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Kurt Busch to Furniture Row RacingUPDATE This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today. Furniture Row Racing announced today that Kurt Busch has been hired to drive the team’s No. 78 Chevrolet during the 2013 Sprint Cup season.
Busch, a former NASCAR Cup champion, will replace Regan Smith, who joined Furniture Row Racing at the beginning of the 2009 season.
“Though we have made strides as a resourceful single-car Sprint Cup team, we are not where we want to be, which led us to the difficult decision of making a driver change as we move forward,” said Furniture Row Racing's general manager Joe Garone. “Kurt’s exceptional driving talent has the capacity to take a team to another level. We look forward to having Kurt join our Denver-based organization and feel his racing experience will play an important role as we plan ahead to 2013.”
Garone added, “As our team driver the past four years, Regan has represented Furniture Row Racing with both class and competitiveness. His win at Darlington in 2011 – the first for Furniture Row Racing – will be a memory forever etched in our organization’s history. He is a friend, and will always be a friend of Furniture Row Racing. We wish him all the best.”
Busch, a 34 year-old native of Las Vegas, has been a full time driver in the Sprint Cup Series since 2001. He has 427 Cup starts and has scored 24 wins, 89 top-fives, 171 top-10s and 15 poles. He has qualified for the Chase six times in the past nine years and won the 2004 inaugural Chase season championship in only his third full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series.
“Furniture Row Racing has the commitment, talent and resources to compete at a high level in the Sprint Cup Series,” said Busch. "I have watched with admiration on how this team has grown over the years and that is why I am excited about the opportunity as I eagerly look forward to a new chapter in my racing career."
Since the beginning of the 2012 season, Busch has driven the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing. His previous two teams in the Sprint Cup Series were at Penske Racing and Roush Fenway Racing. 09/21/12 Regan Smith does not believe he will return to Furniture Row Racing in 2013, possibly opening the door for much-maligned driver Kurt Busch.
Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone has expressed interest in hiring Busch since January and the team has been seeking sponsorship to field a second car for him.
Busch confirmed Friday that he has talked with Garone as well as other teams.
“They’ve shown good interest and so have others,” Busch said. “There’s a handful of contracts sitting on my desk and it’s just a matter of going through some detail with each of the teams.”
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