Furniture Row Racing
|Series||Sprint Cup Series|
|Race drivers||78. Martin Truex, Jr.|
|Sponsors||78. Furniture Row/Visser Precision|
|Debut||2005 Pepsi 300 (Nashville)|
|Latest race||2015 Windows 10 400 (Pocono)|
Furniture Row Racing is a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team based in Denver, Colorado. The team currently fields the No. 78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS for Martin Truex, Jr.. The team is owned and sponsored by the U.S. furniture store chain Furniture Row and is the only NASCAR team headquartered in Colorado. The team was also the first single car team ever to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which it did in 2013 with Kurt Busch. Furniture Row Racing has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing.
The team made its NASCAR debut in the Busch Series at Nashville Superspeedway in 2005 with Jerry Robertson driving, starting 24th and finishing 33rd. Robertson ran ten races with the team in 2005, his best finish being a 22nd at California Speedway. The team made two NEXTEL Cup appearances as well, with Kenny Wallace debuting the team at Dover International Speedway, and Robertson running at Phoenix International Raceway.
Wallace was scheduled to drive the first five races in 2006 and Robertson filling out the rest of the schedule. At the 2006 Daytona 500, Wallace failed to put the #78 Furniture Row car in the field. Wallace qualified for the next two races, at California Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing 41st and 38th. However, the performance of the team was not good enough to make the top 35 in points, and the team ran with various drivers for the rest of the year, Jimmy Spencer (both Pocono races) and Travis Kvapil (at road courses) also drove the car. The team also teamed up with PPI Motorsports to share equipment and resources throughout the season. Robertson also competed in select Busch Series events 2006, his best finish 29th.
Wallace was hired to continue to be the full-time driver in 2007. Wallace had two sixth-place starts this season but was released in August 2007. After Scott Wimmer and Sterling Marlin failed to qualify in the car in the following weeks, Joe Nemechek was named permanent driver. FRR completed a 3-year contract with Nemechek (2008–2010) towards the end of the season. In early 2008, Wallace returned to Furniture Row to drive in the Daytona 500 in a car that was supposed to serve as a safety net for Nemechek in case his team didn't make the field. Instead, Nemechek locked himself into the field with a third place qualifying run, and Wallace secured a spot in the race in the Gatorade Duels. At the spring Talladega race, Nemechek gave the team their first pole. In the fall race at that track, Nemechek gave FRR its then-best finish ever of 11th.
For 2009 the team announced it would cut back to a part-time schedule due to money constraints. Joe Nemechek was to remain as the driver but the team bought out the rest of his contract after he refused to run a partial schedule. Regan Smith ran 18 races in the #78 car in 2009.
The team resumed full-time duties in 2010. The team aligned with Richard Childress Racing and earned Top 35 status for the first five races of 2010 by purchasing the owner points from RCR's #07 car. Childress was listed as the official owner of the #78.
On November 15, 2010, the Furniture Row Racing transporter and motorcoach were destroyed in an accident on Interstate 25 about forty miles from the team's Denver headquarters. Richard Childress Racing provided the team a fully equipped transporter for Furniture Row's use at Homestead.
At the 2011 Daytona 500, Smith gave Furniture Row its first top ten, with a seventh place finish. On May 7, 2011, Smith gave Furniture Row its first top five finish, and first victory, at Darlington Raceway in the Southern 500, holding off Carl Edwards. In 2012, the team struggled mightily, and Pete Rondeau was replaced as crew chief by former RCR crew chief Todd Berrier before Indy. The addition of Berrier resulted in the first back to back top-10 finishes (both 9th places) for FRR and Smith.
Despite Berrier bringing Smith two top ten finishes and one top-five finish, manager Joe Garone announced that Smith would be replaced by Kurt Busch beginning at the 2012 Bank of America 500 at Charlotte.
In the 2013 season, Busch improved the status of Furniture Row as a team, with the car becoming more competitive and running in contention more frequently than not. In the first 26 races, Busch recorded 8 top five and 13 top ten finishes, and one pole position (at Darlington in May). These were statistics easily comparable to drivers who were running with the powerhouse teams. The team also had low points, such as a scary wreck in the May race at Talladega that saw Busch flip over and land on top of Ryan Newman in turn 3 with six laps to go. A number of poor finishes, and errors like crashes at New Hampshire and Martinsville, plus a dead battery while leading under a red flag at the Coca-Cola 600, kept the team hovering on the Chase bubble. A streak of top ten finishes by Busch in August, combined with a second place finish at Richmond, secured the team a Chase berth entry. This marked Busch's eighth season making the Chase. This also made Furniture Row Racing the first ever single car team to race into the Chase.
The car was sponsored by Furniture Row for most of the season, except at Talladega that October, when the car was sponsored by Wonder Bread, in tribute to Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. This is the second time Busch has driven a car with a Talladega Nights-based paint job at Talladega, with the other time being a car based on the "ME" paint job in May 2012 during his tenure with Phoenix Racing.
In August, it was announced that Busch would not be returning to FRR for 2014, as he had signed with Gene Haas to drive with Stewart-Haas Racing starting at the 2014 Daytona 500. The team also announced that they had extended their alliance with RCR. For close to two months, speculation over who would replace Busch at Furniture Row had suggested Juan Pablo Montoya to be the most likely candidate, as Montoya is being replaced in the #42 at Chip Ganassi Racing by Kyle Larson, with other potential candidates being Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte. However, Montoya eventually announced that he would join Team Penske in the IndyCar Series. In early October, after Michael Waltrip Racing announced that their #56 team was being cut to a part-time team due to the loss of NAPA Auto Parts as a sponsor in the fallout from the Spingate scandal at Richmond, it was reported that Furniture Row was in talks with Martin Truex, Jr. to potentially sign him on.
Prior to the November race at Texas, it was announced and confirmed that Truex had signed a multiyear deal to drive for FRR beginning at the 2014 Daytona 500. The announcement also added that FRR had hired all of the crewmen from Truex's MWR team as well, making for a smoother transition, as Busch had lost several shots at winning races simply because of slow pit stops that plagued the team throughout the season.
Truex had a bad year in 2014, scoring only 5 top tens, leading only 1 lap and finished 24th in the standings. To add insult to injury, Truex's girlfriend Sherry Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Following that year where Truex failed to jell as much as everybody hoped, the team released crew chief Todd Berrier from duty. They hired a rookie crew chief named Cole Pearn.
Truex was having a far better season. It started out on a good note with the new driver-crew chief relationship. During the Daytona 500, Truex led one lap and finished 8th. Truex packed up many more top tens throughout the first 10 races, finishing second at Las Vegas. He led the most laps at Kansas and appeared on his way to a win, when a poor pit stop shuffled him out of the top five.
After leading the most laps for four-consecutive races, and finishing in the top 10 in all but one start through 14 events, Truex and Furniture Row finally broke into victory lane, finishing first in the Axalta "We Paint Winners" 400 at Pocono Raceway in June. The win locked Truex and the team into the Chase for the Sprint Cup for 2015 and put him second in the standings. The win is considered by many to be the most popular victory in several years.
Sprint Cup statistics
|Year||Car Number||Driver||Races||Wins||Top Fives||Top Tens||Poles||Avg. Finish||Owners Points|
|2005||No. 78||Kenny Wallace
|2014||Martin Truex Jr.||36||0||1||5||0||20.2||24th|
|2015||Martin Truex Jr.||14||1||4||13||0||8.2||2nd|
- "Furniture Row Racing transporter severely damaged in crash". Msn.foxsports.com. 2010-11-15. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- Pockrass, Bob (2013-09-25). "Kurt Busch pretends he’s Ricky Bobby with Wonder bread sponsor". Sporting News. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
- "Juan Pablo Montoya appears likely to land Furniture Row NASCAR Sprint Cup ride"
- "Montoya going back to IndyCar". Fox Sports. 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2013-09-17.
- "Truex to join Furniture Row team"