Furniture Row Racing is closing up shop. It’s not the feel good, Hollywood ending fitting of an underdog. Racing reality has set in. Owner Barney Visser says he would have to go all in monetarily to make it work, and that didn’t make sense to him.
Kudos to Visser for not hanging on too long. That paves the way for an outcome that’s far worse. In a sense, Furniture Row is going out on top- or it has the capability of doing so. It’s quite an accomplishment for the only fulltime team based west of the Mississippi. Martin Truex Jr. pulled off the unlikely feat of winning a title last season, and his performance this season shows the success of the 78 car was not a capture of lightning in a bottle.
Speaking of Truex, look to see him plying his trade in the 19 car over at Joe Gibbs Racing. Crew chief Cole Pearn will accompany him. Should be a natural transition, as JGR has served as a technical partner to Furniture Row. Left holding the bag will be Daniel Suarez, who hasn’t set the NASCAR world on fire, but hasn’t been by any means terrible.
I believe it was Gibbs who once said that in order to make a small fortune in NASCAR, you first had to start with a large one. It sure gives you feeling that NASCAR once again needs to revisit its structure. When you go from a championship to closing up shop within a year, it doesn’t say good things about the financial health of the sport.
It’s a bummer. The Furniture Row underdog story was something we hadn’t seen since maybe the days when Alan Kulwicki won with his own race team. Well, all good things eventually come to an end. Fortunately for Furniture Row Racing has its place in history.