One of the scrappiest teams in NASCAR, Furniture Row Racing, achieved ultimate glory last year when driver Martin Truex Jr. was crowned champion. But that wasn't enough to secure sponsorship funding for next year, so Furniture Row was forced to shut down after the 2018 Cup Series finished. Today, Joe Gibbs Racing announced that Truex and his crew chief, Cole Pearn, would join its team for the 2019 Cup Series.
This move isn't a huge surprise, since JGR had a partnership with Furniture Row Racing. Truex will replace Daniel Suarez, who joined JGR in 2015, won the Xfinity Series championship in 2016, and stepped up to the Cup Series last year. Suarez hasn't yet announced his plans for next year.
Truex and Pearn have been an incredible duo since they were first paired at Furniture Row in 2015. Since then, they've won 17 races together, including eight on their way to the championship last year. And they're still in contention for the 2018 championship, with four wins this year.
"I'm really excited to have the opportunity to join Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Truex, in a statement. "Obviously to be able to make this transition and still be able to work alongside Cole is something that was very important to me. There is also a real comfort level working with the JGR team and I wanted to stay in the Toyota family.
"We still have big goals for the remainder of this season, but it’s nice to know what we will be doing in 2019."
Team owner Barney Visser chose to shut down Furniture Row Racing after losing 5-Hour Energy as a sponsor. Adam Stern of SportsBusiness Journal , Bass Pro Shops and Auto-Owners Insurance, will make the move to JGR, too, though no formal announcement has been made yet.