Tough Start For Furniture Row On Veterans Weekend

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AVONDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 11, 2016) – After posting the fifth fastest speed in Friday’s practice at Phoenix International Raceway, Martin Truex Jr. slapped the wall late in the session, forcing the team to unload its backup No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota.

What made matters worse for the Denver-based team is that they did not participate in the first round of qualifying due to a number of pass throughs with the backup car in the technical inspection line. When the No. 78 was cleared, time was about to expire in the qualifying session. By not taking a qualifying lap, Truex will start last (40th) in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at the 1-mile oval.

“We’re just going to have to battle our way through the field on Sunday,” said Truex. “We’ve done it before and we can do it again.”

Friday’s opening practice session for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway falls on the same day that Americans pay tribute to the men and women who served in the United States military.

Veterans Day, the annual federal holiday that is celebrated on Nov. 11, takes on a special importance for Furniture Row Racing and its nine team members, who served in the U.S. military – Henry Benfield (Army), Gregg Huls (Marine Corps), Barry Huston (Navy), Charlie Krauch (Army), Chuck Lemay (Navy), John Parks (Marine Corps), Craig Phillips (Air Force), Chris Taylor (Marine Corps) and team owner Barney Visser (Army).
“We are all proud of our members at Furniture Row Racing who served in the military,” said team driver Martin Truex Jr. “We salute not only our team military veterans, but to all the men and women who have made sacrifices to defend our freedom.”

Truex will take the military spirit along with a momentum rebound into a different form of battle as he prepares for Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race.

After falling out of Chase contention in Round 2 of the playoffs two weeks ago, Truex’s “Never-Give-Up” fight lifted him to a pair of strong performances at the last two races. He is coming off a third-place finish at the recent race in Fort Worth, Texas. The week before he posted a seventh-place result in Martinsville, Va.

Truex led a total of 213 laps in the last two races – 147 in Martinsville and 66 in Texas. His season lap-leading total stands at 1,809 and his four season victories are tied for most wins.

“Except for Talladega (finished last with engine issue), we’ve been consistent since the Chase started,” noted Truex. “We obviously feel we belong in the hunt for the championship but we’re not. But the next best thing we can do is continue our momentum in the final races and hopefully bring home a victory or two.”.( DMF/FRR/pr)

Starting Line Up
Phoenix International Raceway
Provided by NASCAR Statistics – Fri, November 11, 2016 @ 06:47 PM Central
29th Annual Can-Am 500

1 – 88 Alex Bowman
2 – 42 Kyle Larson
3 – 24 Chase Elliott
4 – 22 Joey Logano
5 – 11 Denny Hamlin
6 – 4 Kevin Harvick
7 – 3 Austin Dillon
8 – 21 Ryan Blaney
9 – 1 Jamie McMurray
10 – 20 Matt Kenseth
11 – 19 Carl Edwards
12 – 41 Kurt Busch
13 – 5 Kasey Kahne
14 – 2 Brad Keselowski
15 – 31 Ryan Newman
16 – 10 Danica Patrick
17 – 48 Jimmie Johnson
18 – 47 AJ Allmendinger
19 – 18 Kyle Busch
20 – 27 Paul Menard
21 – 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
22 – 13 Casey Mears
23 – 6 Trevor Bayne
24 – 16 Greg Biffle
25 – 14 Tony Stewart
26 – 95 Michael McDowell
27 – 43 Aric Almirola
28 – 38 Landon Cassill
29 – 7 Regan Smith
30 – 34 Chris Buescher
31 – 23 David Ragan
32 – 83 Matt DiBenedetto
33 – 44 Brian Scott
34 – 15 Clint Bowyer
35 – 32 Jeffrey Earnhardt
36 – 46 Michael Annett
37 – 30 Gray Gaulding
38 – 98 Reed Sorenson
39 – 55 DJ Kennington
40 – 78 Martin Truex Jr.