Furniture Row Racing’s No. 77 Closure Inevitable Without Last-Minute Sponsor

Photo by Barry Cantrell/Harold Hinson Photography

CONCORD, NC – Barring a miracle walk-on sponsor at the last minute, Barney Visser has confirmed to Kickin’ the Tires that he will shutter the No. 77 in 2018.

“Right now, we don’t have a sponsor lined up for the 77,” Visser said. “There is no way we can run it without sponsorship, so we’re going to have to put it down.

“It’s tough, it’s tough to take. We had a lot of people move out to Colorado and they are either going to be happy when they are leaving or they are not leaving. We are either going to make them happy or they are not going to leave they are going to stay with us.”

Visser said any shutdown of the No. 77 car, currently driven by Erik Jones, would hopefully not be permanent and his goal would be to bring it back. He said strong crewmembers are hard to come by, especially body men and fabricators.

“We’re going to, as much as we can, hang on to them. All the fabricators and stuff are impossible to find. We can’t let any of them go and we’re just gonna, we’re gonna try to maintain that and either repurpose some of them at another site in the company and we don’t want to lose anybody at this point. And we hope to resurrect it at some point in time.”

Visser downplayed losing Jones to Joe Gibbs Racing, who is moving prematurely after Matt Kenseth announced his pending separation from the No. 20 team earlier this year. The goal was to keep Jones for a few years and then have him transfer to JGR. However, when Carl Edwards announced his retirement earlier this year, it set off a chain of events that rippled across to Furniture Row Racing. Visser said it isn’t the first time a deal has gone bad but he stopped short of expressing disappointment in Toyota over the situation.

“I’m a businessman and I have been around a lot and I have been doing one kind of business, or another, for 45 years and before that it was the army,” Visser said. “So, things happen. Things happen. All of my life, I have been lucky and this was a little bit unlucky, so, no, I am not bitter about it. That’s life.”

2 Comments

  1. George Karpontinis

    September 13, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Edwards had nothing to do with this. If Edwards didn’t retire, he’d be in the 19, not Daniel, and Jones would still be going to the 20. If they were going to put Daniel in the 77 if Carl was still there, they can still keep that seat warm for Christopher Bell, with Matt for a year or two. Toyota needs to step up here, if they want to have 6 competitive cars on the track, instead of 5, which is way less than Ford or Chevy.

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