Joe Gibbs Racing announces that it has signed driver Martin Truex Jr and crew chief Cole Pern for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Truex will replace Daniel Suarez in the #19 Toyota, with sponsorship to be announced later. Terms of the deal were not released and the move comes after Truex and Pern’s current team, Furniture Row Racing, announced they would be closing at the end of the 2018 season.
The 2018 edition of NASCAR Silly Season is not disappointing with the number of far fetching rumors that have actually found out to be true. There are still a lot of open seats and plenty of drivers trying to get their plans in line for 2019 and beyond. Here’s a quick look at some of the openings out there and what is rumored to be happening. Continue reading “Silly Season Is Kicking Up A Gear”
DENVER, Colo. – Due to a lack of necessary funding to field a competitive team, Furniture Row Racing has been left with no reasonable option but to cease operations following the completion of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Continue reading “Furniture Row Racing To Close At End Of Season”
The dream season is going out like a nightmare for Kurt Busch and Furniture Row Racing. The single car team and former champion were able to work their way into the Chase for the Sprint Cup by hard work and determination.
Through three races of the Chase, they sit 9th, 55 points out of first place. Pit road miscues hinder Busch during the regular season and now in the Chase they might have done him in.
“A loose wheel did us in,” said Busch after the completion of the AAA 400 from the Dover International Speedway. “We were way off at the start, but after the first pit stop we made some good changes to the car and started to make a move. But once again we had an issue with a loose wheel and that put us a couple of laps down. And with the lack of cautions we couldn’t make it up.”
It figured that once Busch came in to change the loose wheel the caution came out almost immediately. A pattern that disturbed Busch as heard over his radio. He questioned the team’s preparations as this was the second time this season a loose wheel had happened.
He was calmed down by crew chief Todd Berrier, but the damage was already done. They were able to get a lap back of the three they lost via the wave around. Busch ended up losing that third lap again before the close of the race.
Down they are, but Busch and his team won’t give up on their dream.
“Nothing went our way today. This is the Chase and you can’t afford to have these problems. We need to regroup and get it together for Kansas next week,” commented Busch.
The Hollywood Casino 400 is next up from the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series. The action gets underway Sunday, October 6th, at 2:00 PM EST and can be seen live on ESPN.
Here’s what we do know: Once the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2013, NAPA Auto Parts will no long be the primary sponsor of the #56 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. Michael Waltrip Racing vows to run the #56 Toyota car with or without new sponsorship coming into replace NAPA and their reported $15-20 million dollar a year sponsorship.
What we don’t know is if Martin Truex, Jr., currently driving that #56 Toyota, will still be the driver when the clock strikes midnight.
There’s a whirlwind of activity going on right now for the MWR team and for Truex. News of NAPA leaving came as a shock to most, especially since Truex was at a NAPA store Thursday night promoting the brand.
In their statement on why they’re leaving MWR, NAPA said they would be reevaluating their NASCAR sponsorship. Many took that as a bad sign that the company, who’s been in NASCAR for a very long time in various divisions, would leave NASCAR all together. I take it as they want to figure out if they want to continue to sponsor just one car full-time, or maybe sponsor a whole team, or move to another series, or wilder yet sponsor an entire series.
We’ll start there, with Nationwide leaving after the 2014 season form sponsoring the second tier NASCAR Nationwide Series, so maybe NAPA would move into that direction. They’ve gotten their name out there in the Sprint Cup Series crowd, maybe dipping down and getting the recognition of a series sponsor could be what they want to do next.
Sponsoring a team versus just one driver could have its perks depending on the team you sponsor. They could spend (if money is an issue) just about the same they were spending on one team over three to four drivers. Picture this, if they went to Hendrick they could put their logo on Jimmie Johnson’s car, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s car, Kasey Kahne’s car, and Jeff Gordon’s car. Then maybe do a few races as full primary sponsor then do all sorts of promotional work with all four drivers.
If you take the same template to Stewart-Haas Racing where you have Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, and Danica Patrick. Especially Stewart-Haas you could market to four different demographics right there.
My gut says that NAPA stays in as a sponsor for one team, I’m just not sure where that team will be and with what driver. Truex stated after qualifying that he’s committed to MWR and being there for a while. Well, money talks and when it dries up there, he might be tempted to go elsewhere.
Furniture Row Racing needs a driver and wouldn’t mind a sponsor to join him, they could go there. They’ve talked about getting a younger driver to develop, but comments from the team this weekend indicate they’d be open to someone like Turex.
Richard Childress Racing has said they could make a fourth team, provided they could have sponsorship. The interesting part about this scenario is what happens in a few years when Ty Dillon gets promoted to Cup? Who’s the odd driver out with the team?
Other teams with open spots include Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. Gibbs and Earnhardt Ganassi haven’t indicated that they were looking to expand this year. Roush Fenway seems to have a spot left open for Trevor Bayne, if they can find sponsorship.
Immediacy up for Truex and his team is the Sylvania 300 being run Sunday at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Coverage of the race beginning around 1 PM EST on ESPN.
With how silly season has been going, anything might be possible, especially when you start talking about the Furniture Row Racing team. Their season within the season has had more twists and turns than a road course. Continue reading “Furniture Row Racing Trying To Get Blaney?”