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NASCAR Cup: Furniture Row Racing continues support of racing program for disabled

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 15: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series SouthPoint 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Furniture Row Racing owner Barney Visser shuttered operation of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team at the end of the 2018 race season, but he and FRR President Joe Garone haven’t completely gotten out of racing. They still support the Falci Adaptive Biosystems Program created by neurosurgeon Scott Falci to help paraplegic and quadriplegic individuals drive race cars.

Visser recently posted a letter to race fans on the Furniture Row Racing website, detailing his and Garone’s involvement in the program and thanking fans for their support of the now-defunct NASCAR team.

Below, is the letter:

“Dear Race Fan,

“First, I want to express a sincere thank you for the passionate support given to Furniture Row Racing during our storied career in NASCAR. It was an incredible ride and we are proud to be known as a NASCAR Cup Series champion.

“Along with the enjoyment of being a competitive team on the racetrack, we also enjoyed a great deal of satisfaction partnering with renowned Denver-based neurosurgeon, Dr. Scott Falci, and his adaptive motorsports program. The Falci Adaptive Biosystems Program and its cutting-edge technology is designed to bring mobility to paraplegic, quadriplegic and disabled individuals.
Furniture Row Racing, Furniture Row and Denver Mattress provided the adaptive Toyota race car the past four years. Dr. Falci and his team built and installed the highly-sophisticated technological components that allow the spinal cord injured to drive the race car with its’ special hand controls linked to the accelerator and braking. In addition to the hand controls the car can be driven hands and foot free, with technology that allows movement of the occupant’s head to be detected and input into the vehicles steering, accelerator, and brake systems.

“While the race car will continue to be provided by Furniture Row and Denver Mattress, I will not be personally involved. I am proud to announce that this inspirational program will have more assets to expand under the executive leadership of Joe Garone, who was the architect of building Furniture Row Racing to a championship level as the team’s president.

“Joe will work with Charlotte-based Spire Sports & Entertainment and Dr. Falci to grow the program’s fundraising and awareness efforts.

“Joe and Spire are currently seeking sponsorship for a number of special events to showcase the adaptive race car technology prior to a NASCAR Cup Series weekend. The events will include spinal cord injured individuals driving the adaptive car along with a NASCAR Cup Series driver, who will offer assistance and advice plus give a thrilling, high-speed ride to the participants.

“For a better understanding of an adaptive motorsports event please see video below, which includes former NHRA champion Darrell Gwynn driving the adaptive race car with only head movements.

“Continue to follow FurnitureRowRacing.com and its Facebook and Twitter handles for technological and event scheduling updates regarding the adaptive motorsports program.

“Barney Visser”

Visser’s No. 78 Toyota team with driver Martin Truex Jr. was the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion when Visser announced the team’s closure, effective at season’s end. The loss of sponsorship from 5-Hour Energy, Visser’s health and the increased cost of a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing were cited as reasons for the closure. Truex, crew chief Cole Pearn and sponsors Bass Pro Shops and Auto-Owners Insurance are moving to JGR for 2019.

Furniture Row Racing competed in NASCAR’s top Series between 2005 and 2018, going full-time in 2010. It was a two-car team for one season, in 2017. Truex and the No. 78 team finished second in the standings in FRR’s final season.

Furniture Row Racing’s charter was sold to Spire Sports & Entertainment to field a No. 77 Chevrolet in 2019. The new team hasn’t made a driver or sponsor announcement for the upcoming season that will begin Feb. 17 with the Daytona 500.

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Posted by on January 12, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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