Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser said the team is searching for sponsorship to continue running the No. 77 car next season but hasn’t found any.
“We’ve got no sponsorship right now for the 77,” Visser told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Wednesday. “So we’ve got to find something. We don’t want to give up that car, but if we don’t get sponsorship, we’ll have to. We’re doing everything we can to get that to come together.”
The team added the No. 77 this year for rookie Erik Jones, who signed a one-year contract. Jones will go to Joe Gibbs Racing next season, replacing Matt Kenseth. That leaves an opening with the No. 77 car.
This comes as Martin Truex Jr. has won four races, including last weekend’s event at Watkins Glen International, for Furniture Row Racing and has accumulated enough playoff points that he should go deep into the postseason.
Asked on “The Morning Drive” about the health of the business side of the sport going into 2018, Visser said: “I’d certainly like to see it better. I’m sure if you can run up front you can deliver to the sponsors what you’re promising them. I don’t even know how to answer that question. It’s a pretty tough business right now.”
Visser also noted that Truex doesn’t have as big a salary as many other drivers.
“Martin, he took a real chance and he’s not paid anywhere near as these other guys,” Visser told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “Martin is pure athlete. He’s out there because he wants to be out there. That’s just who he is. I’m not saying that he’s not well compensated, but he doesn’t have the kind of base (salary) that these other guys have, the other top runners have.
“He did it because he wanted to run up front. I told him we would put him in the very best equipment we could put out there, and we haven’t backed off on that. He’s delivering for us. We’ve got something going with Martin that has just worked out very well. I can’t speak to what the other guys have got going on, but I would think that there are going to be a lot of jets sold, the money just won’t support what some of these guys have been making. The sponsorship just won’t carry it right now.”