NASCAR: Talks of Merger Between Furniture Row and GMS Racing End
Furniture Row Racing continues to explore its options for 2019 and beyond. A merger with GMS Racing is no longer one of those options.
Talks between Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams Furniture Row Racing and GMS Racing to merge have fallen through. Representatives from the two teams met Tuesday in Denver, North Carolina, but representatives from both sides no longer believe a deal will be struck between the two race teams
“We have a plan in place to continue running,” Furniture Row Racing President Joe Garone told Racin' Boys. "We want to continue with Toyota, perhaps contract [downsize] and not have to rely on a technical partner. But this is a team that is not satisfied with just running. We want to be competitive. We are competitive. Toyota has been a terrific partner, and it has always been our intent to stay with Toyota. Right now, we’re doing everything in our power to replace 5-hour and continue to win races and championships.”
Furniture Row Racing is a one-car Cup Series team that fields the No. 78 Toyota for Martin Truex Jr. Together, FRR and Truex won the Cup Series championship in 2017. Furniture Row has a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex’s contract with the team expires at the end of the current season. Bass Pro Shops and 5-Hour Energy are co-primary sponsors of the No. 78 car, but 5-Hour Energy has announced it won’t continue its relationship with the team beyond the 2018 season.
“Our primary goal is to keep the team together,” Garone said. “Our whole team—Martin, Cole [Pearn, crew chief] —they want to stay together. We need to find a company that gets behind Martin Truex Jr. and (FRR owner) Barney Visser and sponsors this team."
GMS Racing fields entries in NASCAR’s Xfinity and Camping World Truck series, and in the past, has expressed interest in expanding to the Cup Series. GMS President Mike Beam placed a bid in the recent auction for Cup Series team BK Racing but did not win.
Rumblings in the NASCAR garage reported by Sports Business Daily now have Truex possibly moving to Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Toyota in 2019, replacing Daniel Suarez with the latter moving to Leavine Family Racing to replace the retiring Kasey Kahne. Leavine Family Racing owner Bob Leavine already has publicly expressed interest in switching from Chevrolet to Toyota ahead of next season. Such a change may result in an alliance with JGR.