With sponsorship an issue, Martin Truex Jr. could switch teams for 2019

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Defending NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. wouldn't rule out moving to a new team for 2019 as Furniture Row Racing continues to look for sponsorship.

When asked Friday what percentage he put on his chances to remain with the team, Truex was noncommittal.

"That's hard to put a number on," Truex said after practice at Bristol Motor Speedway. "Honestly, I really don't know. I think in another week or two, I'll have a better answer for you, a better percentage.

"Right now, we need sponsorship. That's as simple as it gets. So it's hard to say. Is there a 50 percent chance we get that in a couple weeks or is there a 100 percent chance or is there 2 percent, I don't know. I can tell you that everything really is based upon that."

Truex joined Furniture Row in 2014 and has enjoyed four of the best seasons of his career since 2015 with 17 victories.

But 14-race sponsor 5-Hr Energy is leaving after this season, and team owner Barney Visser has indicated he doesn't want to spend his own money on the team. Visser vowed last week that closing the team is not an option.

Truex is loyal to Visser, in part because Visser gave him the option in 2014 to skip races while his longtime girlfriend Sherry Pollex battled ovarian cancer. Truex continued to race, but that gesture while Truex was struggling on the track showed a commitment that Truex cherishes.

Truex's success since 2015 has been the highlight for both Truex and Visser.

"Barney has done a lot for my career," Truex said. "Obviously, it's something we all want to keep going. We just need a little bit of time to really let the dominoes fall into place and seeing if we can keep it going. And if not, I have to figure it out from there."

If Truex leaves, he could end up at Stewart-Haas Racing if Kurt Busch does not return to the team. Busch's contract is up at the end of the year, and Busch said he has been in discussions with several teams but has not signed a 2019 deal.

The 38-year-old Truex does not have children and has no plans to stop racing and end what has been the best stretch of his career. Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler announced this week they wouldn't return to full-time racing next year.

"Some of these guys have been racing since they were 6, 7, 8 years old and they have families and they want to go do some other things," Truex said. "So I wish all those guys the best and with that said, I don't plan on retiring anytime soon."