Truex inks two-year extension with Furniture Row Racing
DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 4, 2016) -- Furniture Row Racing announced today that Martin Truex Jr . has signed a new two-year agreement to drive the team’s No. 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 No. 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 No. 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 No. 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." Truex, who has already clinched a 2016 Chase berth, has been the Furniture Row Racing driver since the start of the 2014 season. As a Chase participant last year, he advanced to the final four. After 21 races of the current season he has claimed one win, three top fives, nine top 10s, three poles, ranks No. 1 with laps led at 1005 and is eighth in Sprint Cup driver points. The Mayetta, N.J. native won back-to-back Xfinity Series championships before joining the Cup series full time in 2006.
Truex reflects on fate, Furniture Row Racing relationship
After signing a contract extension, Martin Truex Jr. talks about the fate that brought he and Furniture Row Racing together.
Furniture Row adds Erik Jones to growing team
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Furniture Row Racing formally introduced young NASCAR star Erik Jones as driver of a second Sprint Cup Series car the team will field in 2017. Jones, 20, spoke with reporters at Watkins Glen International on Sunday morning before the Cheez-It 355 (2:30 p.m. ET, USA, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Jones will drive the No. 77 Toyota with sponsorship from 5-hour Energy, and the car was unveiled in the Watkins Glen infield. First look at @erik_jones with the @5hourenergy 77 Toyota Camry! #FurnitureRow #NASCAR #ToyotaNation pic.twitter.com/i8v5Xpc6xV — Furniture Row Racing (@FR78Racing) August 7, 2016 "It's hard to say I'm not excited, but anxious at the same time," Jones said. "Anxious for this day, and excited to be here,. It's pretty cool for me to be partnered up with Furniture Row and be part of them growing and part of 5‑hour, too. To have such a big company like that be partnered with me is pretty cool this early in my racing career and something I've always wanted. Just a good fit all around. "I've had the chance to kind of meet with everybody, get everything lined up, to see it all come together here over the past month or so has been a pretty cool experience for me. Got a lot to do this year yet, but definitely excited for next year." Team owner Barney Visser said that Jones' contract is for one year, and that the team is actively pursuing a Charter for 2017. MORE: Fast facts on Charter system The reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, Jones is currently fourth in the XFINITY Series points standings with three victories. He sits first in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase Grid. He has three previous Cup starts -- all in Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas. He filled in one race (Kansas) for an injured Kyle Busch in 2015 and then substituted for a suspended Matt Kenseth at both Texas and Phoenix later in the season. He scored a career best 12th place in Kenseth's No. 20 Toyota at Texas. "I think a day like today, you have to put in perspective," said Toyota Racing Development's General Manager David Wilson. "Think about this. It was less than four years ago that Erik Jones, famously now, beat Kyle Busch in the Snowball Derby super late model race. Last year Erik won his first NASCAR championship with Kyle Busch Motorsports. This year obviously Erik is fighting for an XFINITY Series championship with Joe Gibbs Racing . "So next year for him to ascend to the Cup Series with Furniture Row Racing is a spectacular story. Three different teams in three consecutive years. Toyota is the fortunate and grateful common denominator in that equation." Wilson said he expected Jones to begin sitting in at Toyota Sprint Cup racing briefings this year while the young driver continues to race for the XFINITY Series title. It was a big weekend of news for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing . The team announced Friday it had re-signed its current driver Martin Truex Jr. to an additional two-year contract that will cover 2018-2019 seasons. Truex advanced to the four-driver championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season, finishing fourth in the final standings. He had a dominating victory from the pole position at Charlotte Motor Speedway this year for the Coca-Cola 600 -- leading 392 of 400 laps -- and is currently ranked eighth in the standings as he prepares for a second championship run. "Obviously they've been working on it for quite a while," Truex said. "I think for us, and the long-term future of our company it's a good thing. It's stability. It's more people, more money coming in. You could probably race two cars cheaper than one as far as per car. Bringing in more sponsorship will help. "I think short term it might be a little more challenging. Our shop isn't real big, not a lot of space. We need to make sure when bringing in more people it doesn't upset the chemistry we've got going on. But Joe (Garone) and (Truex's crew chief) Cole (Pearn) and those guys will make sure they have people who fit into their system and way they do things and won’t upset the apple cart, so to speak. "From Toyota side and JGR side, obviously it's really good for that relationship and anything we can do to keep that going, make that stronger, build that through is going to be good."
Cain: Expansion an important step for Jones, Furniture Row
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- The weekend announcement that up-and-coming star Erik Jones will drive a second Furniture Row Racing car in 2017 was one of the worst-kept secrets in recent big-time NASCAR news. And that's a real compliment to Jones and to the organization. People are intently interested in the championship-worthy team's expansion. All the buzz and grins speak largely about the team's firm place among Sprint Cup Series top shelf. Expansion is a logical next step. And looking around at team executives, its drivers and Toyota bigwigs last weekend at Watkins Glen International when Jones' new No. 77 5-hour Energy Camry was unveiled, there are both high hopes and high expectations. "Today has been a long time coming for Furniture Row Racing ," team owner Barney Visser acknowledged over the weekend. Jones, the 20-year-old reigning Camping World Truck Series champion, currently is contending for the XFINITY Series title with three wins this season while driving a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing . His ticket to the Sprint Cup was inevitable. This will be an important step for the young Jones, but also for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team that already is hard at work preparing its shop to house and operate a second team -- which, Visser said Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, may only house Jones for one season. "With how we're running, we will get a very, very good driver after he leaves, if he leaves, and I’m fairly certain he will," Visser said. "We will attract one of the best drivers in the garage for that second slot, I am confident. The cars are just going to be running too well." When asked again about the likelihood of Jones leaving after one year, Visser said: "I think that’s most likely. We're working on that. What I am saying is the team will go on no matter what and people need to understand that when they come looking for jobs." From Toyota's standpoint, at least for 2017, this is as natural an evolution as possible. Jones has been "their guy." Pairing him with veteran Martin Truex Jr ., driver of the team's current No. 78 Toyota, is the right development right now for manufacturer, team and driver. From Toyota's perspective, Jones also is truly the first driver the manufacturer has groomed from development series to big league. "I think it's a great story for Toyota, but probably a greater story for NASCAR and the future of our sport," Toyota Racing Development President David Wilson said at Watkins Glen. "We're all really proud of Erik and think a lot of him not just as a talent, but as a person. "With Erik, obviously he's a rookie and we like the chemistry of having the veteran Martin Truex side-by-side. And the other great thing is we have the Gibbs drivers to lean on. Our intention is Erik will sit in the competition meetings as early as this season and observe and learn. "The point we really wanted to make was for Toyota and for Furniture Row adding an additional team, this isn't a one-year deal. My intention is to run at least six Toyotas in the (Sprint) Cup Series from 2017 running forward." And while initially the expectations will be tightly controlled, below the surface, a real feeling of progress and hope appeared after speaking with the team's executives, and its current championship caliber driver, Truex. "This goes into the very beginning when we started Furniture Row ," team president Joe Garone said. "We just gradually have ramped it up and built the relationships that we felt we've needed to be successful. That comes back to Barney's commitment to invest in the team and our sponsors that Barney brought to the team, Denver Mattress and Furniture Row . … To finally get to a platform that will support multiple cars. "It's huge. It's at the sacrifice of a lot of hours and a lot of hard work from a lot of people. We're just really excited to be at this platform right now." Truex, who has qualified for this year's Chase courtesy of one of the most dominating performances in recent years -- he led all but eight laps of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte -- acknowledged the change in logistics and said, " It's going to be a little more work getting off the ground, but fortunately it's early enough this season to get the cars built and ready for next year." Truex signed a two-year contract extension with the team earlier last week, as well. "The biggest thing is I'm excited for Barney and Furniture Row to grow the program," he said. "It's nice to see the success and him having fun with it and able to expand. Two teams should be a more efficient way of doing business and it should make sure we're around for a long time. "This is no different than the JGR guys welcoming us into the system. We'll all work as one to make our team the best it can be. Erik seems like a great kid and obviously has a lot of talent."
NASCAR penalty report post-Bristol: Warnings issued to several teams
Five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams received written warnings Wednesday for pre-race inspection violations last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway . The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota team for defending series champ Kyle Busch will make its pit stall selection last for this weekend's event at Michigan International Speedway . The team sustained its fourth current warning for failing the laser inspection station (LIS) process twice in last Saturday's pre-race checks. Other teams failing twice in the pre-race LIS platform: -- Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (driver Denny Hamlin ) -- Richard Childress Racing No. 31 Chevrolet ( Ryan Newman ) -- Furniture Row Racing No. 78 Toyota ( Martin Truex Jr .) The No. 22 Team Penske Ford for driver Joey Logano was issued a written warning for failing LIS twice in pre-qualifying inspections. In other penalty news Wednesday: -- NASCAR issued an indefinite suspension to crew member Ryan Southall for a violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy. -- Two NASCAR XFINITY Series teams sustained written warnings for failing LIS twice in pre-race inspections at Bristol: The No. 3 Chevrolet driven by Ty Dillon and the No. 93 Chevrolet driven by David Starr .
Jones to drive second car for Furniture Row Racing in 2017
Erik Jones will drive the No. 77 5-hour Energy Toyota in the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season for Furniture Row Racing and unveiled his paint scheme at Watkins Glen International.
Furniture Row Racing eyes 2nd team for 2017
General Manager of Furniture Row Racing , Joe Garone speaks at Watkins Glen International about the potential to support a second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.
Sources: Details set for Furniture Row announcement
RELATED: Live stream " Furniture Row turns eye to future WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Furniture Row Racing has called a press conference for 10 a.m. ET on Sunday morning in Watkins Glen, N.Y., where it is set to name reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Erik Jones to drive a second car for the Denver team in 2017. Multiple sources confirm Jones will drive the No. 77 Toyota with 5-hour Energy sponsorship on its hood for 22 races in 2017. The press conference will be live-streamed on NASCAR.com. Jones has three victories in the XFINITY series this year and is ranked eighth in the points standings after finishing 12th in Saturday's race. He made three Sprint Cup Series starts in 2015 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing -- two times filling in for Matt Kenseth who was serving a two-race suspension and once for Kyle Busch who was healing from injury. His best finish was 12th at Texas Motor Speedway driving Kenseth's car. The addition of Jones expands the Denver-based FRR team to two cars. Its lead driver Martin Truex Jr . announced a two-year contract extension Friday that will keep him with the team through 2019. On Friday, FRR President Joe Garone did not confirm the addition of a second car, but said the team was moving in that direction and added that if they could get it all pulled together the second car would come on board in 2017.
Kyle Busch tops both Bristol Sprint Cup practices
RELATED: First session results " Second session results Kyle Busch captured the top spot on the leaderboard in both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway , clocking in at 129.684 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the final session. Right behind him in Friday's second session was Martin Truex Jr . in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota at 129.587 mph. Rounding out the top five were Matt Kenseth in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (129.386 mph), Ryan Blaney in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford (129.334 mph) and Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota (129.256 mph.) Series points leader Brad Keselowski was 10th in the final session at 128.142 mph in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. The caution flag came out twice in the final session: first, when Greg Biffle spun, though there was no contact, and a second time when Josh Wise lost a right front tire and slammed into the outside wall. -- In the earlier session, Kyle Busch led the way at 128.969 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Right behind him was teammate Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 JGR Toyota at 128.649 mph. Hamlin also logged the most laps in the 80-minute session at 99. Rounding out the top five were Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet (128.597 mph), Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet (128.511 mph) and Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford (128.503 mph). Series points leader Brad Keselowski was sixth fastest with a speed of 128.468 mph in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. The session got underway five minutes late as crews worked to dry a wet track from morning rain. Practice was extended a few minutes to compensate for the late start. RELATED: Follow Bristol weather updates here </p>
Jones one and done for Furniture Row ?
Furniture Row Racing team owner, Barney Visser, talks on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio about how valuable he believes Erik Jones will be in the No. 77 Toyota for Furniture Row Racing in 2017 and that he is 'fairly certain' Jones will leave after one year.