NASCAR rain man Bob Pockrass tweeted out today that Martin Truex Jr. and Crew Chief Cole Pearn are expected to announce they will join Joe Gibbs Racing today.
This comes a mere two months after reports first linked the two with JGR. Truex’s current team Furniture Row Racing announced they would close at the end of the season due to rising costs and lack of sponsorship for the championship-winning #78 team. Due in part to JGR doubling and even closer to triple the cost of their alliance with FRR. If you can’t beat them, knock them out. JGR did just that and in the process landed the 2017 Champ and more importantly Cole Pearn.
Truex is expected to step into the #19 seat that will be vacated by Daniel Suarez. Truex will be the third driver in the #19 in 4 seasons, it’s a high turnover rate at a team like Gibbs. Suarez, unfortunately, is being forced out. A homegrown product at Gibbs and one of the best NASCAR Drive for Diversity success stories is looking for a job in 2019. It appears the 2016 Xfinity Champ is headed to Stewart Haas Racing in 2019.
While landing a champion is huge for Gibbs it’s the crew chief that is the bigger get. Cole Pearn is the real prize in this signing. Pearn is hands down one of the Top 2 crew chiefs in NASCAR currently. What he has done at FRR is nothing short of phenomenal. You throw him into JGR’s shop now will all the resources he could ask for and the rest of the garage should be concerned. Of course, the 2019 rules package is going to throw a wrench into his current notebook. One NASCAR team manager was asked earlier in the season if he wanted Truex his response? “Sure, but I’m more interested in Cole Pearn.” That speaks volumes to what the Pearn has done.
The good news for Truex is he’s keeping Pearn. The bad news? Pearn’s brain is now going to be used for the other three JGR cars as well.
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