Truex to JGR in 2019

The very poorly kept secret of Martin Truex Jr.’s plans for 2019 is out of the bag.

After months of speculation, Truex will take over the driver’s seat of the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing next season. He’ll bring along crew chief Cole Pearn.

“Anytime you have an opportunity to bring two people of this caliber into your organization, it’s certainly an exciting time,” said team owner Joe Gibbs. “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.”

Sponsorship will be announced at a later date.

Where this leaves Daniel Suarez, who’s being displaced by Truex, is unknown. As of the publishing of this piece, Joe Gibbs Racing hasn’t responded to our request for comment on Suarez.

The dominos to this decision were triggered during the summer, when 5-hour Energy announced that they would leave the 78 car – and by extension, Furniture Row Racing – at the end of the season. While team owner Barney Visser said at Watkins Glen that not running in 2019 wasn’t an option, he announced on September 4 that the organization would terminate operations at season’s end.

For longtime journeyman Truex, it’ll be his fifth team in 13 years. His stint at Furniture Row was his most successful, with 17 of his 19 career victories came behind the wheel of the 78 car and his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.

“I want to personally thank Martin and Cole for their contributions in making Furniture Row Racing a championship-caliber team,” Visser said in a statement. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they will continue to be a winning driver/crew chief combination with Joe Gibbs Racing. They are outstanding representatives for NASCAR and I am proud to have been associated with them. But before Martin and Cole depart for a new endeavor we still have two races remaining, and hopefully we will be celebrating another championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.”

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My name is Tucker White. I'm currently majoring in journalism at the University of Tennessee. I started getting into NASCAR around 1998 and started following the sport full-time in 2001. I live and breathe everything related to NASCAR. I also have a burning passion for all things auto racing. I've been following Formula 1 since 2011 and am slowing getting into IndyCar. I do my best to keep up with the World Endurance Championship. But at the end of the day, NASCAR is my primary beat. Being both a native of Knoxville, Tennessee and a student at UT, I'm naturally a die-hard Tennessee Volunteers fan. Especially when it comes to Tennessee Volunteers football. While I'll never stop being one, it can be the most heart-wrenching thing ever. Since 2005, this team has delivered more than its fair share of heartbreaking moments and inhuman frustration. I've stuck with the Vols from the best of times - 1998 National Champions - to the worst of times - 2005 to present - because I know that it'll make it all so worth it when the mighty Vols finally return to the top of the college football landscape. In the last few years, I started to really get into baseball. This past season, I decided to pledge my sporting allegiance to the Atlanta Braves. It didn't turn out too well as they finished 67-95 and finished fourth in the NL East. I do see great potential with the young roster and they might be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

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