Martin Truex Jr. was not surprised to hear about the impending exit of 5-hour ENERGY because the company had been “on the fence” for a while.
In its second season sponsoring a Furniture Row Racing car, 5-hour ENERGY joined Truex’s team after the shutdown of the No. 77 at the end of last season. On Thursday, however, it was announced the primary sponsor on Truex’s car for 14 races this year would not be returning and is ending its NASCAR involvement.
“I wish it didn’t take quite as long as it did — kind of puts us in a tough spot now, but I’m not really, really worried,” Truex said. “I think something good can come out of this. Obviously, it’s not great timing with all that’s going on, but I’ve got confidence in my team and what we’re doing and hopefully we can find a replacement for that.”
Between the support of 5-hour ENERGY, Bass Pro Shops (16 races) and Auto-Owners Insurance (six races), the No. 78 is fully funded this season. Team owner Barney Visser has not had to pay out of his pocket to run the car, as he’s done in the past with his Furniture Row/Denver Mattress companies. Truex doesn’t see Visser putting Furniture Row back on the car, though.
“I don’t know that he can make that work anymore, so we’ll see where it goes from here,” said Truex. “[I’m] committed to the team and trying to figure out how we can continue moving forward and hopefully there’s a company out there that we can do a great job representing and hopefully they’ll come out and show their support here shortly.”
With 5-hour ENERGY out of the fold, Truex said he thinks he and the team can also continue to work on his contract extension. The reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion signed with the team in 2014.
“Certainly makes things more difficult, but we’ve been talking about it, and honestly it’s not like we were just waiting on this to happen,” said Truex. “We’re just trying to figure everything out, what’s the best direction to go, 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. It’s nothing like that. It’s more just trying to focus on racing and feeling like it will get done when it gets done.”