The Furniture Row Racing hauler has left the shop for the final time.
Martin Truex Jr. will drive the No. 78 Toyota one last time this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway before team owner Barney Visser closes the doors on his operation.
“I don’t think any of us were prepared for how emotional it was last night when we loaded up,” crew chief Cole Pearn said during a media teleconference Wednesday morning. “I think we’ve just been head down, kind of pushing super hard, trying to do everything we can to get ready for this weekend. And once it was in the truck and saw the lift gate up, there was a lot of tears shed and a lot of sad faces, and I think all of us really realized that that was the last time we were going to do it together as a group. It’s something a lot of relationships ‑‑ a lot of relationships have been built from that shop, and it’s a weird feeling for sure.”
Pearn said the group hung around after a while after the truck had left (around 10 p.m. MT Tuesday night) and had a few beverages. Stories were also told and time taken to reminisce. Pearn said he returned home around 2 a.m.
The reigning series champions head to Miami as one of the Championship 4 contenders. Truex has won four races this season, his most recent being back in July at Kentucky Speedway. He is the defending race winner at Homestead.
“I can’t really put into words,” Pearn said of the upcoming weekend. “It’s been an emotional time for all of us, and the fact to be able to go down there and have a shot at it and have a good shot at it, it means a lot. It’s a sad time for all of us to kind of be going out as a group, but to go out that way would be unbelievable.”