DENVER (CBS4) – In a NASCAR world filled with Goliaths, Furniture Row Racing is a David.
“It is a huge underdog story in my opinion,” said Martin Truex Jr., driver of the FFR No. 78 car. “We have 50 people working here, so we are up against some really big competition.”
Take for instance Hendrick Motorsports, whose driver lineup includes Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Hendrick has probably upwards of 500 employees and the four race teams,” Truex explained. “They also have a satellite team with Stewart-Haas (four teams/400 people) and the car to beat (Kevin Harvick) just about every week.”
And yet week in and week out this season the 78 car has consistently been one of the fastest cars on the track, and Truex looks to be a real title contender come Chase time.
“I mean right now we are doing everything that it takes to win a championship,” Truex says. “We have run on three of the (Chase) tracks and all three of those we have led the most laps on.”
While FRR might not have the resources of the bigger teams, Canadian crew chief Cole Pearn likes the advantages of being a one-care garage based in Denver.
“We like living in Colorado, and we like being away from that,” said Pearn about not being in North Carolina like most of the other garages. “We don’t have big board meetings, not much compromise; we are just focused on this car and we can react quickly and that is our strength.”
But the historical figure David only had to beat Goliath once, while Furniture Row Racing wants to do this long term, and so team management is looking for ways to bolster their resources.
FFR is considering a manufacture change from Chevy to either Toyota or Ford, they would like to add a second car to the Denver garage, and the top priority is finding another main sponsor besides the owner’s retail store (Team owner Barney Visser also owns Furniture Row).
But none of that is fazing Truex’s focus on this season.
“We worry about going fast and getting the job done at the race track,” said Truex, whose contract is up at the end of the season.
“I have been doing this long enough, it is what it is,” Truex said. “Worry about that stuff later.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Furniture Row’s Martin Truex Jr. Wins At Pocono
Truex has said he would like to return, but isn’t worried about a potential distraction of not having a contract in place.
“Our 100 percent focus is on racing and that’s what it has been all year and that has got us where we are at,” Truex said. “It is easy for me to be in race mode and then come home and talk contract (with FFR) for a few hours and then get right back to race mode. It is not a big deal to me, you know?”
Pearn agrees that none of the off track stuff is a distraction.
“We talk about it, but we are good friends and we are on the same page of where we want to go,” Pearn said. “And keeping the group together is the priority and that is what I think you will see happen.”
And while a lot of things are out of Truex’s control, he does know how he can help the situation.
“The more competitive we are, the more success we have, the easier it is to get other people interested,” Truex said. “It is easier to get more people on board for sure.”