Forget about seeing the Furniture Row No. 77 running as a part-time car.
After announcing that FRR would sell its charter to an undisclosed team, team co-owner Joe Garone said the No. 77 runs for a championship or not at all.
“If the 77 runs … it will be running for a championship, not just a partial (season),’’ Garone told NBCSports.
It was a tough day Friday as FRR announced it had sold its charter for the No. 77, and barring a miracle, will be a one-car team in 2018.
Garone wouldn’t say which team purchased the charter , but he said he sold it because time is running short on finding a sponsor.
“We’re still working on obtaining sponsorship,’’ Garone said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. “If something happens in the next few weeks, it’s definitely not dead. We definitely want to keep the 77 running, but we’re running out of time.’’
Garone said the chances of the organization being a single-car team next year are “high.’’
Barney Visser, the co-owner of Furniture Row Racing, had already said, “There is no way we can run it without sponsorship, so we’re going to have to put it down.”
He said he hoped to bring the No. 77 back, but he doesn’t know when.
This is clearly a blow to NASCAR and drivers looking for a ride. Garone had previously told NASCAR.com that he’s gotten a lot of interest in the No. 77 Toyota.
“There have been some really good drivers that are looking around and that have inquired about the car because I think it is obvious the performance of the car is something any driver would like to be in right now. It hasn’t shocked me; it’s a compliment to the team some of the drivers that have talked to us.”
Bug that may not come to pass — and it might make Martin Truex Jr. happy since he was lukewarm, at best, about a second car. In remarks reported by CupScene, he said:
“On one hand, we are two teams this year for the first time ever, and we’re having our best season. This winter, I was a little nervous because I’m like, ‘Alright, we’re going to two cars. We’ve got a lot of new people here. We’ve got a lot going on. Is it going to take away from our team,’ and it hasn’t, so I don’t really know.”
But one less ride is a big deal in NASCAR these days.