Sponsor cuts force NASCAR team to part time status

Furniture Row Racing officials announced today that the NASCAR Sprint Cup team is planning to run a limited 2009 schedule with driver Joe Nemechek.

"This has nothing to do with our on-track performance," President Joe Garone said. "This is simply a business decision by Furniture Row of balancing priorities in a tough economy [that], from all appearances, looks to be getting even tougher."

In its third year as a Sprint Cup Series team, Furniture Row Racing qualified for 31 out of 35 races, earning a pole position at Talladega. The team is outside the top 35 in owners points and must make each race based on qualifying time.

As a privately held entity, Furniture Row Cos. – the team owner, primary sponsor and one the nation's largest furniture retailers – does not make its sales figures public. But the company is looking at retail sales trends and is tightening all expenses as a result.

"Running a limited schedule is simply a cautionary measure," said Tom Faulkner, president of Furniture Row Cos. "While we've been faring significantly better than most in our category, it's no secret that our business is tied to the health of the economy – in particular, housing starts and real estate sales."

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