Furniture Row Racing looks for Martin Truex Jr. to stay put as second team considered

Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Harold Hinson Photography

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

DAYTONA BEACH, Fl. – For anyone worried about Martin Truex Jr.’s future at Furniture Row Racing, according to general manager, Joe Garone, everything will be just fine and even though the organization is looking for more funding behind the No. 78 car, it is also exploring options for a second team and the possibility of bringing on current Camping World Truck Series Champion and Xfinity Series driver, Erik Jones.

“For us, we’re going to be together, that is just the way it is,” Garone told PRN’s Garage Pass. “He’s got a good thing going on with our team and our crew, they’re just working really well together, which is obvious. You see those results on the track and he wants to be here. We all feel real confident about that, so in some ways we are just kind of putting it on the back burner, continuing to get the funding and then once we reach a satisfactory level we will get all the papers signed and we will get on with life.

July 01, 2010    Martin Truex Jr.  during Sprint Cup practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL (HHP/Rusty Jarrett )

July 01, 2010 Martin Truex Jr. during Sprint Cup practice at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, FL (HHP/Rusty Jarrett )

As of now, Truex Jr. doesn’t have a signed contract for next year with Furniture Row but Garone said that’s just a formality as the team is hoping to secure additional funding from sponsors.

“We’re getting real close to getting the things we need to get signed, signed, from a sponsorship side,” Garone said. “We’re just focusing on the 78 car right now trying to continue to get the car full-funded. What I can say is that is going well but it is not finished. And the other thing I can say is that we love Martin and Martin just feels like he wants to be here.

“And, at that point, we’ll match Martin to the term of the sponsorship and we will have it behind us. It is really not a lot of drama.”

Garone also addressed Furniture Row finally adding a second team and which driver would be on the wish-list to fill any future seat. He said, having Jones would be a big win for any team to lockdown for as a driver.

“You want to get the first team put away, working right and set before you really spend any focus on a second team because you really don’t want to draw any attention away from your primary team and it feels like from a competition side things are going really well there, obviously,” Garone said. “So it does feel like a time when we could make that move to a second team. We are continuing to seek funding and if that comes up here in the next few weeks, maybe we can go ahead and make those plans. We’ve worked on our shop and have gotten it to where we feel like we can run two teams out of it. We’re doing all of the things we can in the background to be prepared but again, it takes funding.

“The first thing you have to do is get a team put together then we can talk about a driver but I can tell you this if you look at all the drivers out there you would be honored to have Erik Jones. Again, it is funding issue and we are sitting here coming to the first of July and to realistically get a second team going to compete for wins right of the box – which is the only way we would do it – we are running out of time. We have set a stake in the sand and if we don’t have the funding properly put in place by mid-July, I think we have to look at scrapping it and look maybe for the following year.”

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