Building partially collapses after natural gas explosion in Denver

Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, Martin Truex Jr. going for NASCAR championship

DENVER — Martin Truex Jr. and the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team are going for their first NASCAR championship this weekend.

The No. 78 car has won seven races this season — the most of any NASCAR team. They will be going for the championship during the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.

“It’s an accumulation of the last three years since Truex has been on board,” Furniture Row Racing team president Joe Garone said Wednesday. “People gelling and our teammates getting to know each other.”

Furniture Row Racing is the only NASCAR team based west of the Mississippi River. All employees live and work in Denver — and it takes a lot of them to produce a successful team.

“It’s a true team sport. There’s countless hours spent building race cars,” Garone said. “They have to do a tremendous job to build a car that first doesn’t fail or break during the race and, second, is strong enough and fast enough.”

Three other NASCAR drivers — Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski — are also racing for the championship when the drivers and teams hit the 1.5-mile track on Sunday.

Of the finalists, Truex is the only one who hasn’t won the NASCAR championship before.

And Truex’s history this season is in his favor. According to NASCAR, Truex has finished in first place in four of the past five races at 1.5-mile tracks. He was the runner-up at the latest one.

It doesn’t matter what place Truex finishes in Sunday — he just has to finish ahead of the other championship-eligible drivers going for the championship.

But Garone said they’re going in to win.

“We go into the races to win them and it’s worked for us all year,” Garone said. “We’re going there to win the race and that will produce the championship.”