Truex contract extension "a matter of finding sponsorship"
Furniture Row Racing team owner Barney Visser expects to stay the course with Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78 Toyota.
While there has been speculation that Truex could be the odd man out at FRR when Erik Jones is promoted to Sprint Cup, that's simply not the case. For now, the only obstacle between sealing the Truex deal appears to be sponsorship.
“We’re working on it as hard as we can,” Visser said. “It’s a matter of finding some sponsorship help right now. That’s what he needs. That’s what we need.”
Toyota Racing Development boss David Wilson told motorsport.com he hopes to have his 2017 lineup shored up by mid-July. Wilson jokes often that having an abundance of talented up-and-coming-drivers and not enough seats is a good problem to have.
Still, with a long list of proteges in the pipeline, Toyota will eventually need homes for its drivers.
The numbers don't lie
Truex has certainly earned his place in the No. 78. In the last two seasons, Truex, 35, has won two races and two poles. Last year, Truex had a career-high fourth in Cup standings. He continues to improve his performance in both laps led and average qualifying and finishing positions.
Truex has expressed his desire to stay the course with crew chief Cole Pearn and continue building a championship caliber club.
"I love the team that I’m racing with now," Truex said at Michigan. "I really don’t want to think about driving for anybody else, so let’s just hope that we don’t have to do that.”
Since Visser transitioned to Toyota this season after 11 years with Chevrolet, the Denver native acknowledged the relationship with his new manufacturer and technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing has exceeded expectations.
“They have been terrific to work with right from day one,” Visser said. “They’ve done everything they said they were going to do. I expected that out of Joe and that’s exactly what we got.”
Visser is open to operating two Cup teams. However, in order to afford multiple teams, Visser would need a second charter for a new squad as well as additional funding.
“Yes, again, it’s sponsorships,” Visser added. “Toyota is doing everything they can to help us. They’ve been terrific to work with. They’re doing everything they can. Joe Gibbs is doing everything he can to help us get this thing done.”
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