Sport Clips continues partnership with JGR, adds Furniture Row
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! GEORGETOWN, Texas, -- Sport Clips Haircuts announced today its continued partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Denny Hamlin for the 2017 season, and the addition of Furniture Row Racing and driver Erik Jones . Sport Clips will increase its sponsorship in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to include two races with Hamlin and four races with Jones. In addition, Sport Clips will continue to have a presence in the XFINITY Series with one race with Hamlin. Veteran Denny Hamlin will pilot the No. 11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races during the 2017 season beginning at Auto Club Speedway on March 26 and at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 3. In addition, the 2016 Daytona 500 winner will return to the XFINITY Series behind the wheel of the No. 18 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for the Sport Clips-sponsored Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 2. No stranger to the Sport Clips Toyota Camry, Hamlin visited victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2012 in the Cup Series and twice in the XFINITY Series at Richmond International Raceway in 2011 and most recently at Darlington Raceway in 2015. New to the Sport Clips program for the 2017 season will be Furniture Row Racing with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Erik Jones . Entering his first season with Furniture Row Racing , Jones will pilot the No. 77 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for four races beginning at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 23 followed by Daytona International Speedway on July 1, Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 23 and ending with Sport Clips' home track, Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 5. Jones has previously represented Sport Clips for two races in the No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series , earning one pole and a best finish of second, both coming in 2016 at Pocono Raceway . "When Denny began driving for Sport Clips, we had a few more than 700 locations open at the time, and we now have more than 1,600 locations in the U.S. and Canada – a milestone we were proud to reach in 2016. We are pleased to have Denny, and now Erik, along for the ride in 2017!" said Gordon Logan, founder and CEO of Sport Clips. " Joe Gibbs Racing and its drivers have been excellent ambassadors for our brand over the years, and we're thrilled to add another partner in Furniture Row Racing . We look forward to an exciting and successful race season!" The 2017 season will mark the ninth season that Sport Clips has been involved with the Joe Gibbs Racing family of partners and the first season as a partner of Furniture Row Racing . 2017 NASCAR SCHEDULE Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series March 26: Auto Club Speedway – Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Sport Clips Camry April 23: Bristol Motor Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry July 1: Daytona International Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry July 23: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry Sept. 3: Darlington Raceway – Denny Hamlin – No. 11 Sport Clips Camry Nov. 5: Texas Motor Speedway – Erik Jones – No. 77 Sport Clips Camry XFINITY Series Sept. 2: Darlington Raceway – Denny Hamlin – No. 18 Sport Clips Camry
Erik Jones finding his way as Furniture Row newbie
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Erik Jones will embark on a Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign in the No. 77 Toyota for Furniture Row Racing , starting with the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ' biggest race -- the Daytona 500 (Feb. 26, 2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM) at Daytona International Speedway . The transition means getting acclimated to a new crew, new team principals and a new full-time series. It's also meant a learning process merely to find the location of Furniture Row's shop, based in Denver, Colorado. "No, I didn't get it on the first time," Jones said with a smile, admitting that he drove right past the organization's home base on his first trip to the Rockies. "It's funny. You go out there, there's no sign, there's nothing that would say, hey, there's a race team here. So I went by it a few times before I was able to find it. "It's cool. That's definitely an old-school feel. As competitive as they are, there's no other race team like that that has that same thing." If its headquarters harken back to a previous era, Furniture Row Racing 's performance has been anything but dated. A breakout four-win season for Martin Truex Jr ., who led the most laps in the series last year, reinforced the notion that the organization was ripe for expansion to a two-car team. Enter the new-school Jones, who at age 20 has already accomplished plenty in the NASCAR ladder system under the tutelage of Kyle Busch Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing , the Toyota powerhouse that has a technical alliance with Furniture Row . Jones secured the Camping World Truck Series championship in 2015 and came within a fouled-up restart of vying for the XFINITY Series crown in last year's finale. Though Jones' progress has been deeply linked to Toyota and Joe Gibbs Racing affiliates, he's meandered through a near-constant shuffle of personnel and teams since his NASCAR national series debut in 2013. That trend continues in 2017. He'll be getting better acquainted with a new teammate in Truex, who -- JGR alliance aside -- has flown solo with Furniture Row the last three seasons. "I think that relationship will grow here as we get closer to the season and we all get back into the racing mode," Jones said at the preseason NASCAR media tour in late January, at which point he said his conversations with Truex had been limited. "I'd love to talk to him about transitioning into the Cup Series more, and obviously he went through the same thing coming up from the XFINITY ranks, so yeah, I'd love to hear from him and I think it's going to be a great relationship. "I think Martin will be a great teammate. He's obviously worked as a teammate before, and I think for Furniture Row , it's going to be beneficial just to have two cars at the race track." For now, Jones hopes that navigating his rookie year is less challenging than trusting the GPS in suburban Denver. But that will also mean adapting to a new championship format, his third in the last three seasons. It may also mean adopting a new approach to his first full year in NASCAR's big leagues. "I think last year, really all throughout my career, I've been a little bit of an all-or-nothing, checkers-or-wreckers kind of driver," Jones says, "and really the format last year I thought played into my hand, and it did until the time the Chase actually started and I realized you had to be consistent for three races -- which we did, and we made it all the way to Homestead and I think it's definitely different this year. You have to position yourself to get the best possible finish you can in every segment and rack up those bonus points to get to the Chase. "At the end of the day, the more bonus points you have, the better position you're in to make it to Homestead." &lt;/p&gt;
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Owner Standings
Pos. Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins 1 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 56 0 -- 1 0 2 Wood Brothers Racing 21 44 -12 -12 0 0 3 Team Penske 22 43 -13 -1 0 0 4 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 42 -14 -1 0 1 5 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 39 -17 -3 0 0 6 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 37 -19 -2 0 0 7 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 36 -20 -1 0 0 8 Hendrick Motorsports 24 33 -23 -3 0 0 9 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 33 -23 0 0 0 10 Richard Childress Racing 27 32 -24 -1 0 0 11 Roush Fenway Racing 6 32 -24 0 0 0 12 Team Penske 2 31 -25 -1 0 0 13 Hendrick Motorsports 5 30 -26 -1 0 0 14 Premium Motorsports 15 29 -27 -1 0 0 15 GO FAS Racing 32 28 -28 -1 0 0 16 Beard Motorsports 75 26 -30 -2 0 0 17 Richard Childress Racing 3 25 -31 -1 0 0 18 Furniture Row Racing 78 24 -32 -1 0 0 19 Leavine Family Racing 95 22 -34 -2 0 0 20 Richard Childress Racing 31 22 -34 0 0 0 21 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 22 -34 0 0 0 22 Front Row Motorsports 34 21 -35 -1 0 0 23 TriStar Motorsports 72 21 -35 0 0 0 24 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 18 -38 -3 0 0 25 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 17 -39 -1 0 0 26 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 16 -40 -1 0 0 27 BK Racing 23 14 -42 -2 0 0 28 BK Racing 83 13 -43 -1 0 0 29 Front Row Motorsports 38 13 -43 0 0 0 30 Hendrick Motorsports 88 13 -43 0 0 0 31 Circle Sport / TMG 33 11 -45 -2 0 0 32 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 11 -45 0 0 1 33 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 9 -47 -2 0 0 34 Germain Racing 13 9 -47 0 0 0 35 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 7 -49 -2 0 0 36 Roush Fenway Racing 17 6 -50 -1 0 0 37 Hendrick Motorsports 48 5 -51 -1 0 0 38 JTG Daugherty Racing 37 2 -54 -3 0 0 39 Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 1 -55 -1 0 0 40 Furniture Row Racing 77 1 -55 0 0 0 41 Rick Ware Racing 51 0 -56 0 0 0 42 Premium Motorsports 55 0 -56 0 0 0
NASCAR.com reporters make national series predictions
RELATED: Key changes in NASCAR " Fast facts on race enhancements NASCAR.com's Kenny Bruce, Holly Cain, Zack Albert and Jonathan Merryman make their predictions for the 2017 NASCAR season: KENNY BRUCE NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion: Timothy Peters . Rebounds from winless '16 to ride the Red Horse to the title. NASCAR XFINITY Series champion: Elliott Sadler . So close a year ago; his JRM team is rock solid. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year: Daniel Suarez . Stepping into a title-contending car; just needs seat time to become a challenger. Surprise playoffs qualifier: Daniel Suarez . There will be hurdles for last year's XFINITY Series champ, but he's proven to be a quick study. Daytona 500 pick: Kyle Busch . It's one of the few accomplishments left for one of NASCAR's best. Championship 4: Kevin Harvick : Switch to Ford proves to be a non-issue for 2014 champion. Joey Logano : Simple game plan: Get to the front and stay there. Kyle Busch : Bad-fast car. Extremely talented driver and team. Martin Truex Jr .: Team makes silly speed; gotta be there at the end, though. 2017 Monster Energy Series champion: Joey Logano . Can win a slew of races or be crazy consistent. This year he could do both. HOLLY CAIN NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion: John Hunter Nemechek . My repeat pick from 2016, but hoping the right (generous) sponsor sees this young talent and he gets the backing to match his potential. NASCAR XFINITY Series champion: Elliott Sadler -- The veteran has been oh-so-close and this is the year it all comes together for him. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year: Erik Jones . The Furniture Row Racing 's newest team member is super-talented, highly motivated and knows how to shine even among such fantastic first-year talent. Surprise playoffs qualifier: Kasey Kahne . This will be a resurgent year for the talented 17-time Cup winner who is ready to remind people of his place in the sport. Out front. Daytona 500 pick: Denny Hamlin . Daytona has been Hamlin's playground and he's poised to be the first back-to-back 500 winner since Sterling Marlin in 1994-95. Championship 4: Jimmie Johnson , Kevin Harvick , Kyle Busch and Joey Logano will decide the Cup after hugely competitive playoffs that ends in a history-making moment. 2017 Monster Energy Series champion: Jimmie Johnson . Reigning champ makes history with his eighth title. ZACK ALBERT NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion: Christopher Bell . The 22-year-old standout bookends a season that started with a Chili Bowl victory with his first national series crown. NASCAR XFINITY Series champion: William Byron . A hotshot rookie for the title? Gobs of talent and JR Motorsports resources go a long way. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year: Daniel Suarez . First-year driver steps into a well-established team that contends for victories. Surprise playoffs qualifier: AJ Allmendinger . Planets align for the No. 47 team at one of the series' two road-course visits. Daytona 500 pick: Brad Keselowski. Team Penske 's strength shows, with one of the best in the restrictor-plate biz leading the charge in the "Great American Race." Championship 4: Kevin Harvick , Denny Hamlin , Jimmie Johnson , Brad Keselowski . The cream rises, with four organizations and all three manufacturers represented in the final bracket. 2017 Monster Energy Series champion: Denny Hamlin. He's been on the podium three times before. In 2017, Hamlin should make it to the top step. JONATHAN MERRYMAN NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion: Matt Crafton . Great, consistent racer. That style will fit the new format. NASCAR XFINITY Series champion: Elliott Sadler . Coming off of a solid 2016, the No. 1 JRM team should be in position to win it all. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup NASCAR Series Rookie of the Year: Erik Jones . Seat time in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car in 2015 should help the rookie seal the deal. Surprise playoffs qualifier: Erik Jones . I think the rookie wins a race in 2017 clinching a playoff berth. Daytona 500 pick: Brad Keselowski , with four wins at Talladega and one win at Daytona in the summer of 2016, Keselowski has quickly become one of the best plate-racers in NASCAR. Championship 4: Kevin Harvick , Joey Logano , Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch . All four consistently finish races and have multiple win seasons. 2017 Monster Energy Series champion: Kevin Harvick . Mr. "Where did he come from?" has turned in to Mr. Consistency over the past few seasons. Consistency combined with the new points format should complement Harvick well.
Furniture Row gears up for Speedweeks
Tag along with both Furniture Row Racing teams as they prepare for the Daytona 500.
Auto-Owners Insurance expands sponsorship pact with Furniture Row Racing
RELATED: New looks for 2017 DENVER, Colo. (Jan. 16, 2017) -- Furniture Row Racing announced that Auto-Owners Insurance has agreed to a multiyear primary sponsorship for Martin Truex Jr .'s No. 78 Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Cup Series. The Fortune 500 company, which joined Furniture Row Racing in 2016 as a primary sponsor for three races, will double that amount in both 2017 and 2018. The six races the Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme will adorn Truex's No. 78 Camry in 2017 will be at Kansas Speedway (May 13), Michigan International Speedway (June 18), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 23), Richmond International Raceway (Sept. 9), Charlotte Motor Speedway (Oct. 7) and Phoenix International Raceway (Nov. 12). Auto-Owners Insurance, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2016, provides auto, home, life and business coverage for NASCAR fans and customers through local, independent agents in 26 states. The company is based in Lansing, Michigan. "Teaming up with Furniture Row Racing has been an outstanding fit for Auto-Owners, and we are excited to continue our partnership for the 2017 and 2018 seasons," said Mary Pierce, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Auto-Owners. "Martin and the No. 78 team have pioneered their way to excellence at the highest level of NASCAR. We truly admire their hard work and consistency, and look forward to being a part of their continued success." The Auto-Owners Insurance blue hue shared a competitive experience with Furniture Row Racing in 2016. In the three races that Auto-Owners Insurance was the primary sponsor, Truex won the prestigious Southern 500 in Darlington, South Carolina, finished seventh at the fall race in Martinsville, Virginia, and was eighth at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis. "There was indeed something special about the success of the blue Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota Camry last year and we are more than thrilled that the company is expanding its partnership with Furniture Row Racing for the next two seasons," said Furniture Row Racing team president Joe Garone. "Auto-Owners Insurance has been a winning company for a century and we are humbled that they have placed their confidence in our race team." Truex was equally excited to hear about the new sponsorship agreement. "Winning the Southern 500 -- a triple crown race -- with the blue Auto-Owners Insurance paint scheme was without a doubt one of the main highlights of my racing career," said Truex. "We want to give Auto-Owners Insurance more success as we look forward to the 2017 season. I was able to visit the Auto-Owners Insurance headquarters in Lansing and came away feeling proud to be associated with a company that has had 100 years of success."
Kurt Busch wins his first Daytona 500 with last-lap pass
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Detailed breakdown " Shop for winner gear DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- His car damaged in a wreck on the backstretch and held together with tape, Kurt Busch grabbed the lead on the final lap of the 59th Daytona 500 on Sunday and took the checkered flag in the Great American Race as a capstone to a checkered career that has trended upward since Busch joined Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. In a race that featured the first test of a new three-stage race format in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series -- and featured enough twisted sheet metal to keep fabricators busy for a month -- Busch surged to the front with a run around the outside when more than half the vehicles in an 11-car lead draft sputtered and ran short on fuel. Having pushed other drivers to victory in the 500 on three previous occasions, Busch took the prize himself this time, finishing .228 seconds ahead of Ryan Blaney , who came from the rear of the lead pack on the final two laps. AJ Allmendinger ran third after conserving fuel over the final 20 laps, as a race that had produced eight caution flags for 40 laps ran green for the final 47 circuits. Aric Almirola finished fourth as a single car for Richard Petty Motorsports , with Paul Menard and Joey Logano coming home fifth and sixth, respectively. "I can't believe it!" Busch shouted on his team radio after claiming the 29th victory of his career and by far the most significant. "I love you guys! Thank you! Thank you!" Busch lost his rear view mirror in the middle of the final green-flag run, but it didn't matter. "There is nothing predictable about this race any more, and the more years that have gone by that I didn't win I kept trying to go back to patterns that I had seen in the past," Busch said. "My mirror fell off with 30 laps to go and I couldn’t even see out the back. And I thought that was an omen. Throw caution to the wind. "It just got crazy and wild, and I am so proud of all the drivers at the end. We put on a show for a full fuel run, and nobody took each other out and it was one of the smartest chess games I have seen out there. All the hard work that Ford and SHR put into this -- this Ford Fusion is in Daytona's Victory Lane!" Busch did what other drivers with seemingly stronger cars could not. Pole winner Chase Elliott was disconsolate after running out of fuel on the white-flag lap. He finished 14th. Kyle Busch won the first 60-lap stage and collected the first playoff point in series history, but on Lap 105, he spun in Turn 3 when he cut a rear tire and collected fellow Toyota drivers Erik Jones and Matt Kenseth , as well as Dale Earnhardt Jr ., who was returning to competition after missing the final 18 races of the 2016 season while recovering from a concussion. Busch fell out of the race in 38th place. Earnhardt took his car to the garage in 37th. Kevin Harvick led 50 of the 200 laps and took the second stage, but he fell victim on Lap 128 to the 17-car pileup on the backstretch that also did the most damage to the sheet metal on Kurt Busch 's car. The 2014 series champion finished 22nd, three laps down. Busch's team owner, Tony Stewart , retired from Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition at the end of the 2016 season. Stewart-Haas spent the winter converting from Chevrolet to Ford, but it seemed to make little difference to Busch, who won his 2004 series championship in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford. "It was a crazy race, even crazier to sit and watch it from a pit box finally," Stewart said. "If I had known all I had to do was retire, I would have retired 17 years ago, if I knew it was what it took to win the race ... I ran this damn race for 18 years and didn't win it. "Kurt did an amazing job. He doesn't even have a rear view mirror. The mirror folded on him. His spotter, Tony Raines , did an amazing job. That is the most composed I have ever seen Kurt at the end of a race. He deserved this."
Furniture Row Racing , Maaco team up for sponsorship
Martin Truex Jr . will return to the site of his history-making Coca-Cola 600 win with the same car, but with a new sponsor on board. Furniture Row Racing announced Thursday that Maaco has signed on as a sponsor of its No. 78 Toyota entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The partnership with the auto painting and collision repair company starts with Saturday night's Bank of America 500 (7 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM) at Charlotte Motor Speedway . "This has been such a great season for Furniture Row Racing , bringing on new partners," Truex said. "This is just another step in that direction." Truex has a career-best four Sprint Cup victories this season, kicked off by the most dominant win in Coca-Cola 600 history at Charlotte in May. Truex won the Coors Light Pole Award and led 392 of the 400 laps. Truex said during his media availability Thursday that the Colorado-based team will use the same car from their Memorial Day romp this weekend.
Furniture Row Racing issues statement on failed post-race inspection
Furniture Row Racing said in a team release Monday that it accepts NASCAR's failed post-race inspection ruling, while also citing on-track contact with the No. 4 Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick as the likely reason for being out of compliance. "The right rear of our car was well within the tolerance margin, which showed that we were trying to be conservative," the statement read. "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 ." Truex Jr.'s race-winning No. 78 Toyota, along with the No. 48 Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson , failed post-race inspection after Sunday's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series opener at Chicagoland Speedway . NASCAR recently updated its rules for "encumbered" victory penalties during the postseason, but those are not be in effect for Truex Jr. because it was the lowest grade of failure for the LIS platform. Any penalties will be announced later in the week, according to NASCAR.
Truex Jr., Allmendinger, Buescher fail post-race inspection
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Three cars failed post-race inspection following Thursday's Can-Am Duels at Daytona International Speedway , disallowing their finishing positions and forcing them to the rear of Sunday's Daytona 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The No. 37 and 47 Chevrolets of Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger , both of JTG Daugherty Racing , and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr . all failed at the height station. Truex Jr. finished seventh in Duel 1 initially, with Buescher coming in 16th in that event; Allmendinger finished fourth in Duel 2. Truex Jr. and Allmendinger also forfeited their respective stage points for finishing their races in the top 10. Initially, Allmendinger earned seven points and Truex Jr. earned four. &lt;/p&gt;
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