The inevitable is now official. Martin Truex Jr. is joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019.
The team announced Truex as the driver of its No. 19 car in 2019 on Wednesday. Truex is joining the team from Furniture Row Racing, which is shutting down at the end of the season. Crew chief Cole Pearn is also coming over to JGR with Truex, the defending Cup Series champion.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to join Joe Gibbs Racing,” Truex said in a statement “Obviously to be able to make this transition and still be able to work alongside Cole is something that was very important to me. There is also a real comfort level working with the JGR team and I wanted to stay in the Toyota family. We still have big goals for the remainder of this season, but it’s nice to know what we will be doing in 2019.”
Truex is currently third in the points standings heading into the penultimate race of the season at Phoenix. The top four drivers in the standings after Phoenix will race for the title at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18.
Truex won 8 races in 2017
Furniture Row has been a satellite team of Joe Gibbs Racing since 2016 and Truex outran JGR drivers in 2017. Truex won eight races, including the final race of the season at Homestead. JGR’s four drivers won eight races combined.
FRR announced it was shutting down at the end of the season because sponsor 5-Hour Energy was leaving at the end of the season. Bass Pro Shops and Auto Owners Insurance, two of Truex’s other sponsors, will likely come over to JGR along with the driver and crew chief.
Truex is replacing Daniel Suarez, who has driven the No. 19 car since the beginning of 2017. Suarez replaced Carl Edwards, who announced in January of 2017 that he was retiring. Suarez’s 2019 destination is yet to be announced.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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