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NASCAR Cup: Martin Truex Jr., Cole Pearn officially to Joe Gibbs Racing next year

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 21: 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. speaks before presenting President Trump with a replica helmet during an event to honor the champion driver on the South Lawn of the White House on May 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. Truex drives the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

A move by Martin Truex Jr. to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has been popular speculation since Furniture Row Racing announced its closure, effective at the end of the 2018 season, earlier this year. Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed the move Wednesay. Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn will move from FRR’s No. 78 team to JGR’s No. 19 Toyota team. Truex will replace Daniel Suarez.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to bring two people of this caliber into your organization, it’s certainly an exciting time,” JGR owner Joe Gibbs said. “They obviously have developed a chemistry that has led to tremendous success, including a championship. We’ve gotten to know them well over the past few years through the alliance and having been part of the Toyota family. They both make us stronger as an organization.”

Truex and Pearn are reigning Cup Series champion and in contention to repeat in 2018 as Truex is among the eight drivers remaining in the playoffs, ahead of the penultimate race of the 2018 season Sunday at ISM (formerly Phoenix International) Raceway. Truex and company have won four of the 34 races, so far, this season. Truex and Pearn will finish the season with the No. 78 team.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to join Joe Gibbs Racing,” Truex, Jr. said. “Obviously, to be able to make this transition and still be able to work alongside Cole is something that was very important to me. There is also a real comfort level working with the JGR team, and I wanted to stay in the Toyota family. We still have big goals for the remainder of this season, but it’s nice to know what we will be doing in 2019.”

Furniture Row Racing has had a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing since 2016. Truex and Pearn joined FRR in driver and crew chief capacities the previous year. The 2015 season was Pearn’s first as a Cup Series crew chief, and Truex joined FRR after driving for teams including Dale Earnhardt Inc. and the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing. Together at FRR, Truex and Pearn have notched 17 wins in 141 races.

Suarez will finish 2018 as driver of the No. 19. His future is unknown. He was promoted by JGR from one of its Xfinity Series entries after a 2016 championship in that series. He replaced the retiring Carl Edwards in the No. 19 ahead of the 2017 season.

“We really appreciate everything Daniel has done for Joe Gibbs Racing over these past several years,” Gibbs said. “He has made the most of every opportunity from winning the championship in the Xfinity Series to making the jump into the Cup Series for us. We look forward to hearing about his plans going forward and know he continues to have a bright future in our sport.”

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Posted by on November 7, 2018. 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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