Reigning NASCAR Cup champion Martin Truex Jr’s Furniture Row Racing outfit is in a “tough spot” because his primary sponsor will exit at the end of the 2018 season.
Energy drinks company 5-Hour Energy served as the primary sponsor for 14 races on the #78 Toyota in 2017, and this year it has shared the primary slot with another company for a planned 30 races.
The 5-Hour Energy company has served as a NASCAR sponsor for nearly a decade, with seven of those years spent in the Cup series.
Truex does not believe team owner Barney Visser can shoulder the entire of cost of the Cup team like he did in its early years, with Furniture Row Racing slimming down to one car in 2018 after Erik Jones switched to Joe Gibbs Racing.
“They’ve [5-Hour Energy] been on the fence for a kind of a while and we’ve kind of been waiting on a decision,” said Truex.
“I don’t know that I was surprised, but I guess I wish it didn’t take quite as long as it did and it kind of puts us in a tough spot now.
“I’m not really, really worried. I think something good can come out of this.
“Obviously it’s not great timing with all that’s going on [Truex is competing for the 2018 title], but I’ve got confidence in my team and what we’re doing and hopefully we can find a replacement.”
Truex does not believe the ongoing sponsor problem will cost him his future at Furniture Row, but admits it is a “more difficult” situation.
“We’ve been talking about it and, honestly, it’s not like we were just waiting on this to happen,” he said.
“We’re just trying to figure everything out, what’s the best direction to go and get all the details and honestly we haven’t really worked that hard on it.
“It’s not really a pressing issue for me. I know what the team wants.
“I know where we’re all at, it’s not like I’m nervous they’re going to sign somebody else or I’m going to be searching for a ride.”