Martin Truex Jr. has told the Denver Post that he has a “handshake deal” to return as driver of Furniture Row Racing’s No. 78 Chevrolet in 2016.
“I expect it won’t be too far out,” Truex said of an official contract. “There are some things that the team needs to figure out and get their ducks in a row before we nail down all the details.”
Among the details is team owner Barney Visser finding another sponsor. Visser currently funds the car through his companies, Furniture Row and Visser Precision, LLC. Visser also must make a decision on a car manufacturer. The team has been aligned with Chevrolet since its inception in 2005, but Visser hinted after Truex’s victory at Pocono Raceway last month that he would consider changing brands because GM doesn’t offer enough financial support.
“Honestly, I wish my contract was longer before this year started,” Truex told the Post. “I have no plans of going anywhere without something crazy happening.”
It’s no surprise Truex wants to stay with the team. Though 16 starts, he has 14 top-10 finishes and a victory, his first in two years. He attributes his success to the immediate chemistry with new crew chief Cole Pearn. Truex said he wants to duplicate the long-term relationship that Jimmie Johnson has with Chad Knaus.
“The reason Jimmie has been so successful for so long is because of that group led by Chad,” Truex said. “My career has been so up and down. I want that (stability).”
Truex was asked on NBCSN during a Sprint Cup practice session at Daytona how far negotiations had progressed.
“Honestly, we’ve been so focused on racing we haven’t really talked much about it. So, in due time,” Truex said.