CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR champion Martin Truex Jr. and his crew chief will move to Joe Gibbs Racing next season to remain within the Toyota group after their race group folds in two weeks.
Truex gained his first Cup title final yr driving for Furnishings Row Racing. Barney Visser had funded the group out of pocket for most of its existence however acquired aid assist the previous few seasons from sponsorship.
When the first sponsor of the No. 78 decided to go away NASCAR and Visser couldn’t find a alternative, the proprietor decided to close because he discovered it too expensive to area a championship-contending staff without outdoors funding.
Truex will substitute Daniel Suarez as driver of the No. 19 staff. Sponsorship was not introduced.
“Anytime you’ve a chance to convey two individuals of this caliber into your organization, it’s definitely an thrilling time,” stated workforce proprietor Joe Gibbs. “They clearly have developed a chemistry that has led to large success, including a championship. We’ve gotten to know them properly over the previous few years by way of the alliance and having been part of the Toyota family. They both make us stronger as a corporation.”
Truex has 19 Cup victories, including a profession-excessive eight victories in final yr’s championship season. A member of the so-referred to as Huge Three that dominated NASCAR this season, Truex has four victories and goes to Phoenix this weekend in rivalry for a spot in the championship race. Solely one of the three slots for the finale has been crammed, and Truex is above the cutline to qualify for Homestead-Miami Speedway and a shot at defending his title.
“I’m really excited to have the chance to hitch Joe Gibbs Racing,” he stated. “Obviously to be able to make this transition and nonetheless be capable of work alongside Cole (Pearn) is something that was essential to me. There’s also a real comfort degree working with the JGR staff and I needed to remain in the Toyota household.
“We still have massive objectives for the remainder of this season, nevertheless it’s good to know what we shall be doing in 2019.”
Pearn was promoted from lead engineer to crew chief for the No. seventy eight group in 2015 and has guided the workforce to 17 wins.
“I’m extraordinarily pleased with every thing we’ve been capable of accomplish over the previous few years out of Denver and the transfer to JGR will make the transition for 2019 a simple one,” he stated. “It’s an amazing group with loads of great individuals and a leadership group that desires to win.”
Suarez, in the meantime, is on the lookout for a new job. The Mexican gained the 2016 Xfinity Collection title driving for Gibbs and two months later was unexpectedly promoted to the Cup Collection when Carl Edwards walked away from NASCAR.
Edwards’ retirement put Toyota’s long-time period improvement plan in flux. Suarez had been expected to succeed Erik Jones at Furniture Row, where he’d been stashed by Gibbs in 2017 and was supposed to remain till a Gibbs seat opened. Then Suarez was anticipated to maneuver into the second Furniture Row automotive…