After a few months of speculation, Furniture Row Racing will contract to a single-car organization in NASCAR’s premier series next season.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, team owner Barney Visser confirmed the move, which he had been hinting at since July. Visser has said a lack of sponsorship next year might preclude fielding the No. 77, which has been driven by rookie Erik Jones this season. It was the first time since its inception over a decade ago that Visser’s Denver-based team had fielded two Cup cars.
In 2018, Jones will return to Joe Gibbs Racing.
That will leave Martin Truex Jr.‘s No. 78 Toyota as the lone entry next year for Furniture Row Racing. Here’s the statement from Visser:
As Furniture Row Racing looks ahead to the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, the Denver, Colo. based team is not planning to field the No. 77 Toyota as a second car entry. It is our organization’s goal to operate a two-car team in the future and we will continue to seek sponsorship funding for the No. 77. Our 100 percent focus for next season will be on the No 78 Toyota Camry, which will be driven by Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.‘s night in Bristol Saturday may have ended with Kyle Buch accidentally turning him into the inside wall and Truex angrily kicking his car, but NASCAR America’s Parker Kligerman and Dale Jarrett don’t expect any retribution from the defending series champion…maybe.
“Probably nothing is going to happen, but the possibility is there,” Jarrett said. “Not saying he’s going to go wreck Kyle Busch, he can just make life miserable. Is Kyle Busch going to drive scared around Martin Truex? No. But I will say this, if they get side-by-side at some places, he’s going to give Martin Truex a little bit more room. Just because he’s going to have that in the back of his mind, what might he do because of this incident?”
Said Kligerman: “We can’t look into the future for these two, but you definitely end up racing each other differently after an incident like that.”
Watch the above video for more.
Bristol Motor Speedway issued a statement Monday in regards to a fan confronting Kyle Busch after Saturday night’s race.
The track stated:
“Our security team has investigated a post-race incident where a guest repeatedly confronted Kyle Busch verbally and physically while he was signing autographs for fans. As Busch then prepared to leave in his golf cart, the individual struck the driver across the chest, and at that time, Busch confronted the individual. The two were separated quickly and a uniformed officer pulled the individual to the side, allowing Busch to depart.”
A NASCAR spokesperson told NBC Sports that the sanctioning body was aware of the incident and discussed it with police.
Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 6-7 p.m. ET on NBCSN and reviews all the big stories from the weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Carolyn Manno hosts with Dale Jarrett and Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut. They will be joined by Nate Ryan via phone.
On today’s show:
- This past weekend, all the buzz was around the Busch brothers – Kurt for snapping a 58-race winless streak, and Kyle for enduring a season’s worth of events in one crazy night. We’ll cover all the angles from the memorable Bristol night race. Plus: With Chase Elliott continuing his hot run with a third-place finish, has he become the top challenger to NASCAR’s “Big 3”?
- The countdown to Throwback Weekend at Darlington continues! Check out Denny Hamlin’s vintage look for the upcoming Southern 500, which draws on his own history in the sport.
- And we’ll have the latest updates on injured IndyCar driver Robert Wickens, who was hospitalized in a brutal crash that overshadowed Alexander Rossi’s victory Sunday at Pocono.
If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. 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 6 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.
Denny Hamlin will join the ranks of Cup drivers who will drive their own throwback paint schemes in this year’s Southern 500 (Sept. 2 on NBCSN).
But unlike Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Derrike Cope, Hamlin’s paint scheme has never been run in Cup.
Joe Gibbs Racing unveiled Hamlin’s scheme Monday, revealing that his No. 11 Toyota will look like the No. 11 mini-stock Hamlin drove in 1997 when he competed on short tracks in his home state of Virginia.
MORE: Southern 500 paint schemes
MORE: Denny Hamlin’s Xfinity scheme for Darlington
On the car will be the logo for Chesterfield Trailer & Hitch, the company his parents owned and that helped keep his racing dreams alive.
Hamlin is the defending winner of the Southern 500.
Watch the video below to learn more about the scheme and Hamlin’s early days of racing.