The speculation about where Martin Truex Jr. will be racing after the 2016 season ended Thursday. Furniture Row Racing announced Thursday evening that Truex has signed a new two-year agreement to drive the team’s No. 78 Toyota Camry in NASCAR’s Cup Series.
The team, which has an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, first signed Truex for the start of the 2014 season. In 93 starts with the team Truex has two wins, 12 top five and 36 top 10 finishes. Truex finished a career best fourth in the champion standings in 2015 and has already clinched a 2016 Chase berth.
In addition to the contract for Truex, the Denver-based team announced that Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats, which joined Furniture Row Racing as a partner in 2016, will increase its primary sponsorship schedule from 12 to 16 races in 2017, starting with the season-opening Daytona 500.
Truex Jr. and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris have been longtime friends. The company was Truex’s first sponsor when he started his NASCAR career, and was the primary sponsors for two NASCAR Xfinity Series championships in 2004 and 2005, as well as the primary sponsor for Truex’s first three years in the Sprint Cup Series.
“The signing of Martin Truex Jr. to a new contract and Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats adding more races to its primary sponsorship package are signs of strength and confidence for the future of Furniture Row Racing,” said team president Joe Garone. “Martin has proved over and over that he is one of the blue chip drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we are elated that he will continue to drive our No. 78 Toyota.”
In addition to clinching a Chase spot, after 21 races in 2016 Truex has one win (Charlotte), three top fives, and nine top 10s finishes along with three poles. He also ranks No. 1 with laps led at 1005 and is eighth in Sprint Cup driver points.
“This is where I want to be, driving the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota.,” Truex said. “We’ve come a long way in a short period of time. There are many reasons to feel excited and optimistic about the future of our racing program starting with the commitment from our team owner Barney Visser, the support from Toyota, the technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing and the Bass Pro Shops sponsorship.
“We definitely have the resources and talent to go after victories and championships. I want to thank Barney and Joe Garone for the confidence that they have placed in me and also want to thank my good friend and hunting/fishing partner Johnny Morris for the continued support from Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup series will be in action this Sunday with the second road course race of the season, the Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen International. Live coverage will be on USA Network starting at 2:00 p.m. ET with the green flag coming at about 2:30 p.m. ET.