Furniture Row Racing, you’ve come a long way! It hasn’t been a mercurial rise for the Denver-based racing team. Remember the days of Kenny Wallace and Joe Nemechek? Whether the product of good fortune, or carefully planned steps, Barney Visser’s organization has become a viable force within NASCAR, competing with such powerhouses as Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, and Roger Penske Racing.
They’ve arrived at this place the old-fashioned way: with a steady ascent from the days where making the race field seemed like a major accomplishment. Along the way, Richard Childress Racing offered technical support, and now Furniture Row Racing draws from the powerful resources of JGR. Regan Smith piloted the 78 car to its first victory at Darlington, and the later arrivals of Kurt Busch and crew chief Todd Berrier took the team to a higher level.
Though Furniture Row Racing foundered after the arrival of Martin Truex Jr. in 2014, the team hit stride last year. Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn jelled quickly, and he made the Chase, thanks in no small part to his victory at Pocono, after a protracted drought.
Furniture Row Racing has only continued to progress. Needless to say, the alignment with Joe Gibbs has been magic from the get-go, Truex has become a weekly threat to reach victory lane, and phenom Erik Jones will join the team in a second ride in 2017. Visser says he suspects Jones won’t be with FRR long, however, one can only imagine what possibilities this will bring for the future.
To be sure, Furniture Row owes much of its success to its technical partner. With that said, it’s one thing to have good tools; it’s another thing to have the talent to make them work. From this fan’s point of view, it’s kind of cool to see a team like this become vialbe in the way they have. Furniture Row Racing has shown there’s room at the table for more, and you can succeed, even from as far away as Denver, Colorado.
This continuing story will be fun to follow as time goes on. It’s just now starting to really get good.