Doctor’s orders: “Don’t watch the race”
In 2005, Barney Visser built a small team in Denver, Colorado. Furniture Row Racing started with driver Kenny Wallace and a 34th place finish at Dover International Speedway.
In 2017, that same small team, claimed the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship via driver Martin Truex Jr. However, team owner Barney Visser was forced to watch it from a hospital bed.
Barney Visser suffered a heart attack on Saturday Nov. 4. On November 6th, two weeks ahead of the championship race, he went into surgery. The surgery was successful, but recovery time was required.
“It’s a chance of a lifetime to be in position to win the NASCAR Cup Series championship,” said Visser states ahead of homestead. “I hope to be in touch with Martin and Cole (Pearn, crew chief) leading up to Homestead and participate without too much excitement.”
“I gotta get through this week and let it all sink in a little bit,” Martin Truex Jr states from the Las Vegas stage. “Definitely thankful.”
“Is Barney going to make the trip to Vegas? Is he going to drive down or no?,” Kurt Busch asks the question to Martin Truex Jr.
Kurt Busch drove full-time for Furniture Row Racing during the 2013 season. That season Furniture Row Racing finished 10th in the NASCAR Owners’ Standings. That was the first time the team cracked the top 10.
“No, he’s not able to travel yet. But I did see him on Monday and he looks unbelievably amazing.”
“Like, you couldn’t even tell anything was wrong with him. He’s doing great and excited about the season.”
Barney Visser was still in the hospital during the final race weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The doctor specifically requested that he didn’t watch the Championship race.
Did the owner of Furniture Row Racing comply? Did he miss the opportunity to see his teams first championship?
“No, he watched,” Martin Truex Jr says with a laugh.
“He said he it would be more stress to not watch than it was to watch it. Which I can completely understand.”
“I was probably the least nervous person of the whole team. I was kinda busy.”