Martin Truex Jr.’s Bass Pro Shops Toyota is being prepped at Dover International Speedway. Photo: Phillip Bupp

THE LEGACY

Now that the team has shut down, this family is going on their separate ways. Many have found other jobs within NASCAR so they will be making the trek to North Carolina. As previously mentioned, some are staying in Denver and will continue to work for Visser in a non-racing role. And while a few people have yet to find work, Visser revealed that it’s important to him that every person who worked at Furniture Row Racing is able to find a job. And by doing things like offering jobs for his other business, Visser will do what he can to help everyone find work.

For Truex and Pearn, the driver and crew chief will remain together and will go to Joe Gibbs Racing to run the #19 Toyota. But while they close one chapter and head off into a new one, they’ll never forget.

Furniture Row Racing won’t go down as the greatest team in NASCAR history, but within their short time as a team, they have forged their place in history. Similar to such other small team owners who tasted championship success like L.G. Dewitt, Rod Osterlund, Billy Hagan, Harry Melling and Alan Kulwicki, Barney Visser and Furniture Row Racing did what many felt was impossible. But by doing what they did, away from North Carolina, at a time where expenses keep increasing and revenue streams are getting smaller, making it tougher for smaller teams to succeed, Furniture Row Racing truly did something special that we may never see again.

[Furniture Row’s legacy is] “The little team that could, Truex said. “I think that if you go and you look at what that team represents. It really is a reflection of Barney. Quiet guy, very successful, but you wouldn’t know it. You go to Denver, you can drive past the shop and you wouldn’t even know it was a race shop. You walk inside, championship winning race cars being built.”

“So I think just for Barney to build that team and in 11 years or whatever, win a championship and almost win two, it’s really pretty incredible. I don’t know if we’ll ever see anything like that again. A startup team, halfway across the country from where all the teams are and build it into a championship contender. I don’t know if that’ll ever happen again.”

For Visser, he did what so many of us fail to do when we hit it big in Vegas- he got out while he was ahead. Visser could’ve kept going, but after 18 wins, a championship, and wins in some of the biggest races in the sport, Visser looked at what he needed to do to remain competitive and felt like it was a good time to call it a day.

“I’ve always felt that we could be a competitive team and run for a championship even when it seemed like a pipe dream to many racing insiders,” Visser said. “But to be successful in any business you need to assemble the right people and make a strong commitment to succeed. We achieved what we set out to do and feel like we climbed Mount Everest. To continue with anything less than a competitive team would not be acceptable. It’s been one incredible ride.”

Furniture Row Racing’s legacy will be that no matter how unlikely it looks, the underdog can still succeed. When the rest of us weren’t taking them seriously, Furniture Row Racing rose up through hard work, perseverance and getting the most out of the resources they had and proved us all wrong. And in doing so, Furniture Row Racing gives hope to all the other single car and underfunded teams who dream of one day experiencing their own success. While Furniture Row Racing may be gone, their team members will find new jobs and a little piece of Furniture Row will now be a part of many teams. And in doing so, no one will forget the time when the little team of outsiders based out of Colorado took over NASCAR.

About Phillip Bupp

News and soccer editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. I also do video highlight game coverage for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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