This past week rumors started heating up that Martin Truex Jr. could be headed to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. With Furniture Row Racing’s future uncertain to say the least the 2017 champ is looking for a stable new home.
Furniture Row Racing has struggled to find sponsorship for 2019 after 5 Hour Energy announced their departure from the sport. Combine that with the fact FRR has not re-signed with TRD or Joe Gibbs Racing for next year and you have a lot of uncertainty.
That is where Joe Gibbs Racing comes into play. According to Adam Stern at Sports Business Journal if Truex leaves for JGR in 2019 Bass Pro Shops will follow him. It is estimated that Bass Pro Shops provides $10M a year in sponsorship. Combine that with Joe Gibbs Racing’s inventory of sponsors and they could make it work for Truex.
Truex would replace Saurez in the #19 car if he were to move to the team. Suarez would either move to the #95 Leavine Family Racing car in 2019 as they become a factory Toyota team. Or he could possibly go to Stewart-Haas Racing and take his sponsors with him. There are a lot of moving parts in this potential move.
If Truex leaves FRR and takes Bass Pro Shops with him that’s the proverbial nail in the coffin for the #78 team. Barney Visser and company are having trouble finding half a year of sponsorship, finding a full year is nearly impossible. Visser said he isn’t interested in funding the team out of his own pocket anymore and that’s totally fine. He did that for a decade, he’s established the #78 as a championship winning team, sponsors should want to be there. Instead, sponsors latch onto mediocre drivers when their ROI could be much higher if they joined a team like FRR.
FRR had no comment on either Martin Truex Jr. leaving or Bass Pro Shops.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. No contracts have been signed for anything or anyone at FRR. The next 12 weeks are going to crazy. This feels like the days before free agency in the NBA or NFL like we all kind of know where guys are headed but no one can say anything about it.
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