Furniture Row Racing has confirmed that Kurt Busch will replace Regan Smith in 2013 and has ended the speculation surrounding the No. 78 car. Smith has not announced his new team for the next season and is rumored to be sifting through potential offers. The change also indicates that Furniture Row Racing has not been able to find the money necessary for a second car in the Sprint Cup.
Kurt Busch Replaces Regan Smith
Kurt Busch will take over Regan Smith's ride in 2013 and drive the No. 78 car for Furniture Row Racing (FRR). Busch has not hidden his desire to move away from Phoenix Racing to a team with more funding and better equipment. He has spent the last year trying to overcome his release from Penske Racing while reestablishing his career.
Joe Garone does not seem concerned with Busch's volatile past. Instead, the performance of the No. 78 in 2012 is his main issue, "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." Garone's comments also indicate that FRR is likely to stay as one car in the Sprint Cup because the team has not been able to get the funding for an additional car.
Kurt Busch Excited about the Change
Kurt Busch has shared that he is "really excited" about moving to Furniture Row Racing in 2013. Although FRR is still a smaller team compared to Penske Racing, it has a relationship with Richard Childress Racing that provides better equipment. Garone believes that Busch's "exceptional driving talent has the capacity to take a team to another level" and produce better results than Smith.
Phoenix Racing may actually be relieved to hear that Kurt Busch has found another ride. In June 2012, manager Steve Barkdoll pointed out, "We have wrecked 14 cars and we are not attracting any sponsors as of right now." Although his comments were released while Busch was in the midst of a one-week NASCAR suspension, Phoenix Racing's opinion has not changed greatly since June. It is not clear who will take over Kurt Busch's ride at Phoenix, but the team is rumored to be looking for someone who is nicer to the equipment.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
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