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The rise and fall of Furniture Row Racing

Martin Truex Jr. Auto Club 2018 78
Joshua A. Hill | The Racing Experts

Furniture Row Racing spent most of its existence as a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race team. Team owner Barney Visser decided to start the race team in 2005 and base it in Denver, Colorado, an unconventional place for race teams.

From 2005-2009, FRR attempted to compete in a majority of the Cup Series races. During that time period, the team fielded drivers such as Jerry Robertson, Kenny Wallace, Jimmy Spencer, Joe Nemechek and Regan Smith.

It wasn’t until the 2010 season that the team competed in every Cup Series points-awarding race with Smith. In 2011, the broke through with Smith for their first top-10 finish, top-five finish and as winners of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

In 2012, Kurt Busch joined Furniture Row Racing and ran full-time for the 2013 season before going to Stewart-Haas Racing the following year.

Martin Truex Jr. joined the team for the 2014 season after vacating his ride at Michael Waltrip Racing. Truex scored one top-five finish and five top-10 finishes in his first year with the single-car operation.

In 2015, the team earned one victory with Truex at Pocono and made an appearance in the Championship 4 race as a title contender. The year also brought on an announced swap of manufactures to Toyota in 2016 and an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.

The 2016 season saw the team with primary sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops. Truex Jr. opened the season with a runner-up finish in the Daytona 500.

Truex won both the Coca-Cola 600 and the Southern 500, two of the Crown Jewels in the sport of NASCAR. The team finished the season with four wins and secured additional sponsors including Auto-Owners Insurance, Tanger Outlets and Furniture Row/Denver Mattress.

In 2017, Furniture Row Racing fielded a second full-time entry driven by Erik Jones. 5-Hour Energy, SiriusXM, Sport Clips and GameStop all sponsored the second car driven by Jones.

The team amassed eight wins and Truex won the MENCS championship for the organization.

Cole Pearn Martin Truex Jr. 2017 championship
Jonny Olkowski | The Racing Experts


NOTABLE ANNOUNCEMENTS
July 2017 – It was announced Erik Jones would leave Furniture Row Racing to drive the No. 20 car for Joe Gibbs Racing at the conclusion of the 2017 season. 

October 2017 – 5-Hour Energy and Bass Pro Shops announced they would both be primary sponsors for defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. 

July, 2018 –  5-Hour Energy announced they would end their involvement with NASCAR at the conclusion of the 2018 season, leaving Truex Jr. without one of primary sponsors for 2019.

September 4, 2018 – Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser announced the team would cease operations after the 2018 season due to lack of funding.

Despite having four wins so far in the current NASCAR season. Lack of funding was what led to the team’s demise.

It is possible the team could have elected to run a part-time campaign in 2019, but that is not in the cards.

“To continue with anything less than a competitive team would not be acceptable,” Visser said.

ANALYSIS
Furniture Row Racing completed the rags-to-riches story.

They went from barely making races, to making every race, to winning races, to winning a championship.

They have nothing to be ashamed of.

SOURCES
Racing-Reference
NASCAR.com

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