Smith out of the #78 after Talladega?

UPDATE Kurt Busch hopes to get a head start on the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season by jumping in the #78 Furniture Row Chevy early. The next chapter of the Busch saga could begin as early as in two weeks at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Aligning with the team before the end of the season would offer Busch an opportunity to acclimate to the group and its systems for the final six races of the season.

"He's going to be out after Talladega," said Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch, for whom Busch currently drives. "We're going to go down there and try to win that race. We were up front for most of the spring race, and Brad (Keselowski) dumped us with three or four to go. We'll be fine at Talladega." So who would fill the Phoenix Racing seat currently occupied by Busch?

Since Finch has operated for most of 2012 sans sponsorship, he's looking at candidates "who have the potential" to bring financial support to the team for the final six race and possibly next year. Finch has spoken to representation for AJ Allmendinger, who has been sidelined since July 7, when he was suspended for testing positive for amphetamine the week before at Kentucky Speedway. Regan Smith, who will be displaced in the #78 Chevy by Busch, could be part of an easy swap with the #51 Phoenix team. Finch isn't limited to considering Sprint Cup candidates. He also has been approached by the camps of Nationwide Series drivers James Buescher and Justin Allgaier. Fox Sports

09/26/12 SPEED's Race Hub reported Wednesday evening that Regan Smith's final race of the season in the Furniture Row Racing #78 would be at Talladega. Kurt Busch is expected to drive the car the remainder of the season.

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