With Furniture Row Racing shutting down at season's end, reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief Cole Pearn have been confirmed to be joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019.
Truex will replace Daniel Suarez behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota Camry, formerly driven by Carl Edwards before his abrupt retirement after the 2016 season.
“Anytime you have an opportunity to bring two people of this caliber into your organization, it’s certainly an exciting time,” said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. “They obviously have developed a chemistry that has led to tremendous success, including a championship. We’ve gotten to know them well over the past few years through the alliance and having been part of the Toyota family. They both make us stronger as an organization.
“We really appreciate everything Daniel (Suárez) has done for Joe Gibbs Racing over these past several years. He has made the most of every opportunity from winning the championship in the Xfinity Series to making the jump into the Cup Series for us. We look forward to hearing about his plans going forward and know he continues to have a bright future in our sport.”
Since joining Furniture Row Racing in 2014, Truex has won 17 races and of course, the 2017 title over Kyle Busch. The team also formed technical alliance with JGR in 2016.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to join Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Truex. “Obviously to be able to make this transition and still be able to work alongside Cole is something that was very important to me. There is also a real comfort level working with the JGR team and I wanted to stay in the Toyota family. We still have big goals for the remainder of this season, but it’s nice to know what we will be doing in 2019.”
“I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish over the past few years out of Denver and the move to JGR will make the transition for 2019 an easy one,” said Pearn. “It’s a great organization with a lot of great people and a leadership team that wants to win. We still have work to do this season of course, but it’s nice to finally make our plans official for 2019.”
Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser shared a statement after the announcement was officially made.
“I want to personally thank Martin and Cole for their contributions in making Furniture Row Racing a championship-caliber team," said Visser. "There’s no doubt in my mind that they will continue to be a winning driver/crew chief combination with Joe Gibbs Racing.
"They are outstanding representatives for NASCAR and I am proud to have been associated with them. But before Martin and Cole depart for a new endeavor we still have two races remaining, and hopefully we will be celebrating another championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.”
Sponsorship details will be revealed at a later date, but it is expected that Bass Pro Shops will follow Truex over to JGR.
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