By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
Less than a year after ascending to the top of the NASCAR mountain, Furniture Row Racing announced Tuesday that the team will be closing its doors at the conclusion of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, citing a lack of funding to be able to field a competitive team.
“This is not good for anybody,” said team owner Barney Visser. “The numbers just don’t add up. I would have to borrow money to continue as a competitive team and I’m not going to do that. This was obviously a painful decision to arrive at knowing how it will affect a number of quality and talented people.
“I’ve always felt that we could be a competitive team and run for a championship even when it seemed like a pipe dream to many racing insiders. But to be successful in any business you need to assemble the right people and make a strong commitment to succeed. We achieved what we set out to do and feel like we climbed Mount Everest. To continue with anything less than a competitive team would not be acceptable.
“It’s been one incredible ride for all of us.”
The Denver, Colorado based team, which launched in 2005, has seen a renaissance in recent years as they made the journey from also-ran team to championship contender under the guidance of Visser and the driver/crew chief pairing of Martin Truex, Jr. and Cole Pearn. That journey culminated in them hoisting the championship trophy at the end of last season, a first for both team and driver.
Through the first 25 races of 2018, Furniture Row visited victory lane four times and they currently sit third in points, putting them in prime position to contend for another title this season.
However, while they were running like a well-oiled machine on track, sponsorship issues began to crop up off-track with the loss of 5-Hour Energy as a primary sponsor and the inability to be able to find another sponsor to take their place, leading to Tuesday’s decision.
“While I am saddened by today’s announcement, I totally understand the decision,” said Truex. “Barney Visser, Joe Garone and the entire Furniture Row Racing team took me in while my career was in a bad place, and together we reached the pinnacle of the sport. I will forever be grateful to each and every one of them, and also to Furniture Row, Denver Mattress and the Visser family.
“But make no mistake this is not the immediate end. We still have unfinished business to attend to and that’s to give everything we have to successfully defend our Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. Right now that is foremost on my mind as it is with the entire team.”
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