After 12 years as owner, Barney Visser finally sees team win in person
Martin Truex Jr.’s dominating performance in Sunday night’s Coca-Cola 600 was special in and of itself.
But for team owner Barney Visser, it was all the more special and sweeter.
Even though Visser has owned Furniture Row Racing since 2005, he never had been there in person to see one of his drivers win a Sprint Cup race.
Visser missed Regan Smith’s win in the 2011 Southern 500 at Darlington. He missed Truex’s win at Pocono last June, Truex’s first victory for FRR.
But not Sunday night.
Visser was there, front and center at Charlotte Motor Speedway, when Truex crossed the finish line and rolled into Victory Lane with his fourth career Sprint Cup win and second since joining Furniture Row in 2014.
“I’m really excited that Barney was here tonight,” Truex said. “It’s the first time he’s been at the racetrack when one of his cars has won, so that’s a big deal for all of us.
“We’ve been so close to winning for him this year, and for him to be here tonight, to get to victory lane in the 600 was amazing.
“All in all, the whole weekend was really one of them fairy-tale weekends where it seemed like we couldn’t do anything wrong. Cole (crew chief Cole Pearn) and the guys did a great job with the car obviously all weekend, and it just seemed like everything was going the way we needed it to do.”
When asked about finally seeing his first FRR team victory in person, Visser didn’t want to steal the spotlight from Truex’s win.
“It’s good to have a driver that can get this kind of stuff done,” Visser said. “I think Martin is as good as anybody out there right now, and that’s really fun to watch.”
But Truex could tell his boss was caught up in the moment.
“It was the most excited I’ve ever seen him,” Truex said of Visser, adding with a laugh, “I’m pretty sure he even hugged me.
“No, honestly, it was great to see that. We’re so happy to have him here. He does so much for this team, for Cole and all the guys. He really and truly treats them like family. I know it’s really a big deal for all those guys to get to share this with him tonight. We appreciate it.”
Truex now returns to Pocono Raceway to defend last year’s win. How much do you want to bet Visser will be there?