Getty Images

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.

MORE: Joe Gibbs not ready to make announcements about Matt Kenseth, Erik Jones.

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.

and on Facebook

NASCAR America: Should penalty for failing inspection be more severe?


After 13 cars failed qualifying inspection last Friday at Auto Club Speedway, NASCAR America’s analysts addressed the current state of rules that resulted in all thirteen teams not getting to make a qualifying attempt.

While Kyle Busch said the issues are “not that big deal,” especially with the new scanning system still in its infancy, Jeff Burton disagrees. Burton points to how much engineering has become involved in the sport and trying make cars better with NASCAR’s rules.

“It’s snowballed into this great big bag of rules,” Burton said. “We have all these rules that the teams have forced NASCAR to create. I don’t know the way out of it. There’s two ways to do it. You make the penalties harsher, with the theory being they won’t do it if the penalty is so harsh, or you have less rules. The problem is if you have less rules you’re going to have more cars that aren’t within those rules as they are.”

After the issues in Cup qualifying, NASCAR told Xfinity Series teams on Saturday that any team that did not attempt a lap in qualifying would start from the rear of the field and be required to serve a pass-through penalty once the green flag waved.

“It is a mess, but I disagree with Kyle (Busch), it is a big deal,” Burton said, citing fans who don’t get to see their favorite driver qualifying. “That’s not good. That’s not good for sponsors, that’s mainly not good for mainly race fans. If race fans tune in and their guy isn’t on track, why are they going to tune in next week? They deserve to see their guy on track. It’s got to get fixed.”

NASCAR announced Monday that inspection this weekend at Martinsville Speedway would take place after qualifying and would also serve as pre-race inspection.

Jarrett, who said there are too many rules, agreed with Burton.

“The only way of fixing this is making the penalty so severe that these teams aren’t going to take any chances,” Jarrett said.

Watch the above video for more.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Auto Club Speedway recap, West Coast Awards

Leave a comment

Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN and looks back at the weekend’s racing at Auto Club Speedway.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Jeff Burton, Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett from the “Big Oak Table” at NBC Charlotte.

What to expect from the show.

  • Martin Truex Jr. flashed his championship form from last year and earned his first win of the 2018 season Sunday in Fontana. We’ll recap the last race of NASCAR Goes West from around the “Big Oak Table” at our NBC Sports studios in Charlotte. Plus, Rut and the gang will hand out the West Coast awards, honoring the best moments from the Vegas-Phoenix-Fontana run.
  • NASCAR is a sport built on families, and it’s seen lots of kids grow up at the track through the years. We’ll spend time discussing the next generation to catch the racing bug – including Harrison Burton, son of our Jeff Burton.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, you also can watch it via the online stream at http:/

If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Landon Cassill gets Cup ride for Martinsville, Texas

Getty Images
1 Comment

Landon Cassill will drive the No. 00 for StarCom Racing in the next two races, Martinsville and Texas, the team announced Monday.

Cassill replaces Jeffrey Earnhardt. StarCom Racing and Earnhardt parted ways after Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway.

Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway will mark Cassill’s first Cup race of the year. The 28-year-old has 259 career Cup starts and a career-best finish of fourth at Talladega in October 2014. He drove for Front Row Motorsports the past two seasons but was not retained after last year.

Cassill’s sponsor the next two races will be the United States First Responders Association, a non-profit, professional and social network of fire, EMS, rescue, law enforcement and military personnel, as well as civilian support teams.

StarCom Racing was privileged to acquire a new partnership with USFRA and Landon Cassill behind the wheel,” said Derrike Cope, team manager, in a statement. “I’m optimistic that his knowledge and experience will only help our efforts as well as the growth of our team.”

Said Cassill in a statement: “I love working with new teams. I feel like that is one of my strengths. StarCom Racing looks like they are in it for the long haul, and I am thrilled to be a part of it.” 

 and on Facebook

Hendrick Motorsports withdraws appeal of Phoenix penalties against No. 9 team

Getty Images

Hendrick Motorsports has withdrawn its appeal of penalties against Chase Elliott‘s N0. 9 team from last weekend’s race in Phoenix, NBC Sports confirmed.

NASCAR found a L1 infraction on Elliott’s car in the rear-suspension after the race at ISM Raceway.

NASCAR stated that the team’s truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mounting surfaces must be planar and in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times.

NASCAR fined crew chief Alan Gustafson $50,000, suspended car chief Josh Kirk two races and docked Elliott 25 points and the team 25 owner points. Elliott’s third-place finish in the race will not count toward any tiebreakers.

Following Sunday’s race at Auto Club Speedway, where Elliott finished 16th, he is 21st in the point standings.

 and on Facebook