Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn will join Joe Gibbs Racing and compete in the No. 19 Toyota in 2019, the team announced Wednesday.
The move comes with Furniture Row Racing shutting down after the end of this season. The closing, due to a lack of sponsorship, was announced in September.
Truex, who won the 2017 Cup title, replaces Daniel Suarez in the No. 19. Suarez has driven it since 2017 when he replaced Carl Edwards.
Suarez has not announced his plans for 2019.
Truex has been paired with Pearn since 2015, Truex’s second year with Furniture Row. In 141 starts together in the No. 78 Toyota they have 17 wins and 54 top fives.
They have won the Coca-Cola 600 and Southern 500.
Truex had two wins in his previous nine full-time Cup seasons.
Truex and Pearn have four wins this season and are part of the Round of 8 in the playoffs.
Sponsorship for Truex will be announced at a later date.
“Anytime you have an opportunity to bring two people of this caliber into your organization, it’s certainly an exciting time,” said team owner Joe Gibbs in a press release. “They obviously have developed a chemistry that has led to tremendous success, including a championship. We’ve gotten to know them well over the past few years through the alliance and having been part of the Toyota family. They both make us stronger as an organization.
“We really appreciate everything Daniel (Suárez) has done for Joe Gibbs Racing over these past several years. He has made the most of every opportunity from winning the championship in the Xfinity Series to making the jump into the Cup Series for us. We look forward to hearing about his plans going forward and know he continues to have a bright future in our sport.”
Said Truex in the release: “I’m really excited to have the opportunity to join Joe Gibbs Racing. Obviously to be able to make this transition and still be able to work alongside Cole is something that was very important to me. There is also a real comfort level working with the JGR team and I wanted to stay in the Toyota family. We still have big goals for the remainder of this season, but it’s nice to know what we will be doing in 2019.”
Said Pearn in the release: “I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish over the past few years out of Denver and the move to JGR will make the transition for 2019 an easy one. It’s a great organization with a lot of great people and a leadership team that wants to win. We still have work to do this season of course, but it’s nice to finally make our plans official for 2019.”
Barney Visser, the owner of Furniture Row Racing, issued the following statement.
“I want to personally thank Martin and Cole for their contributions in making Furniture Row Racing a championship-caliber team. There’s no doubt in my mind that they will continue to be a winning driver/crew chief combination with Joe Gibbs Racing. They are outstanding representatives for NASCAR and I am proud to have been associated with them. But before Martin and Cole depart for a new endeavor we still have two races remaining, and hopefully we will be celebrating another championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.”