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Races  that Five-Hour Energy is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Daytona 500 - 2/26
Las Vegas - 3/5
Phoenix - 3/19
Martinsville - 4/2
Texas - 4/9
Kansas - 5/13
Charlotte - 5/28
Dover - 6/4
Michigan - 6/18
Sonoma - 6/25
the rest TBA
Races  that Sports Clips is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Bristol - 4/23
Daytona - 7/1
Indianapolis - 7/23
Texas - 11/5
Races  that SiriusXM is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Atlanta - 3/5
Charlotte (Open) - 5/20
Kentucky - 7/8
Pocono - 7/30
Richmond - 9/9
Races  that GameStop is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2017:
Richmond - 4/30
Races that Toyota was the primary sponsor in 2017:
Auto Club - 3/26, Service Centers
Talladega - 5/7, ToyotaCare
Contract Status: Driver: 2017 and leaves; Primary Sponsor: Five-Hour Energy 2018?;
#77 Team / Driver News
JTG Daugherty buys charter from Furniture Row #77 team: Another key piece to 2018 that still needs to be announced is which teams will have the 36 guaranteed positions for each race. Those go to teams with NASCAR-issued charters. The Furniture Row #77 team charter has been sold to JTG Daugherty Racing for its #37 car.[More](11-25-2017)
JGR announces Chris Gayle as Crew Chief for Erik Jones and the #20 team Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced Chris Gayle will assume the role of crew chief for the #20 Toyota Camry team in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with driver Erik Jones starting with the 2018 season. "I'm very excited to work with Erik again in 2018 and continue to build on our rookie season of 2017," said Gayle. "I think the lessons we learned together this year will be invaluable to us next season. I'm also very excited to be coming back to JGR and work with all the great people and familiar faces in that organization." Chris Gayle returns to JGR following a one-year tenure at Furniture Row Racing where he led Jones in his Rookie Season campaign.(Joe Gibbs Racing)[Read More Here](11-15-2017)
Sad News - Jim Watson: James "Jim" Watson, a road-crew fabricator for Furniture Row Racing's NASCAR Cup Series teams, passed away Saturday night at the age of 55 after suffering a heart attack. A native of Greenfield, Wis. (near Milwaukee), Jim had been a member of Furniture Row Racing since February 2017. [More](10-22-2017)
Furniture Row will not run #77 full time in 2018:Furniture Row Racing confirmed Wednesday that it will not field the #77 Toyota next season due to a lack of sponsorship: "As Furniture Row Racing looks ahead to the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, the Denver, Colo. based team is not planning to field the No. 77 Toyota as a second car entry. It is our organization's goal to operate a two-car team in the future and we will continue to seek sponsorship funding for the No. 77. Our 100 percent focus for next season will be on the No 78 Toyota Camry, which will be driven by Martin Truex Jr." [More](10-11-2017)
Erik Jones hits crossover steps at Charlotte: Erik Jones was participating in a segment for NASCAR on NBC/NBCSN when he rounded Turn 4 doing about 155 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway and clipped the crossover steps that someone had left along the front stretch wall.[More](10-7-2017)
Furniture Row Racing's #77 Closure Inevitable Without Last-Minute Sponsor UPDATE: Barring a miracle walk-on sponsor at the last minute, Barney Visser has confirmed to Kickin' the Tires that he will shutter the #77 in 2018. "Right now, we don't have a sponsor lined up for the 77," Visser said. "There is no way we can run it without sponsorship, so we're going to have to put it down. It's tough, it's tough to take. We had a lot of people move out to Colorado and they are either going to be happy when they are leaving or they are not leaving. We are either going to make them happy or they are not going to leave they are going to stay with us."
Visser said any shutdown of the #77 car, currently driven by Erik Jones, would hopefully not be permanent and his goal would be to bring it back. He said strong crewmembers are hard to come by, especially body men and fabricators.(Kickin' the Tires)[Read More Here](9-13-2017)
AND Clair B. Lange reports on SiriusXM Radio that "@FRRacingTeam team owner Barney Visser tells @ClaireBLang that the #77 charter has already been sold. It doesn't look good for 2018 (9-15-2017)
Furniture Row president: 'Really good drivers' interested in #77 ride The continued impressive performance of Erik Jones has done more than help solidify Furniture Row Racing as a potential powerhouse in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It also has elevated interest in the #77 Toyota for 2018. "There have been some really good drivers that are looking around and that have inquired about the car because I think it is obvious the performance of the car is something any driver would like to be in right now," Joe Garone, president of Furniture Row Racing, told NASCAR.com. "It hasn't shocked me; it's a compliment to the team some of the drivers that have talked to us." The potential for an open seat exists because Jones, 21, is headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 to take over the #20 Toyota currently driven by veteran Matt Kenseth.
Garone didn't name names, but it's likely both Kenseth and Kasey Kahne are among those who have expressed interest in the ride since neither will be back with their respective teams next season. While Kenseth is being replaced by Jones, Kahne is being released with one year remaining on his contract with Hendrick Motorsports as that organization puts William Byron in its #5 Chevrolet in '18. "It's 100 percent relying on sponsorship," Garone said on whether the organization will field the #77 next year. "We certainly never got into this to run just one year. A set of circumstances presented itself that we're having to deal with. It's late in the year and we've known for a little bit that we were possibly going to be facing having to find another sponsor."(NASCAR.com)[Read More Here](8-28-2017)
Erik Jones will honor rookies of throwback era at Darlington: The unique paint scheme of the #77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota that 2017 NASCAR Rookie of the Year candidate Erik Jones will drive in the Sept. 3 Bojangles' Southern 500 will honor the great rookie classes of the celebrated throwback era. The paint scheme is a photographic Who's Who of the NASCAR Cup Series rookie drivers from 1984 to 1989, featuring Cup Series Champions, Daytona 500 winners and a couple of Hall of Famers.[More](8-21-2017)
Erik Jones wins first career pole at Bristol-by an eyelash: Needing a breakthrough victory to advance to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, Erik Jones took the first step in that direction on Friday, winning the Coors Light Pole Award for Saturday night's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Running the bottom of the track in the strip of traction compound applied to the lower groove, Jones turned a lap at 128.082 mph (14.981 seconds) in the final round of knockout qualifying to edge last Sunday's Michigan winner, Kyle Larson (128.057 mph) by .003 seconds.[More](8-18-2017)
Furniture Row to assume management of pit crew members: The crews will still train with Joe Gibbs Racing.[More](8-16-2017)
Future of #77 team will depend on sponsorship: Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said the team is searching for sponsorship to continue running the #77 car next season but hasn't found any. "We've got no sponsorship right now for the 77," Visser told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday. "So we've got to find something. We don't want to give up that car, but if we don't get sponsorship, we'll have to. We're doing everything we can to get that to come together."[More](8-9-2017)
Erik Jones to drive #20 Toyota in 2018 Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced that driver Erik Jones will drive the #20 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camry for the organization beginning in 2018.
Matt Kenseth, who currently pilots the #20 Toyota Camry for JGR, will not return to the organization following the 2017 season. Currently competing full time in the NASCAR Cup Series for Furniture Row Racing, Jones sits 14th in the point standings and leads the Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings.(Joe Gibbs Racing)
The Following Statement is Attributed to Barney Visser, Owner of Furniture Row Racing "Regarding today's announcement that Erik Jones will drive in the NASCAR Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing starting in 2018, Furniture Row Racing's commitment to Jones and the #77 team remains the same for the remainder of the season. Our goal is for Jones to qualify for the playoffs, make a run for the championship and capture Rookie of the Year honors. We are working on our team plans for 2018 but don't have anything concrete to report at this time except that Martin Truex Jr. will continue to drive the #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota."
(Furniture Row Racing)[Read More Here](7-11-2017)
Future of #77 team uncertain: Furniture Row Racing could be one-and-done when it comes to fielding two entries in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In the afterglow of Martin Truex Jr.'s win Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, team owner Barney Visser said "we have nothing concrete pulled together right now" when it comes to the future prospects of its #77 Toyota. The car is currently driven by rookie Erik Jones.[More](7-9-2017)
Practice Accidents send Jones, Elliott to backup cars #77-Erik Jones had a tire deflating during Friday's opening practice at Sonoma Raceway. That turned out to be the least of his worries. In the first two minutes of the second session, Jones missed a downshift and wheel-hopped into Turn 11, the hairpin. His #77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota slid across the corner and slammed into the tire barrier near the apex. After his team prepared the backup car, Jones got back on track with roughly 25 minutes left in final practice.
Jones, however, wasn't the only driver who had issues in practice. In the first session, road course ace Billy Johnson spun early in the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. Ty Dillon spun heading up the hill into Turn 2. The engine in Matt Kenseth's #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota expired, and the car came to rest in Turn 10. Practice was winding down when Chase Elliott spun near the entrance to Turn 10, he spun all the way through the corner and nosed into the barrier beyond the exit. The #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet team rolled out a backup car after the incident, and Elliott will have to qualify on Saturday with no laps on the car.(NASCAR Wire Service)[Read More Here](6-24-2017)
SiriusXM expands sponsorship of Erik Jones: The upcoming All-Star Race weekend will mark the beginning of a six-race sponsorship deal with SiriusXM radio and Furniture Row Racing's #77 Toyota, driven by Erik Jones.[More](5-18-2017)
Erik Jones to run Toyota Care colors at Talladega: Erik Jones and his Furniture Row Racing team return to NASCAR Cup Series action this week in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with a chip on their collective shoulder after their early exit from last Sunday's race. The #77 Furniture Row Racing team is coming off its shortest outing so far in Jones' rookie season. Damage from a Lap 5 crash last Sunday at Richmond International Raceway saddled the team with a 38th-place finish.
The pack racing Talladega provides may be one of the more challenging venues on the NASCAR schedule to get back in the saddle but Jones is confident heading into the weekend. He will be driving the #77 ToyotaCare Toyota Camry this weekend. ToyotaCare is a complimentary maintenance plan and roadside assistance program is provided with the purchase of every new Toyota vehicle for up to two years.(Furniture Row Racing)[More](5-4-2017)
GameStop making first appearance on the #77 for Erik Jones: Erik Jones and his Furniture Row Racing team have run strong throughout the first part of his 2017 NASCAR Cup Series rookie campaign and continue the hunt for the ultimate success in Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Jones will be driving the #77 GameStop Prey Toyota Camry as part of a two-race partnership with the Denver, Colorado-based team.[More](4-27-2017)
Erik Jones in the #77 Sport Clips Toyota at Bristol This weekend Sport Clips will make their first appearance as the primary sponsor on the #77 Toyota Camry with driver Erik Jones and Furniture Row Racing. In addition to this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, Sport Clips will appear on the #77 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 23 and Texas Motor Speedway on November 5. Erik Jones will make his first-career NASCAR Cup Series start at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend for the Food City 500.(Furniture Row Racing)[More](4-21-2017)
Furniture Row Racing hauler involved in highway accident en route to Auto Club Speedway: The two drivers of Furniture Row Racing's No. 77 team hauler were uninjured when their tractor-trailer rig was involved in a hit-and-run accident just after midnight Thursday on their way to this week's NASCAR Cup Series event at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.[More](3-23-2017)
Erik Jones heads to Auto Club Speedway after career best finish: The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate and team take that shared experience this week to Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., after a series' career-best eighth-place showing March 19 at Phoenix Raceway. The Furniture Row Racing #77 Toyota Camry will sport a Toyota Service Centers paint scheme this weekend.[More](3-23-2017)
Sunday Phoenix Notebook Erik Jones' #77 Furniture Row Racing team did everything right in Sunday's Camping World 500 at Phoenix International Raceway-except for predicting how many cars would take two tires versus four on the final pit stop before overtime. Jones was running fifth when a melted bead caused Joey Logano's right front tire to explode and sent the #22 Ford of the polesitter into the Turn 1 wall on Lap 307 of a scheduled 312. Jones took four tires under the ensuing caution and restarted 14th. He was able to regain six positions in the two-lap overtime that took the race to Lap 314, but for the third straight week, Jones finished lower than where he had run for much of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race. The eighth-place finish nevertheless was the first top-10 of Jones' fledgling Monster Energy Series career. Jones was one of two Sunoco rookies to get a maiden top 10 on Sunday. Fellow Toyota driver Daniel Suarez finished seventh, gaining five positions after the final restart.
Though Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn't win Sunday's Camping World 500 at Phoenix by staying out on old tires-as Ryan Newman did-the driver of the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford did hold onto fourth place during a two-lap overtime. That Stenhouse was able to score his eighth career top five is emblematic of improved performance at Roush Fenway Racing, but Stenhouse says there's still work to do.
Joey Logano started Sunday's Camping World 500 from the pole and led 82 laps, but his race ended suddenly and dramatically when his right front tire blew as the #22 Ford approached Turn 1 on Lap 307 of a scheduled 312. Logano's misfortune stalled a promising run by Kyle Busch-his adversary from a week ago at Las Vegas-and gave Ryan Newman's crew chief, Luke Lambert, the opportunity to make the strategic call that won the race.(NASCAR Wire Service)[More](3-20-2017)
SiriusXM to sponsor #77 Erik Jones at Atlanta The season-in-one-race atmosphere that is the Daytona 500 is now in the rearview mirror for Erik Jones, with his focus recalibrated to this week's race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Jones and Furniture Row Racing's #77 Toyota Camry team will also be sporting a different uniform and paint scheme for this weekend's Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. SiriusXM will be the primary sponsor as part of a two-race partnership, with the second race yet to be announced (supposedly Watkins Glen). 5-hour ENERGY is scheduled as the primary sponsor of the #77 Toyota for 22 races and Sport Clips will have four during Jones' NASCAR Cup Series rookie campaign. Sponsorship for the balance of the races will be announced at a later date (Furniture Row Racing PR)[More](3-3-2017)
Sport Clips returns with Hamlin in 2017; sponsors Jones UPDATE: Sport Clips Haircuts is an active sponsor in NASCAR and is excited to enter its ninth season (2017) as a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny Hamlin enters his 12th full season with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017 behind the wheel of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2017, following an incredible 2016 season that saw him win his first Dayton 500. Sport Clips is scheduled to sponsor Hamlin at: Auto Club Speedway in March and Darlington (usually a throwback scheme) in September. Sport Clips will also sponsor #77-Erik Jones for four races in 2017" Bristol in April, Daytona in July, Indianapolis in July and Texas in November (Sport Clips). Sport Clips had sponsored Carl Edwards the past few years in the #19 JGR Toyota, but Edwards recently left the team and the sport and doesn't plan on racing in 2017.(1-14-2017)
UPDATE: Sport Clips Haircuts announced 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 #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry for two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races during the 2017 season beginning at Auto Club Speedway io March and at Darlington in Sept. 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. 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 #77 Sport Clips Toyota for four races beginning at Bristol in April followed by Daytona in July 1, Indianapolis in July 23 and ending with Sport Clips' home track at Texas Motor in Nov. Jones has previously represented Sport Clips for two races in the #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. 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.(PR Newswire)(2-9-2017)
Spotter changes in 2017: Monday evening Fox Sports' Alan Cavana tweeted a list of known spotter changes in the Cup series this season:
#20-Matt Kenseth - Jason Hedlesky
#41-Kurt Busch - Tony Raines
#77-Erik Jones - Rick Carelli
#34-Landon Cassill - Freddie Kraft
AND: As previously announced, Kenseth's former spotter, Chris Osborne, will work with #19-Daniel Suarez.(2-1-2017)
WIX Filters partners with Furniture Row Racing: WIX Filters, a global manufacturer of filtration products, has joined Furniture Row Racing as a key technical partner, which includes a primary and associate sponsorship role with the Denver, Colo.-based team during the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series season. Martin Truex Jr.'s #78 Toyota Camry will carry the WIX Filters primary paint scheme in the July 16th race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. In addition to the primary sponsorship, WIX Filters will have logo placement for the full season under the hood and on the C-post of Truex's race car and also on the chest of his firesuit. Additionally, Furniture Row Racing's #77 Toyota Camry, driven by rookie Erik Jones, will showcase WIX Filters for the season under the hood and on the B-post. The sleeve of Jones' firesuit will also have a WIX Filters logo.(Furniture Row Racing)(1-24-2017)
Sport Clips returns with Hamlin in 2017; sponsors Jones: Sport Clips Haircuts is an active sponsor in NASCAR and is excited to enter its ninth season (2017) as a partner with Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny Hamlin enters his 12th full season with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2017 behind the wheel of the #11 Sport Clips Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2017, following an incredible 2016 season that saw him win his first Dayton 500. Sport Clips is scheduled to sponsor Hamlin at: Auto Club Speedway in March and Darlington (usually a throwback scheme) in September. Sport Clips will also sponsor #77-Erik Jones for four races in 2017: Bristol in April, Daytona in July, Indianapolis in July and Texas in November (Sport Clips). Sport Clips had sponsored Carl Edwards the past few years in the #19 JGR Toyota, but Edwards recently left the team and the sport and doesn't plan on racing in 2017.(1-14-2017)
Garone a finalist for award in Denver: Furniture Row Racing (#77 & #78 teams) president Joe Garone was a Mile High Sports Magazine finalist for Executive of the Year. Other's nominated were: Jeff Bridich, Colorado Rockies - General Manager; John Elway, Denver Broncos - Exec. VP of Football Operations and GM; Rick George,
University of Colorado - Athletic Director; Tony Seaman, Denver Outlaws - GM; and the winner: Colorado Rapids team President Tim Hinchey. See full article at milehighsports.com.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(1-6-2017)
PR Specialist Joins Furniture Row Racing: David Hart, a respected motorsports communications professional, has joined Furniture Row Racing to manage the public relations program for the team's #77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry that will be driven in 2017 by rookie Erik Jones in NASCAR's Cup series. Hart will work closely with David Ferroni, who will continue to handle the public relations for Furniture Row Racing's #78 team and its driver Martin Truex Jr. Ferroni will also oversee Furniture Row Racing's corporate communications. Hart, a 28-year veteran in motorsports public relations, previously worked in NASCAR as the corporate communications director for Richard Childress Racing from 1999-2013. He was most recently employed as public relations manager at Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, CA. His varied motorsports experience also includes public relations director at Sonoma Raceway, media relations manager for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) and director of communications for the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).(FRR)(1-5-2017)
Furniture Row Racing adding more personnel: As most know, Furniture Row Racing, is expanding to two cars. #78-Martin Truex Jr. ill be joined by #77-Erik Jones, who was the Camping World Truck Series champion in 2015. "There's a lot of work that has to be done," #78 crew chief Cole Pearn said. "We're adding 40 people to Furniture Row. But Martin's team, including myself, will stay intact. We want to build off what we accomplished this season. We're just going to keep plugging away and working hard."(Press of Atlantic City)(12-25-2016)
Five-Hour Energy Statement about their future sponsorship: While its current Cup sponsorship of Erik Jones at Furniture Row Racing has been grandfathered in, 5-Hour Energy's ability to change teams in the future is unclear after Monster has signed to sponsor the series. Statement from Living Essentials (5-Hour Energy): "Living Essentials is not privy to any negotiated provisions of the agreement between NASCAR and its new entitlement sponsor, therefore we could not speak with any clarity on whether yesterday's announcement has any bearing on Living Essentials' primary sponsorship of Furniture Row Racing 5-Hour ENERGY car and driver Erik Jones. We value NASCAR as a marketing platform and have been a sponsor of races, media, promotions, teams and drivers. We will gather more information in the near future and expect to remain a part of the racing community."(ESPN)(12-2-2016)
Gayle to serve as Jones' crew chief: With the recent announcement of expanding to a second NASCAR Cup team in 2017, Furniture Row Racing announced that it has hired Chris Gayle as the crew chief for the team's new entry - the #77 5-hour ENERGY Toyota to be driven by Erik Jones. Gayle, a 17-time winning crew chief to date in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, joins Furniture Row Racing after a 14-year career as an engineer and crew chief with Joe Gibbs Racing. He was promoted from engineer to crew chief at JGR in 2013. Gayle's first two XFINITY seasons as crew chief were with driver Elliott Sadler. In 2015 he served as the crew chief for the #54 Toyota, working with a number of drivers after Kyle Busch was injured in the season opener at Daytona. He also has worked with multiple drivers this season on the #18 JGR Toyota. Nine of Gayle's 17 wins in the XFINITY Series have come this season - seven by Kyle Busch and one each by Denny Hamlin and Sam Hornish Jr. Gayle also served as the crew chief when Jones won the 2015 XFINITY race at Chicagoland Speedway. Gayle and his family - wife Brandi and 19-month-old daughter Cora -- will move to Denver where he will start working out of the Furniture Row Racing shop following the 2016 campaign. A native of Little Rock, Ark., Gayle attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for two years before transferring to the University of North Carolina Charlotte, where he graduated in 2002 with a mechanical engineering degree.(Furniture Row Racing)(9-8-2016)
Jones not expected to remain at Furniture Row after 2017: Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said that he is "fairly certain" Erik Jones, who has a one-year contract to drive for the team next year, will leave after the 2017 season but is confident in attracting a talented driver to the team's second car for 2018. Visser made the comments Wednesday night on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "Dailed In" show. Visser's comments mirror what NBC Sports' Nate Ryan reported last weekend - that Jones could return to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2018 or '19. Visser said last weekend that "we hope to make (Jones' contract) many more" years beyond 2017. On SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Visser talked more about Jones and looking beyond next season with the organization's second team. "If we don't have him, we will have somebody else," Visser told host Claire B. Lang. "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. 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. The first car is running too well. It all builds on itself. It all kind of snowballs in the right direction." Lang then asked Visser if he really felt Jones would leave the team. "I think probably so," 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."(NBC Sports)(8-12-2016)
Second Furniture Row team next year with Erik Jones UPDATE OFFICIAL: Fox Sports' Kaitlyn Vincie reported on NASCAR Race Day Sunday morning that Furniture Row Racing is close to adding a second team next year. She says she spoke with Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone and he said the pieces were coming together but nothing is confirmed. Regarding speculation that Erik Jones would be the driver, he said Jones would be a good fit for the team but nothing is finalized. The second team would be headquartered in Denver, Colorado with the #78 team of Martin Truex, Jr.(7-31-2016)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing's alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing continues to bear fruit. An announcement planned Tuesday is expected to bring the small NASCAR team to a new level. Erik Jones could be part of the news. Reports surfaced Sunday that Jones might be getting the second Furniture Row full-time car. This season is Furniture Row's first as a Toyota team, leaving Chevy for technical assistance from Gibbs. Week after week, Truex showed himself to be a competitor as a de facto fifth Gibbs driver. No other alliance has been so successful in Cup racing. Jones is ready for Sprint Cup. Just 20 and boyish of face, he won the Truck Series championship last season. He won his third Xfinity race of the season on Saturday at Iowa. His victory total this season might be higher had Kyle Busch not stepped down to win seven times. Sunday, a second Furniture Row car was still a rumor. So was the selection of Jones. Suarez also is an option. Another question to be answered: Will the second FRR car carry a charter or race each week without one? Expect that to be decided in the offseason.(Sporting News)(8-1-2016)
UPDATE2: nothing was announced on Tuesday, August 2nd, no word when/if an announcement will be made.(8-2-2016)
UPDATE3: NASCAR Truck Series champion and Xfinity Series driver Erik Jones will join Furniture Row Racing in the Sprint Cup next season. Jones, who is currently fourth in the Xfinity Series standings after winning his third race of the season on Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, is expected to drive the #77 Toyota. Jones is expected to be sponsored by 5-hour Energy, which will serve as the primary sponsor for 22 races, sources said. An official announcement is tentatively scheduled for Sunday morning at Watkins Glen International. When asked about the possibility of adding a second team on Friday at WGI, team general manager Joe Garone said, "With the support we have from Toyota and Gibbs, we feel like now would be a good time for that. It's certainly part of it for the growth of our team."(Motorsport)(8-5-2016)
UPDATE4 Furniture Row Racing to Make Major Announcement on Sunday, Aug. 7 in the Watkins Glen International Media Center at 10:00am/et. Following the announcement there will be a car unveiling at the Toyota PitPass display located in the midway.
· NASCAR.com will live stream the news conference.
· A transcript of the news conference will be available and posted.
(Furniture Row Racing PR)
OFFICIAL: Furniture Row Racing announced that it will field a second team in 2017 with Erik Jones (supposedly a one-year deal) driving the #77 Toyota in the NASCAR Cup Series. 5-hour ENERGY will be the primary sponsor on Jones' Camry for 22 races, launching the Cup Series rookie campaign for the 20-year-old driver. Jones, a native of Byron, Mich., won the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver's championship and moved to the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2016 where he currently has three wins piloting a Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing. "I just can't believe this is really happening," said Jones, who will run the full Cup schedule in 2017. "We have been talking about Cup racing for a while, but to actually make the announcement is surreal. This is every young driver's dream, to be with a manufacturer like Toyota, an organization like Furniture Row with its successful technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, and an incredible sponsor like 5-hour ENERGY who is so well known for promoting its racing program. They have given me a life-changing opportunity and my mission is to make each of them proud."
The colors of the Farmington Hills, Michigan-based 5-hour ENERGY will also adorn Martin Truex Jr.'s Furniture Row Racing #78 Camry for two races, including the 2017 NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "We take our NASCAR sponsorship very seriously as this is a major financial commitment, so we looked at several options for the 2017 season and beyond," said Rise' Meguiar, vice president of Living Essentials, parent company of 5-hour ENERGY. "The combination of a young incredibly talented driver, the success Toyota has had with all of its teams at Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row and the way Martin has been running in the #78, we just felt this opportunity met our company's objectives the best. Erik has earned the hype around him and we are proud to be a part of introducing him nationally with commercials, in-store displays and promotions. This is a really exciting opportunity for 5-hour ENERGY."
Furniture Row Racing, based in Denver, Colo., has earned a reputation as a consistent front-runner and a championship-contending organization with Truex and the #78 Camry. A Cup Series championship Chase finalist last season, Truex already has secured a 2016 Chase berth with one win, three poles and more than 1,000 laps led. "Today has been a long time coming for Furniture Row Racing," said team owner Barney Visser. "Since we started our NASCAR journey 11 years ago it was our goal as a single-car team to reach a competitive level that would allow us to be in position to win races and compete for championships. With the success the team has shown on the track we feel now is a good time to add a second team. We are thrilled to say that we have secured what we feel is the right mix of a driver, sponsor and manufacturer to support a second-car effort."
Visser added, "I can say with a great deal of pride and elation that having a young, talented driver in Erik Jones, a supportive and successful company in 5-hour ENERGY, support from TRD (Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A.) and a strong technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing have propelled Furniture Row Racing into a new and exciting chapter as a participant in NASCAR's top racing series." Jones' ascension to the NASCAR Cup Series marks the first time a Toyota developmental driver has grown from local racing through the NASCAR national ranks to the Cup Series. "Watching Erik progress through the ranks of NASCAR has already been an incredible journey," said Ed Laukes, vice president for marketing, media, incentives, motorsports, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. "Erik is a true talent who has proven his abilities on the track as a champion and a race winner, but also off the track as an ambassador for Toyota, his sponsors and his team. The addition of Erik to Furniture Row Racing at the NASCAR Cup level is not only an asset for the team, but an added voice within the structure and teamwork that has proven successful between JGR, FRR, TRD and Toyota. We're all looking forward to seeing Erik behind the wheel of the 5-hour ENERGY Camry contending for Toyota victories and championships." Jones' hometown of Byron, Michigan is located less than an hour from 5-hour ENERGY's headquarters in Farmington Hills.(Furniture Row Racing PR)
AND Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said the team will attempt to gain a NASCAR charter for the #77 rather than competing as an open entry (ESPN)
Visser said Furniture Row has a one-year contract with Jones, and would like to have more. Jones, however, will remain a key cog in the future of Joe Gibbs Racing (USA Today), 5-Hour Energy will NOT move to Stewart-Haas Racing's #14 team with Clint Bowyer.
Image of the #77 car on the 2017 #77 Team Schemes page.(8-7-2016)
Furniture Row Racing looks for Truex Jr. to stay, 2nd team considered: For anyone worried about Martin Truex Jr.'s future at Furniture Row Racing, according to general manager, Joe Garone, everything will be just fine and even though the organization is looking for more funding behind the #78 Toyota, it is also exploring options for a second team and the possibility of bringing on current Camping World Truck Series Champion and Xfinity Series driver, Erik Jones.
"For us, we're going to be together, that is just the way it is," Garone told PRN's Garage Pass. "He's got a good thing going on with our team and our crew, they're just working really well together, which is obvious. You see those results on the track and he wants to be here. We all feel real confident about that, so in some ways we are just kind of putting it on the back burner, continuing to get the funding and then once we reach a satisfactory level we will get all the papers signed and we will get on with life." As of now, Truex Jr. doesn't have a signed contract for next year with Furniture Row but Garone said that's just a formality as the team is hoping to secure additional funding from sponsors. "We're getting real close to getting the things we need to get signed, signed, from a sponsorship side," Garone said. "We're just focusing on the 78 car right now trying to continue to get the car full-funded. What I can say is that is going well but it is not finished. And the other thing I can say is that we love Martin and Martin just feels like he wants to be here. And, at that point, we'll match Martin to the term of the sponsorship and we will have it behind us. It is really not a lot of drama."
Garone also addressed Furniture Row finally adding a second team and which driver would be on the wish-list to fill any future seat. He said, having Jones would be a big win for any team to lockdown for as a driver. "You want to get the first team put away, working right and set before you really spend any focus on a second team because you really don't want to draw any attention away from your primary team and it feels like from a competition side things are going really well there, obviously," Garone said. "So it does feel like a time when we could make that move to a second team. We are continuing to seek funding and if that comes up here in the next few weeks, maybe we can go ahead and make those plans. We've worked on our shop and have gotten it to where we feel like we can run two teams out of it. We're doing all of the things we can in the background to be prepared but again, it takes funding. The first thing you have to do is get a team put together then we can talk about a driver but I can tell you this if you look at all the drivers out there you would be honored to have Erik Jones. Again, it is funding issue and we are sitting here coming to the first of July and to realistically get a second team going to compete for wins right of the box - which is the only way we would do it - we are running out of time. We have set a stake in the sand and if we don't have the funding properly put in place by mid-July, I think we have to look at scrapping it and look maybe for the following year."(KickinTheTires)(7-2-2016)
Furniture Row ready for new season; still looking at 2nd team in 2017: Much is new for 2016 at Furniture Row Racing, which will have a new manufacturer, a new means of engine and chassis delivery and a new pit crew. But one thing hasn't changed for the Denver-based team that enjoyed a breakthrough 2015 that culminated with reaching the championship round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Among the new elements the team will be adapting to this year:
-Its engines will be shipped via airfreight from Toyota Racing Development headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, instead of trucked in from Richard Childress Racing in Welcome, North Carolina (actually cutting the transport time in half to Furniture Row Racing's shop in Denver, Colorado).
-The pit crew will be supplied by Joe Gibbs Racing, which has become a technical partner of Furniture Row as Toyota's flagship team.
-TRD has relocated two of its technicians to Denver for embedding with the team.
As part of its new alliance with JGR, Furniture Row Racing will be using the same chassis as Gibbs but start with an older model before switching a few races into the season - which has Visser slightly concerned. "That throws everything off," team owner Barney Visser said. "So it's going to be kind of a rocky start. I'm expecting a rocky start, but hopefully by May or June, we'll be rolling again."
With Bass Pro Shops as a primary sponsor on Truex's #78 for several races this season, the team has corporate sponsorship independent of Visser's furniture business for the first time. Team owner Barney Visser hints that prospects are solid for expanding to a second car next season. "There's some things going on that I can't really talk about right now, but we're excited about the possibility of a second car that Toyota may bring to us," he said. "We'll see."(NBC Sports)(2-8-2016)
Three cars for Furniture Row? Furniture Row Racing [#78-Martin Truex Jr.] has big changes on the horizon, with a manufacturer move from Chevrolet to Toyota coming in 2016 and an expansion to two cars coming in 2017. The team may not be done at two teams, either. During Thursday's live chat with Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone answered a fan question of where he saw his team in five years. "I see three race teams, with a super strong relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing," Garone replied.(NASCAR.com)(11-20-2015)
Furniture Row now aiming for second team in 2017: Furniture Row Racing is having its best season to date with driver Martin Truex Jr. earning 14 top-10 finishes in the first 17 races of the season, which has the Denver, Colorado-based organization looking toward the future. Owner Barney Visser told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Saturday that he would like to have a second team in less than two years. "We'd like to have (a second team) by '17," Visser said. "I doubt that it will happen by '16, but we think maybe '17 it's going to roll around the way we need it to. We're going to have to attract the sponsors. When we finally get the sponsors, we'll be able to do it." Earlier this season, Visser also said his team needed more manufacturer support than Chevrolet was currently providing, and the team had spoken with the sport's other manufacturers, Ford and Toyota.(NASCAR.com)(7-12-2015)
No second team for Furniture Row in 2016: Furniture Row Racing currently fields only the #78 Chevy of driver Martin Truex Jr. Speaking Saturday at Sonoma Raceway, Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone indicated there's no rush to add a second team and that the earliest the Denver, Colorado-based organization would likely expand is 2017. "It's still not a priority for us," Garone said. "It kind of falls in getting sponsorship. So while we're working on getting additional sponsorship for the 78 car, we're also working on a second team, but it's really, in priorities, it's funding for the 78, support funding for the 78 and then a second program. So it's not a huge priority right now, especially with the way the 78 has performed this year, and then being in the Chase, we want to keep 100 percent focused on what's ahead of us here. We don't have to have a second team. I think long-term we certainly do, but it's got to come in the right steps." Garone revealed that the addition of a second team could even be three years away. "To add a second team looking at right now, it would be a '17 or an '18 deal, not a '16 deal, absolutely," he said. "It all depends on funding. If a Wells Fargo truck pulled up and dropped enough money, you could probably do it because you could overpower some of the challenges with money, with resources. But that isn't going to happen, so we've got to just lay it out ahead at least a year." As for re-signing Truex, who is in the second-year of a two-year contract with the organization, Garone corroborated his driver's comments from earlier this month that he expects to come to terms with the team on a new deal. "We're starting to get a little bit serious about it," Garone said. "We both have certainly said to each other, 'We want to race together and continue racing,' but we haven't actually sat down and said, 'What's it look like?' There's a timeline for that, and everything's going to be fine. We'll just take it as it comes. Again, we're trying to keep our focus on what we're doing week to week."(FoxSports)(6-28-2015)