The ball would seem to be in Chevrolet’s court now as to whether it increases funding and technical resources to Furniture Row Racing.
Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone made it clear Friday at Michigan International Speedway that his team wants and needs more resources and sponsorship.
“It is about business,” Garone said. “We’re in a sport that’s real expensive. To be able to be in a position to win the championship, we need more resources.
“Chevrolet has been a great partner, we’ve been together for 10 years now. But to get to the level we need to get to, we need to get a lot more support. We’re open and have been looking to try and get that, to just push our team forward.”
While he didn’t mention Ford or Toyota by name, Garone made it clear that he’s open to any manufacturer if it will boost the company’s competitiveness.
“We didn’t say we’re changing, we said that we’re looking,” Garone said. “It’s just something we need to do, across the board, including sponsorships.”
Toyota could be a potential replacement for Chevrolet with Furniture Row. With just Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing under its racing umbrella, Toyota might be able to offer more to Furniture Row in terms of funding and technical support – particularly since it’s only (for now) a one-car team.
Ford, on the other hand, has Roush Fenway Racing, Penske Racing, Wood Brothers and Richard Petty Motorsports under its blue oval.
Adding a single-car team might seem to be a minimal uptick for Ford, but with the possibility of the Wood Brothers moving to a full-time Sprint Cup effort in 2016, that could potentially affect Furniture Row if it shifts to Ford.
And then there’s the issue of more sponsorship.
“One of the things about the 78 car, because it’s always had Furniture Row and Denver Mattress on it, everybody assumes that it’s sponsored. It makes it tough for us to find partners.
“But again, (team owner Barney Visser) owns those companies. We need to get the word out that we are actually looking for sponsorship to come on board, not just for the 78, but to expand into a multi-car team.
“It’s for the long-term growth of the team. We’ll see what plays out and just keep pushing the button and trying to expand the thing.”