominates and wins Coca-Cola 600: #78-Martin Truex Jr. won the Coca-Cola 600 Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Charlotte and 4th career win. Truex Jr. won from the pole for the first time in 9 tries. Truex Jr. dominated the race leading a track record 392 of 400 laps and a NASCAR record 588 miles in a race.
#4-Harvick finished 2nd for the 3rd time in 2016 and for the 47th second place in his career (11th all time) followed by #48-Johnson, #11-Hamlin, #2-Keselowski, #41-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #24-Elliott, #22-Logano and #31-Newman.
There were 9 lead changes among 4 drivers and 4 cautions for 19 yellow flag laps.
The average speed was 160.644 mph (a new track record).
See unofficial race results, awards, laps led, cautions and more [NOTE: money/winnings are no longer reported] at:
Unofficial Race Results page (pdf)
Lap Summary Report (pdf)
Penalty Report (pdf)
Pit Stop Times (pdf)
See OFFICIAL race results & points standings on the Official Charlotte Race & Points Report (pdf).(5-29-2016)
Truex wants to remain with Furniture Row: Martin Truex, Jr. would like to remain in the #78 FRR car "for a long time." Last year, Truex extended his contract through 2016 but he hopes to continue building a successful relationship with the Denver-based team beyond this season. When would he like renegotiate? "Right now," Truex said with a chuckle. "The problem I've had with my career is it's been up and down. And that's because of change. That's because you get in situations where they don't go the way you thought they were going to go.
"DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) fell apart. I stayed there too long. It was a tough situation. You look at Jimmie Johnson. You look at Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch. They get with a team and they just keep building on that foundation. Year in, year out, they're the guys to beat because they have that around them. They have that solid - just rock. They can build on things and look at past history . All they have is the car and the rule changes and those kind of things. They don't have to figure out everything else that goes along with it."
Truex won two Xfinity Series titles with DEI and dabbled with their Cup program prior to graduating to NASCAR's top tour full-time in 2006. When DEI merged with Chip Ganassi's program in 2009, he stayed the course before joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2010. Although he left MWR at the end of 2013 - and before the organization's ultimate demise last year - Truex, 36, understands FRR has the potential to blossom into a perennial contender. "With Cole and those guys, it's something special and it's something I'd like to keep going for a long, long time," Truex said. "To get where I want to get in the sport, that's what you have to have. Hopefully, we can make it work."(Motorsport)(5-10-2016)
Bad luck bites Truex, Jr. again: A mechanical issue late in the race crippled a commanding performance by #78-Martin Truex Jr., who led a race high of 172 laps in Saturday night's Go Bowling 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway. Truex, who started the 267 lapper from the pole, was the class of the field until he reported a loose wheel following a Lap 212 pit stop. The culprit was a broken head bolt off the brake that got caught behind the right-front wheel. Truex had no choice but to make an unscheduled pit stop. The incident sent Truex from a dominating lead to 21st and one lap down. He managed to get back on the lead lap and fought his way through traffic to finish 14th in his #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota. "I couldn't believe it," said Truex. "Went around (turns) one and two and I was like, 'Wheel loose.' I kept telling myself that maybe it's not me, maybe it's just shaking because it has tape on it or something stupid. It was loose and I knew it right away. Frustrating, but that's how it goes." Truex added, "We're going to win races for sure - if we keep bringing cars like that, we're going to win some. It's frustrating when you've had it happen so many times in your career. I swear, you watch guys win races that don't have the fastest car or on fuel mileage and all this stuff and it's like, 'damn.' Someday I'm going to get on one of those or on the other side of one of them. Usually you can dominate and win, but it's tough and it happens. It's part of racing. We'll just move on to Dover next week, which is another good track for our Furniture Row Racing team."(Furniture Row Racing)(5-8-2016)
#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 126.96.36.199 [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)
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)
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)
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 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)
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)
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)
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)
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Friday, September 23, 2016, 4:45pm/et
TV: NBCSN, 4:30pm/et
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, September 24, 2016, 11:30am/et
TV: CNBC 11:30am/et
Born in SEPTEMBER
25 Jake Crum, Rob Broadwater, Jack Donohue, Jimmy Florian, Scott Punch, Dan Koozer
26 Bill France Sr., Joe Nemechek, Rob Moroso, Marty Robbins, Wayne Cloth, Tina Dillon
27 Terry Satchell, James Houk
28 Ron Fellows, Anthony Seibert
29 Chase Montgomery, Stanley Smith, Margaret Carol Waltrip
30 Frank Kerr, Bruce Kirkendall, Jeffrey Baker
Born in OCTOBER
1 Steve Barkdoll, Cash Aaron Bowyer, Neil Castles, Neil Goldberg, Fred Graves, John Krebs, Mel Larson, Clarence DeZalia
2 John Roberts, Paul Goldsmith, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Luke Lambert, Semon 'Bunkie' Knudsen
3 Chase Austin, Carolyn Carrier, Max Papis, Bray Pemberton, Joe Piette Jr., Bobby Santos, Sidney Wolfe
4 Sarah Burton, Heather Hammond, Rich Burgess, Liz Clarke, Clayton Brewer
5 J.J. Yeley, Earl Barban, Brian Johnson, Austin Fox, Dave Rezendes, Rick Beebe, Courtney George, J.T. Putney
6 Mike McLaughlin, Les Richter, Dick McCabe, Phillip McGilton, Michael Marks
7 Pierre Bourque, Hank Parker Jr., Tina Yocono
8 Bill Elliott, Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace, Johnny Southall, Margaret Hallin, Joe Stella, Oliver Rivera
9 Darian Grubb, Ray Kilgore, Billy Wease, Freda Styers
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr, Coleman Pressley, Connie Larimore, Bill Feeney
11 Jimmy Hensley, David Starr
12 Ned Jarrett, Morgan Shepherd, Tim Sullivan, Lonnie Clouse, Ernie Gahan, Kitty 'Mom' Allison,
13 John Kernan, Michael Ehert, Tim Sauter, David Ifft
14 Jason Jarrett
15 Chris Economaki, Red Farmer, Eddie Gossage, Chad McCumbee, Aaron Johnston, Roland Wlodyka, Gober Sosebee
16 Mark Petty, Mae Beaty, Tim Packman
17 Chocolate Myers, Doug Randolph, Tommy Kendall, Jarrod Breeze, Mark Beard
18 Edward Adamczyk Sr, Jerry Bonkowski, Bart Creasman, Billy Myers
19 Tom Wilsey, Mark Dyer, Lisa Price, Brad Daugherty, Leslie Britton, Brian Rose, Greg Cindric
20 John Kosner. Fred Wanke, Todd Gordon, Wally McCarty, Clifford Allison
21 Bob Jeffrey, Pete Wright, David Gebhardt
22 Ed Dybalski, George Gillett Jr., Milan Garrett, Rick Benjamin, John Graham, Adam Davis
23 Humpy Wheeler, Larry Hartle
24 Dave Blaney, Jim France, Brian Vickers, Tracy Leslie, Jeff Price, Bill O'Dea, Andrew Turner, Patrick Lawler
25 Mike Hofmann, House, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Ryan Preece, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin, Eric Maycroft
26 Jimmy Pardue
27 Anne B. France, Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance
28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman
29 Teresa Earnhardt, Chris Buescher, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Coleman Dollarhide, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy Adamczyk
30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
31 Rodger Brane, Mike Casto, Kip Childress