Martin Truex Jr. wants to stay with Furniture Row Racing: ‘The situation I’ve looked for my whole career’

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Martin Truex Jr. would like to remain with Furniture Row Racing, but negotiations on a new contract have not begun yet he said Wednesday.

“I would like to, honestly,” Truex said in a conference call with reporters. “We haven’t really talked about (a new contract). With the team we’re building … it just seems like this is the kind of situation I’ve really looked for my whole career.”

“The guys have just done such a great job, they’re so good at what they’re doing and we have such a great group, I feel like this team is special. You look over the years at Chad Knaus and Jimmie Johnson and the team they’ve built, and what (Jeff) Gordon did with (Ray) Evernham back in the day, this team has that feel.

“It’s just special and they’re doing special things, building great race cars, making good decisions. They’re making it really easy for me to do my job. Honestly, it’s so relaxed and so much fun that I want to do everything I can to keep this group together and I think there’s so much more we can do.” reported that Truex is in the second year of a two-year contract.

Having lost his ride with Michael Waltrip Racing when NAPA pulled its sponsorship at the end of 2013, Truex succeeded Kurt Busch at Furniture Row in 2014, after the latter moved to Stewart-Haas Racing.

Truex’s first season with the team was one he’d probably wants to forget, placing 24th in points with one top five and five top-10 finishes.

On the other hand, 2015 has been unforgettable thus far.

In the first 14 races, Truex has one win, four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes. He’s spent the last five weeks second in the points.

One of the biggest changes is new crew chief Cole Pearn, who earned his first Cup win last weekend at Pocono when Truex earned his third career series win.

“When Cole and I started working together, it was like we’d done it for years,” Truex said. “He’s obviously a guy you’re going to hear about here for a long time.

“That’s the kind of relationship you need as a driver to be successful, to be consistently successful, because it’s easy to have a couple of good weeks and then fall off the radar.

“A lot of guys early in the season will say, ‘Yeah, that’s a good start for them, but let’s see where it goes.’ Now, I think we’ve proved we’re here to stay and we’re going to be here for a while, and hopefully that’s the case.”

Truex also talked to reporters at Darlington Raceway during a break in testing and discussed the team’s hopes to be more than a single-car operation.

For now, it appears things will remain status quo, along with maintaining the technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing and ECR Engines.

“It’s kind of a little insight into what the team wants to do down the road,” Truex said of expansion. “We’re not talking this year or next year, maybe (not) even the year after that.

“I think it’s more that the team wants to show that they plan to be here for a long time. They want to prove that they’re just not going to up and leave in a couple of years. That just shows their commitment to the sport.

“I think that’s a great thing. I think that’s something that could appeal to some sponsorship and try to get some companies on board with our race team and really just building for the future. I think (team owner Barney Visser) plans on doing this for a long, long time.”

As quickly as Sunday’s win came, Truex also knows it’s now history. He can’t stop or feel comfortable.

“You never look back when you’re not doing well and it’s the same principle when everything is going right – you always need to keep the focus on what’s ahead,” Truex said. “We had our celebration on Sunday in Pocono, but now it’s back to the drawing board and making sure we keep on improving.

“I feel like we’re still learning, we’re still getting better, still learning each other some. To see what this team has accomplished so early in the season has been amazing. And for sure it’s something I’d like to keep going for a long time.”

And he also optimistic negotiations on a new deal with Furniture Row Racing start moving forward.

“I hope so,” Truex said. “I’m ready to go.”

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NASCAR Championship Weekend returns to Phoenix in 2024


Phoenix Raceway will host the championship races for the Cup, Xfinity, Craftsman Truck and ARCA Menards Series in 2024, NASCAR announced Wednesday.

The races will be held Nov. 1-3, 2024. The Cup season finale will be Nov. 3, 2024. The only other Cup race for 2024 that has been announced is the Daytona 500. It will be held Feb. 18, 2024.

Phoenix Raceway has hosted the championship finale for Cup, Xfinity and Trucks since 2020. Chase Elliott won the Cup title there in 2020. Kyle Larson followed in 2021. Joey Logano won the crown there in 2022.

This year’s Cup finale at Phoenix will be Nov. 5 and air on NBC.



Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway


After the fireworks from the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR heads to World Wide Technology Raceway, a 1.25-mile speedway just outside of St. Louis. Sunday’s race (3:30 p.m. ET on FS1) marks the second time the Cup Series has raced at this track.

Much is at stake. The race to win the regular season championship has intensified. Tempers are high. The pressure to make the playoffs builds. Ten drivers have wins this season. Twelve races remain in the regular season.


Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 11th
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Richmond, Martinsville)
  • Past at WWTR: 12th last year

While a driver coming off back-to-back finishes of 20th or worse might not seem like a frontrunner, it actually does make Larson one. His topsy-turvy season has seen him place outside the top 10 in back-to-back races four times. In the three previous times he had consecutive finishes outside the top 10, he came back to finish second, first and second. Can he keep that streak going this weekend?

Bubba Wallace

  • Points position: 15th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Las Vegas I, Kansas I, Coca-Cola 600)
  • Past at WWTR: 26th last year

Wallace has scored three consecutive top-five finishes, his best streak in his Cup career. He has climbed from 21st to 15th in the standings during this run.

William Byron

  • Points position: 3rd
  • Best finish this season: 1st (Las Vegas I, Phoenix I, Darlington I)
  • Past at WWTR: 19th last year

Byron has finished no worse than seventh in the last five races. He’s led nearly 20% of the laps run during that time. Byron has averaged nearly 47 points a race during that streak.


Corey LaJoie

  • Points position: 20th
  • Best finish this season: 4th (Atlanta I)
  • Past at WWTR: 36th last season

NASCAR’s one-race suspension to Chase Elliott gives LaJoie the chance to drive a Hendrick Motorsports car for the first time. This will be the best car LaJoie has driven in his career. Many eyes will be on him to see how he does.

Ross Chastain

Chastain has finished 29th and 22nd in the last two points races. He’s not gone more than three races without a top-10 finish this season. After his struggles last weekend at Charlotte, Chastain saw his lead cut to one point over Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney in the standings. Five drivers are within 17 points of Chastain in the season standings.

Aric Almirola

  • Points position: 26th
  • Best finish this season: 6th (Martinsville I)
  • Past at WWTR: 5th last year

Almirola has finished 13th or worse in all but one race this season for Stewart-Haas Racing. In the five races since placing sixth at Martinsville, Almirola has finished an average of 21.0.

NASCAR suspends Chase Elliott one race for incident with Denny Hamlin


NASCAR suspended Chase Elliott one Cup race for wrecking Denny Hamlin in Monday’s Coca-Cola 600, the sanctioning body announced Tuesday.

“We take this very seriously,” Elton Sawyer, senior vice president of competition, said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “The incident that happened off Turn 4, again after looking at all the available resources — in-car camera, data, SMT, which basically gives us (a car’s) steering, throttle, gives us braking — it was an intentional act by Chase in our opinion.”

Hendrick Motorsports stated that it would not appeal the penalty. Corey LaJoie will drive the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports this weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway. Carson Hocevar will drive LaJoie’s car this weekend.

Hendrick Motorsports also stated that it would submit a waiver request for Elliott to remain eligible for the playoffs. Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “I don’t see any reason at this point in time why wouldn’t (grant the waiver) when that request comes across our desk.”

This weekend will mark the seventh race in the first 15 that Elliott will have missed. He missed six races after breaking his leg in a snowboarding accident in early March. Elliott, who is winless this season, is 29th in points.

Elliott and Hamlin got together shortly before the halfway mark in Monday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

As they ran together, Hamlin forced Elliott toward the wall. Elliott’s car slapped the wall. Elliott then made contact with the right rear of Hamlin’s car, sending Hamlin into the wall.

“I got right-rear hooked in the middle of the straightway,” Hamlin said after the incident. “Yes, it was a tantrum. He shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”

Said Sawyer on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: “In the heat of the battle, things happen, but they have to learn to react in a different way. … Our drivers need to understand that you have to handle that in a completely different way than hooking someone in the right rear and putting them in harm’s way, not only with just a major head-on collision like Denny had, but also other competitors.”

Sawyer also said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “nothing gave us the indication that on that particular contact with the fourth-turn wall … that anything was broke” on Elliott’s car and could have caused him to come down and hit Hamlin’s car in the right rear.

NASCAR also announced that Scott Brzozowski and Adam Lewis, crew members on Michael McDowell‘s team, had each been suspended two races after McDowell’s car lost a tire in Monday’s race.

Winners and losers at Charlotte Motor Speedway


A look at winners and losers from Monday’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway:


Ryan Blaney — Blaney stopped his winless streak at 59 races and gave team owner Roger Penske his second major race victory in two days. Blaney had the best car but had to fight through restarts late in the race to win.

William Byron — Byron, the winningest driver this season, barely missed getting victory No. 4. He finished second and scored his fifth straight top 10.

Martin Truex Jr. — Truex logged his third top five of the season.

23XI RacingBubba Wallace was fourth and Tyler Reddick fifth, giving 23XI Racing a pair of top-five finishes for the first time in a points race.


Jimmie Johnson — The seven-time champion admitted having problems adjusting to the Next Gen car on a 1.5-mile track. He crashed early and finished last.

Legacy Motor Club — It was a bad night for Jimmie Johnson and his team’s drivers. Johnson finished last in the 37-car field. Noah Gragson was 36th. Erik Jones placed 32nd.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin — Two drivers who had strong cars didn’t make it to the finish after crashing near the halfway point. Hamlin said Elliott “shouldn’t be racing next week. Right-rear hooks are absolutely unacceptable. He shouldn’t be racing.”