There will be one less current car on the Cup Series grid in 2018.
“As Furniture Row Racing looks ahead to the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series season, the Denver, Colo. based team is not planning to field the No. 77 Toyota as a second car entry,” Furniture Row owner Barney Visser said in a statement. “It is our organization’s goal to operate a two-car team in the future and we will continue to seek sponsorship funding for the No. 77. Our 100 percent focus for next season will be on the No. 78 Toyota Camry, which will be driven by Martin Truex Jr.”
2017 was the first season of the No. 77 car as a teammate to Truex Jr. The addition of Jones to the team was announced last fall, months before Carl Edwards’ surprise retirement from the Cup Series. It’s fair to wonder if Edwards’ announcement threw a wrench in Toyota’s long-term plans at the time as Daniel Suarez, likely the next man up in the Toyota stable behind Jones, took over the No. 19 for Edwards.
The No. 77 car announced sponsorship from 5-Hour Energy before Monster Energy was announced as the title sponsor for the Cup Series. Because of that timing, 5-Hour can’t move to another team if it wants to continue as a Cup Series sponsor.
News of the No. 77’s demise isn’t surprising. Visser — who has largely been self-funding the No. 78 through Furniture Row since the team’s inception — hadn’t been optimistic the team would be able to continue fielding it.
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