Furniture Row Racing owner: ‘Nothing concrete’ on fielding second car in 2018
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 No. 77 Toyota. The car is currently driven by rookie Erik Jones.
It all comes down to money.
“We’d love to be able to do that, but I’m not sure the finances are going to allow it,” Visser said. “We’ll see what we’re able to put together. There’s nothing concrete right now for the second team.”
Furniture Row Racing competed in the Cup Series with one car from 2005-2016.
The comments come the same weekend that Matt Kenseth announced he did “not think I will have the option to return to race at (Joe Gibbs Racing) next year, unfortunately.”
It is possible Jones, the 2015 Truck Series champion and 2016 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year, would take over the No. 20 Toyota from Kenseth. Jones is on loan to Furniture Row Racing from JGR on a one-year contract and the team bought a charter for the No. 77 prior to this season.
JGR and Furniture Row Racing are in their second year of a technical alliance as well.
With Kenseth’s announcement, the No. 77 team was viewed as a possible landing spot for the 45-year-old driver who has been competing full-time in the Cup Series since 2000.
“I probably already said too much about what I’m not doing next year, so I don’t really have anything to talk about what I am doing at this point,” Kenseth said Friday. “At this point, I don’t have anything going on next year and am trying to get focused on running better and winning races.”
The notion of Jones succeeding Kenseth in the No. 20 was reinforced by Kyle Busch on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Friday night.
Again, it’s about the money.
"(Kenseth’s) car has been underfunded all year-long, which is unfortunate,” Busch said. “Erik Jones, I would believe, they’re going to announce him going into that car. Obviously, I can’t say that’s a fact. He’s got some sponsorship that’s behind him for the last couple of years and putting that together with the sponsorship that’s already on the 20 makes sense.”
For Furniture Row Racing, both of its cars are in the top 15 in points following the Kentucky race weekend. Truex is second in the standings following his third win of the year. He trails Kyle Larson by one point.
Jones sits at 14th through 18 races with one top five and five top 10s. He is the highest positioned rookie in the points.