- Did you mean:
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.
Furniture Row Racing : The story behind Denver's team
NASCAR senior writer Holly Cain, and NASCAR Productions, traveled to Denver, Colorado to present an in depth look at NASCAR's only team west of the Mississippi River, Furniture Row Racing , and their rise to racing success.
Truex Jr. takes less, gives more to Furniture Row
RELATED: Inside the western rise of Furniture Row " Denver embraces its team JOLIET, Ill. -- How sincere was Martin Truex Jr . in his desire to stay with Furniture Row Racing during contract talks with team officials? Enough that the 36-year-old NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver agreed to work for less than he likely could have earned elsewhere. "There were other opportunities that were out there," Truex said Sunday after winning the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 at Chicagoland Speedway . "I believe this is the best team I've ever had. This is my best opportunity to win races. We've proven that. It's my best opportunity, and really only my second opportunity, since last year, to go for a championship. That wasn't something I was willing to get rid of or throw away." While Furniture Row officials were in the midst of making the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota a year ago, a contract extension with Truex was also wrapping up. In late September, officials announced both agreements were in place. Then, in August of this year, the team announced a new, two-year extension for Truex. RELATED: Truex inks new deal at Furniture Row "I made the commitment to Barney we were going to do it, we were going to work together and make it work for everybody," Truex said of the arrangement. "Barney has put a lot into his race team over the years obviously. 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. He 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." Visser started the Denver-based team from scratch in 2005, and has funded the single-car outfit for much of its existence through his own businesses. Others have come on board to help the cause and the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota has paid tremendous dividends. Sunday's victory was the third of the season for Truex and more importantly it came in the opening race of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . He and the No. 78 team, run by crew chief Cole Pearn, are guaranteed to advance to the Round of 12 in the Chase. Prior to this season, Truex had three career wins. Furniture Row had two. The organization, which now receives technical support from Joe Gibbs Racing , will expand in 2017 with the addition of a second team and driver Erik Jones . RELATED: Furniture Row adds Jones to growing team The rise from a struggling single-car outfit to a championship contender didn't happen overnight. "Yeah, I do feel like I'm living a dream," Visser, a Vietnam veteran, said. "But that's why we do it. Most of the other things that I've done in life have been a little bit like this, but nothing right to the very top of the best racing in the world here. (It's) very exciting. "I have to thank Toyota and Martin. Like I said, I think he's a pure athlete. 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. I can't thank him enough for all that."
Furniture Row heeds call of the West
RELATED: Denver offers warm embrace " Chase Grid Editor's Note: This story was published before Martin Truex Jr .'s Chase-opening winning at Chicagoland DENVER -- NASCAR's most unique race shop sits across from a fabric-manufacturing warehouse on Denver's industrial northeast side. Colorado's "Favorite Meat Store" is down the street. Dull gray concrete walls dominate the addresses here. The noisy and steady sounds of the nearby Interstate 70 freeway are interrupted at regular intervals by the heavy clunking and loud train whistles coming from the neighboring railroad tracks. The street front of Furniture Row Racing 's shop blends in completely with the industrial look of its neighboring businesses. There are no signs to identify the gray building or to offer even a single clue of what lies behind the sturdy, always-locked front doors. Team members have parked their pick-up trucks in a small lot alongside the shop and many more line the street out front. This is NASCAR's version of Oz. And it's been quite the yellow-brick road. "This building has been a lot of different things,'' Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser said, allowing a slight smile. "It was a warehouse for our company, then a waterbed factory, then an oak furniture factory then an upholstery plant. "But we wanted to make sure the inside is real nice for the race team.'' And sure enough, behind the concrete facade and nondescript front doors of the building, is a comfortable home base to a busy, well-equipped, highly motivated NASCAR race shop -- an inspired group of people who spend their Rocky Mountain days on East Coast time preparing the No. 78 Toyotas for driver Martin Truex Jr .'s path into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . No team based west of the Mississippi River has ever won NASCAR's most celebrated trophy. And in fact, until Furniture Row Racing 's championship bid, no one had even considered it a realistic possibility. It may be far removed from NASCAR's traditional Carolina hallowed ground, but as Visser's Denver-based team and two-time 2016 winner Truex have proven, this group is primed, ready and willing to expand conventional wisdom. There is great pride for the team members and this community knowing that this company is doing things its own way and literally changing the landscape of the sport. The team's General Manager Joe Garone -- a Colorado native -- quickly discovered the team's "way" absolutely meant operating out of Denver, not opening up another shop in NASCAR's Southeastern backyard. "In my mind when Barney said we're going to race in Cup, I was like 'OK, we'll find a shop in Charlotte, we'll get this thing going, not a problem,' " Garone recalled of his initial meetings with Visser. "And Barney said immediately, 'No Joe, not in Charlotte, in Denver.' '' "It's what we need,'' Garone said, looking around the facility with pride. "It's more than what we need. It may not be a Taj Majal, but it's all about building race cars that go fast." ***** ***** *****
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."
Phone call changes Jimmie Johnson's Chase outlook
RELATED: See the Chase Grid LOUDON, N.H. -- Jimmie Johnson felt certain he'd be facing a much larger deficit in the second event of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. A points penalty for his Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet failing its post-race pass through the Laser Inspection Station (LIS) platform last week likely would have dropped him into the bottom four of the 16-driver postseason field. But Johnson said he received a phone call Wednesday afternoon on his way back from his race shop that altered his outlook. NASCAR competition officials had just implemented a midweek update regarding minor LIS infractions, offering a reprieve for both himself and the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 team of last weekend's race winner, Martin Truex Jr . "I was just taking my lumps and going on with my business and then kind of Christmas showed up in September," Johnson said Friday after qualifying fourth for Sunday's Bad Boy Off Road 300 (2 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN, SiriusXM) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . "Just unexpected, but happy." NASCAR's competition department announced Wednesday that P2 and P3-level penalties would be eliminated for lesser LIS violations found in post-race inspections, leaving the stricter P4-grade punishments in place for more egregious infractions. Truex, who automatically advanced to the Chase's next round with his victory at Chicagoland Speedway , and Johnson were not penalized in the points standings. Johnson said he was pleasantly surprised, though he knew his car was slightly outside of the allowable measurements for its rear axle offset, or "skew." "I really feel NASCAR was trying to create a penalty system that was more forgiving," Johnson said. "Stuff bends, stuff moves, and they set those tolerances up to really help the garage area and then to keep cars failing out of the headlines. But it's tough. There's a lot of moving parts in these cars and of course we're trying to get as much skew as we can and we failed. "I'm sure directionally, it was an advantage. Everybody will take every hundredth of an inch they can get. I think we were four thousandths over. I don't know how much of an advantage you can get in four thousandths. That's awfully, awfully small, but we're in a world now where it's black or white." The non-penalty kept Johnson in the heart of the Chase's opening round, slotted eighth with a 13-point spread behind series leader Truex. Four drivers will be eliminated from championship eligibility after next weekend's race at Dover International Speedway , where Johnson has won a record 10 times. Johnson's current ranking could be worse had the penalty taken effect, but it could have been better as well. Johnson was solidly on the verge of a top-five finish last week at Chicagoland, but a pit-road speeding penalty on his penultimate stop bumped him outside the top 10. Johnson said he began to accelerate just 2 feet too early at the pit-exit line, sending him over the speed limit for the final timing section and offsetting the performance strides the No. 48 team had made in recent weeks. "We've definitely been showing speed over the last month and a half," Johnson said. "That's been something that's very welcomed and it's been a lot of hard work to get to that point. Unfortunately, mistakes still are continuing to happen and last week was on me." RELATED: Hear Johnson's reaction on the scanner
Dillon wrecks in Larson-led first Sprint Cup practice
Related: Practice 1 results " Top 10 consecutive lap averages Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Austin Dillon crashed into the outside wall of New Hampshire Motor Speedway 's Turn 1 late in Friday's first Sprint Cup Series practice session, and suffered significant damage to the right rear of the No. 3 Chevrolet that will require a move to a backup car. He finished the session 32nd (132.813 mph). WATCH: Dillon hit the wall The session was led by Kyle Larson , who topped the leaderboard at 135.941 mph in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Right behind him was Chase Elliott in the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet at 135.893 mph. Rounding out the top five were Kevin Harvick in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at 135.757 mph, Carl Edwards in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at 135.738 mph and series points leader Martin Truex Jr . in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota 135.709 mph. Sprint Cup drivers return to the track at 4:45 p.m. ET for Coors Light Qualifying (NBCSN, NBC Sports App). The next practice session is Saturday at 9 a.m. ET (CNBC, NBC Sports App).