NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
Wonder bread (1 race) is scheduled to be the primary sponsor at the following races in 2013:
Talladega - 10/20
Kurt Busch wants top-10 points finish: Closing out the season at a racetrack where he achieved his greatest moment as a NASCAR driver, Kurt Busch is looking for some more magic at Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of Sunday's final Sprint Cup Series race of 2013. It was at the 1.5-mile intermediate South Florida track where Busch held off Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon to capture the 2004 Cup championship, the first year of NASCAR's Chase playoff format. "Since 2004 there's been a nostalgic feeling when I get to Homestead," said Busch. "Winning the championship in the first year of the Chase was a magical time for me. But right now the focus is on the present, not the past. This will be my final ride with Furniture Row Racing and I want to make it a good one. We have plenty to shoot for when the green flag drops on Sunday." Busch, who is coming off a fifth-place finish at Phoenix, is positioned in 10th place in the Chase driver point standings. "We want to be 10th or better in the final point standings," said Busch, a seven-time Chase participant. "Being in the top-10 not only has a better ring to it, but it shows how far this single-car team out of Colorado has come in a short period of time and how well it has fared against the big dogs of the sport." An added perk for finishing in the top-10 is that Busch would be invited to speak at the NASCAR's awards banquet, Dec. 6 at the Wynn Hotel in his hometown of Las Vegas.
But there's more to shoot for at Homestead than a podium appearance at the annual awards gala. "This is our last chance to take the Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet to Victory Lane," said Busch, a 2002 winner at Homestead. "There's nothing I want more for these Furniture Row guys who have worked so hard all year to give me a fast race car. Though we have a bunch of top-fives (11) and top-10s (16) we don't have that W. A victory would cap off an already successful season for our single-car team. It's been a great ride with a great bunch of guys and with an outstanding organization led by team owner Barney Visser." Speaking of top fives, Busch is tied for third with 11 top-five finishes this season. He also is one top-five finish shy of equaling his most top-fives in a season of 12, set in 2002.(FRR)(11-14-2013)
Furniture Row Racing Salutes Team Members who Served in the Military:- Veterans Day, an annual federal holiday on Nov. 11 that honors America’s military veterans for their patriotism and service to the country, takes on a special meaning for Furniture Row Racing, which will be competing in this weekend’s AdvoCare 500 NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. What makes the Phoenix race special for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing is that seven members of the team served in the United States military – David "Bugzee" Hicks (Navy), Charlie Krauch (Army), Chuck Lemay (Navy), Andy Morgan (Army), John Parks (Marines), Craig Phillips (Air Force) and Barney Visser (Army).
“I want to first thank all veterans past, present and future for their bravery and sacrifices in preserving our freedom,” said Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch. “I urge American citizens to make an extra effort on Veterans Day to thank those who served. It’s pretty special to have seven team members who are veterans, including our team owner Barney Visser. I am very proud of them as I am of all of our veterans.”
Busch, who is actively involved with the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF), spends considerable time fundraising for the nonprofit organization as well as being an AFF spokesman in educating Americans about the hidden wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI).(FRR Facebook)(11-10-2013)
NAPA Could Join Truex Jr. at FRR: Martin Truex Jr. commented about NAPA sponsorship during a Team Chevy press conference on Friday at Texas Motor Speedway:
Q) HAS NAPA LEFT THE DOOR OPEN TO ANY FUTURE DISCUSSIONS OF POSSIBLY COMING BACK WITH YOU IN YEARS TO COME?
TRUEX – "I think that really at this point anything is possible. We have got a lot of great partners that we have worked with over the years. That I’ve worked with personally that have shown interest in the program that we are going to put together. Yeah, I can’t really say much right now about it, I’m not sure, but they have been great supporters of mine the last four years. Hopefully we will be able to do something together. We have got a lot of great partners that are interested in the program and hopefully moving forward we will be able to put some things together with them.”(Team Chevy)(11-3-2013)
Furniture Row hires Truex, Jr's pit crew as well:
Joe Garone of Furniture Row said Friday that the team has hired Martin Truex, Jr's pit crew from Michael Waltrip Racing to pit the team in 2014:
IS THE RCR ALLIANCE A MULTI-YEAR THING OR AN INDIVIDUAL YEAR-BY-YEAR? THE TEAM ITSELF, YOU MADE SOME CHANGES AROUND DOVER, CREW MEMBERS, ETC. WHAT KINDS OF THINGS ARE YOU DOING TO STRENGTHEN THE TEAM FOR NEXT YEAR?
Joe Garone, General Manager of Furniture Row Racing: "It is a continual process. Our RCR deal is that we do them year-to-year, and that has been a strong program. Richard (Childress) made a commitment to make sure that that program ran as a complete open-book type of relationship, and they have stood by that. It is certainly something that we utilize. But, as Martin said earlier, one of the big advantages that we have as a single-car team with that type of alliance, is our ability to move quick. We are real agile, and focus out in Colorado is 100% is about what we are doing in that shop with a staff of about 60 people, and that makes it really strong. The RCR deal is real important. As far as personnel goes, we've had some struggles, it's not a secret, on pit road. We have been working hard to overcome that. Our pit crew didn't grow as fast as the performance of the car did last year. We've been able to secure Martin's pit crew; actually bring them on-board in full-time positions for 2014. I think that is going to really help that part of our program."(Chevy PR)(11-2-2013)
Truex, Furniture Row still finalizing deal UPDATES: When is a deal with terms acceptable to all parties not quite a done deal? When the parties involved have accepted those terms, but haven't yet put pen to paper to confirm those acceptable terms. Other than that small detail, it's a done deal and in this case, everyone knows it. That's the situation at Furniture Row Racing, the home of Martin Truex Jr. after this NASCAR season. According to knowledgeable sources close to and inside the Denver, Colo.-based Sprint-Cup company, Truex and team owner Barney Visser have agreed to terms. They just haven't gotten around to signing the contract to make it official. Thus the delay in formally announcing what everyone knows is eventually coming. Broadcasters and bloggers have reported for weeks that Truex is going to Furniture Row and the announcement will be made … well, any day now. Last weekend, at Martinsville Speedway, team general manager Joe Garone said most of the details are done and acceptable to everyone. But he added that Truex has one small detail to clear up before moving forward. "I don't know where people are getting their information," Garone said. "Yes, we've agreed to terms, but we just haven't signed anything yet. The timing isn't a big priority because we know it's going to happen. It might even get done by the end of next week [when the tour is in Fort Worth]."(Autoweek)(10-29-2013)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing has scheduled a "major team announcement" Friday at 11:00am/et at Texas Motor Speedway.(10-31-2013)
UPDATE 2: Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone announced that the Denver, Colo.-based organization has entered into a multiyear agreement with Martin Truex Jr. to drive the team’s #78 Chevy, beginning with the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season. "We couldn’t be happier to have landed one of the top drivers in NASCAR," said Garone. "Martin’s talents – both on and off the track -- have been well documented and everyone at Furniture Row Racing feels that he is an excellent fit to continue the success that we have enjoyed this season."
"Furniture Row Racing has been high on my radar," said Truex. "The team has done a great job this year. It’s a talented organization and it has been impressive to see what they’ve accomplished over the past few seasons. What influenced my decision is team owner Barney Visser and that the team really wants me as its driver. Everything else is important, but I really felt like Furniture Row Racing genuinely wanted me to drive for them."(Furniture Row Racing)
AND Michael Waltrip Racing congratulates Martin on his announcement today. We are very happy to see him in a competitive ride next year and appreciate the professionalism everyone showed throughout this entire process.(MWR)(11-1-2013)
Busch ready to Shake and Bake at Talladega: Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch will showcase the Wonder bread primary paint scheme on his #78 Chevy during this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. The colorful paint scheme was inspired by the #26 Wonder race car that appeared in the motion picture – Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. The sponsorship is part of the reintroduction of the Wonder brand, which had been off the market since the bankruptcy of its former owner late last year. Flowers Foods, a leading producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the U.S., acquired the Wonder brand in July 2013. (Furniture Row Racing), see some images of the car on the #78 team paint schemes page.(10-17-2013)
Truex looking at 2014 options UPDATE #78 Team: Martin Truex, Jr. has confirmed that he will not return to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2014. "I gave (Michael Waltrip) time to try and work it out and we tried to work it out together," said Truex. "But it's hard to put stuff together at this point of the year. So it's time now for me to figure out what I'm going to do, and figure it out quickly. I'm running out of time." Asked about speculation that he is the heir-apparent to Kurt Busch at Furniture Row Racing next season, Truex insisted, "there is nothing to talk about yet. They've done a great job this year and I'm interested in their program. They're definitely on my radar, but we'll just have to see where it goes." Truex said he has not made any inquiries about returning to the NASCAR Nationwide Series garage, where is a two-time champion, but did not rule out doing so in the future. "I've always loved the Nationwide Series and the time I was able to run there – even part-time while running Sprint Cup at DEI and MWR – was a lot of fun. It's something that I've missed in the past few seasons, and I'd be interested in going back there on a part-time basis (in addition to a full-time Sprint Cup ride)."
Truex admitted that the last few weeks have been among the most difficult of his career. It's been tough here lately, but we'll go back after them this weekend," he said. "All you can do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go back and try again. We've had a rough go of it lately, but it could always be worse. Hopefully, out of all this bad stuff that has happened, something good will develop."(Godfather Motorsports)(10-16-2013)
UPDATE: Martin Truex Jr. has agreed to drive the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in 2014. Sources say the parties came to terms on Wednesday night. A formal announcement is expected next Tuesday. In his eighth year as a full-time Sprint Cup driver, Truex has spent the past four seasons driving the #56 NAPA Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. However, MWR’s manipulation of the outcome of the Sept. 7 race at Richmond International Raceway and subsequent sanctions from NASCAR resulted in Truex’s disqualification from the Chase for the Sprint Cup and NAPA’s decision to part ways with the organization at the end of the season.(A HREF="http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/martin-truex-jr-agrees-join-furniture-row-racing-team-2014-leaves-michael-waltrip-racing-101613">Fox Sports)(10-17-2013)
Truex Jr. to Furniture Row? A spokesman for the Barney Visser-Todd Berrier Chevy [#78 Furniture Row Racing] operation says the team is "very hopeful" of signing Martin Truex Jr. to a contract for 2014. Truex was victim of the Richmond (MWR) controversy, first making the championship playoffs in a hard stretch charge...only to be bounced out of the chase and replaced by #24-Jeff Gordon, in the wake of the #15-Clint Bowyer/#55-Brian Vickers flap. Not only did Truex get booted from the playoffs for no fault of his own, his sponsor NAPA is pulling the plug at the end of the season over the controversy. That has many Waltrip people quite worried about their own jobs for next season.(MikeMulhern.net)(10-12-2013)
Kurt Busch to make another attempt to have Denver Mattress Give Away Free* Mattresses: After coming up one position short of having his sponsor Denver Mattress give away free* mattresses, Furniture Row Racing driver #78-Kurt Busch will give it another try. Should Busch, who finished second at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, win Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway then every customer’s purchase at the Charlotte Denver Mattress store the week leading up to the race is free.* To qualify for the “We Win You Win” promotion, customers must make a purchase at the Charlotte Denver Mattress store between Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 and 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. "We almost delivered for the customers at the Denver Mattress stores in Kansas and Missouri," said Busch. "Hopefully we can be one position better in Charlotte and have our Carolina Denver Mattress customers cash in on the We Win You Win promotion." *Applies to in-store purchases only. See participating stores for complete details.(FRR)(10-8-2013)
A Kurt Busch Kansas Victory Will Net Free Mattresses: Should Furniture Row Racing driver #78-Kurt Busch win the Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Oct. 6th at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., then every customer’s purchase at a Denver Mattress store in Kansas and Missouri the week prior to the race is free.* To qualify for the “We Win You Win” promotion, customers must make a purchase at participating Denver Mattress stores between Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 and 12:45 p.m. CDT Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013. For example, if a customer purchases a mattress set for the master suite, another for a guest room, and third for a college student’s apartment, all three would be free if Busch drives his #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet to Victory Lane at the Oct. 6th Sprint Cup Series race at the 1.5-mile Kansas oval! “What a great offer and what a great incentive,” said Busch. “I’ve come close at Kansas Speedway in the past and we’ll be ready to challenge for the win. I would like nothing better than to share the good news to the racing world during the Victory Lane celebration.” Busch will be delivering the “We Win You Win” message in a series of upcoming television and radio commercials in selected Kansas and Missouri markets. *Applies to in-store purchases only. See participating stores for complete details.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(9-29-2013)
New crew for the #78 starting at Dover: After weeks of struggles, the #78 Furniture Row Racing pit crew is no more. FRR will use Richard Childress Racing’s #2 Nationwide Series pit crew starting this weekend at Dover International Speedway — and for the foreseeable future. The team will retain its gasman Milan Rudanovic. FRR has a technical alliance with RCR. “We had to make a change,” driver Kurt Busch said. “As a Chase team, you have to go up to bat each time looking to make contact, and our team had a lot of misses on pit road this year. Each position struggled. The chemistry among the group — it was no one person’s fault. As a team, they did not execute. So I talked to (FRR GM) Joe Garone about it and brought in (FRR team owner) Barney Visser and Richard Childress, and we all came to the conclusion together.”(FoxSports)(9-28-2013)
Ryan Blaney talks about 2014: from a transcript: NASCAR Teleconference with Ryan Blaney:
THE MODERATOR: Welcome to today's press conference with Ryan Blaney, driver of the #29 Cooper Standard Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Blaney won his first NASCAR Nationwide Series race last weekend at Kentucky Speedway, driving the #22 Discount Tire Ford for Penske Racing. He's the first NASCAR Next graduate to win in two different NASCAR national series.
Q). And then also, there's been a lot of talk about you about next year. There's a lot of rumors that Furniture Row is interested, and Roger Penske said on Sunday that he kind of expects you to be in the Trucks next year and do some Nationwide. I'm curious if you kind of have a feeling of what you're going to do next year, and I guess, if you don't, what would be your preference.
RYAN BLANEY: Well, there has been very, very little talks with other teams, but right now my loyalty is to Penske Racing and finishing out this 2013 season very strong, either in that Nationwide car, if I get another race, or finishing out the Truck season very strong for Brad Keselowski Racing. Just really focused on that right now, and then in the offseason, we'll see what doors open up or if we progress here with Penske like planned. So we'll find out here in the coming months, but right now my loyalty is to Penske and finishing out this 2013 season very strong.
Q). Hey, Ryan, hope you're doing well and congratulations. One quick question. Wanted to know if you'd tested a Cup car yet.
RYAN BLANEY: Yeah. First of all, thank you, and I have. I've done a decent amount of testing with Penske last offseason, I mean, their Cup cars. They had me do a bunch of that stuff, whether it's in a Cup car or a Nationwide car. I have a fair amount of experience in the Gen-6 cars. So, yeah, it's pretty nice that I can go out there and test Penske stuff and kind of get a feel for those.(NASCAR/FastScripts by ASAP Sports)(9-27-2013)
Wonder bread returns; to sponsor the #78 team at Dega UPDATE: Wonder, Merita, Home Pride and Butternut will return to the fresh bread aisle via Flowers Foods, Inc.'s direct-store delivery footprint beginning in late September and into October, Allen Shiver, president and chief executive officer of the Thomasville, Ga.-based baking company told participants at the Barclays Back-to-School Conference held Sept. 3 in Boston. Flowers completed the acquisition of the bread brands from the former Hostess Brands, Inc. in late July, and since that time Mr. Shiver said Flowers has discussed its roll-out plans with trade customers, who have been supportive of Flowers' strategy. Mr. Shiver said Flowers plans to tie the relaunch of Wonder to a NASCAR event. In addition to having a car compete in the races, Flowers plans to use creative marketing to connect the Wonder brand to NASCAR fans, Mr. Shiver said. Flowers also plans to use the Wonder brand to partner with the Children's Miracle Network to help children's hospitals. Under the theme "Wonder's back and Wonder gives back," Flowers has committed to give 5c for every loaf of Wonder Classic and Wonder Whole Grain White that is sold from Oct. 1 through the end of 2013 to the cause.(Food Business News)
AND On Sept. 23, Wonder breads and buns began returning to store shelves within Flowers Foods' fresh delivery territory in the East, South, Southwest, and California.(Wonderbread Facebook)(9-25-2013)
UPDATE: Wonder bread will be the primary sponsor of Kurt Busch's #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet during the Oct. 18-20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Talladega. Inspired by the motion picture Talladega Nights, the colorful paint scheme on Busch's Chevrolet will have a look similar to the #26 Wonder Bread race car (click here to see the #26 car) in the 2006 movie. The motorsports sponsorship is part of the reintroduction of the Wonder brand, which had been off the market since the bankruptcy of its former owner late last year. Flowers Foods, a leading producer and marketer of packaged bakery foods in the U.S. acquired the Wonder brand in July 2013.
"There is nothing more American than Wonder bread and NASCAR," said Keith Aldredge, Flowers Foods' vice president of marketing. "We're thrilled to be partnering with Kurt Busch and the Furniture Row Racing team to debut the Wonder car at the Talladega Superspeedway. Having such an incredible driver wear the bright colors of Wonder will make for a truly memorable all-American race experience."
"This motorsports partnership definitely carries a special feeling with two American icons coming together – Wonder bread and NASCAR – at one of America's legendary racetracks," said Busch. "And the sponsorship also has a nostalgic feel for me since Wonder bread was a household staple while growing up in Las Vegas." Busch added, "Talladega is a track that we can win at and a celebration with the Wonder car in Victory Lane will make this partnership even more special."(Furniture Row Racing)(9-26-2013)
Kurt Busch gets a car number for 2014: A coincidence? A subliminal message? Or perhaps just a number that was available? Whatever the case, sources confirmed to The Charlotte Observer on Monday night that Kurt Busch will drive the #41 Chevy next season, which will be his first with Stewart-Haas Racing. Busch's number turns out to be the opposite of that of team co-owner Tony Stewart, who drives the #14. Also driving for SHR next season: Kevin Harvick in the #4 and Danica Patrick in the #10.(Charlotte Observer)(9-24-2013)
Kurt Busch will skip IndyCar season finale: #78-Kurt Busch is saying hello to NASCAR's Chase, goodbye to thoughts of competing in IndyCar's season-ending race at Auto Club Speedway. Busch had hoped to use an IndyCar race this season as a trial run for next year's Indianapolis 500. But a sponsor hasn't been secured, and the deadline to order a Chevrolet engine has passed. Meanwhile, the Chase begins Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, and Busch is positioned for a run at his second series championship. "It was something that was very important in the month of May this year; it's not as important with it being the middle of September right now," he said Thursday of driving an Indy car. Busch said it doesn't "eliminate" the possibility of running the 500, one of his bucket-list items.(Autoweek)(9-13-2013)
RCR, Furniture Row to continue alliance: Richard Childress Racing and Furniture Row Racing have agreed to continue their successful technical alliance in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. The alliance includes technology sharing, engineering, research and development provided to FRR's #78 Chevy from RCR. The partnership, which started in 2010, also includes FRR utilizing the highly reliable and powerful engines of ECR Engines. This season, the # 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet driven by Kurt Busch qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship on the strength of one pole, seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Busch has eight front row starts this season, which is the most he has earned in any year of his career.(RCR)(9-12-2013)
History-Making Feat Puts Busch, Furniture Row Racing in Chase Playoffs: With the season on the line to qualify for the Chase playoffs, #78-Kurt Busch and the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing saved the best for last, and in the process made history. Thanks to an impressive season-best runner-up finish in the final pre-Chase race Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway, Busch secured a post-season playoff berth. The feat will go into the record books as the first driver from a single-car team to qualify for the Chase since the 10-race, 12-driver championship format began in 2004. “It’s an amazing feeling to go up against these big teams and to put a little lone Chevrolet from Colorado into the Chase against the big boys,” said Busch, who is now a seven-time Chase participant.
Team owner Barney Visser was equally elated during a post-race news conference. “I don’t know if it’s a dream come true as much as I’m kind of in awe of Kurt and Joe (Garone, general manager) and the whole team and what these guys have been able to do,” said Visser. “They put in a lot of hard work and a lot of hours and it’s incredible what they were able to do.”
“This feels incredible,” said Busch, the 2004 NASCAR champion. “The way that we worked together as a team – it’s amazing that we have come this far and put ourselves in this position. We came close tonight, but haven’t won a race yet this year. I was happy to guide the ship, but I had a great skipper, the way that Todd Berrier (crew chief) led this group into the off season last year and the way Todd followed Barney Visser’s dream. We are in the Chase and we have a shot at the championship so we are not done yet. It feels great to deliver and to achieve something very special tonight.”(Furniture Row Racing)(9-9-2013)
Montoya visits Furniture Row Racing UPDATE: #78-Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone confirmed to FOX Sports that Juan Pablo Montoya visited the Denver-based shop on Tuesday and remains on the team’s shortlist to replace Kurt Busch in 2014. Garone also told FOX Sports that there has not been discussion between Furniture Row Racing and Jeff Burton, who will part ways with Richard Childress Racing at the end of the year (FoxSports)(9-5-2013)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing has not decided on its driver for 2014 but is continuing discussions with Juan Pablo Montoya, who visited the shop earlier this week. Montoya and Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone confirmed the Wednesday visit at the team’s Denver shop. “We’re down to a couple of guys,” Garone said Friday at Richmond International Raceway. “It’s just a process. Part of it is you just identify where you want to go — do you want to stay with a veteran or do you want to go with a younger rookie and bring a kid up? We’re just trying to get through that decision. You’ve got to take Juan seriously. He’s been around a while and obviously can win races.” Reportedly considering a return to open-wheel racing or possibly another form of sports-car or road racing, Montoya declined to elaborate on what other teams he is considering. Garone said he expects the crew to remain, including crew chief Todd Berrier.(Sporting News)(9-7-2013)
Busch, Furniture Row Racing in position to make Chase history: #78-Kurt Busch and the single-car Furniture Row Racing team are on the cusp of a history-making feat heading into Saturday night’s Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond. The Federated Auto Parts 400 is the final event before the 12-driver Chase field is set for the ensuing 10-race playoffs that will determine the 2013 Sprint Cup Series champion. Following his fourth-place finish in Sunday night’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Busch moved into 10th place in the driver point standings, the final guaranteed Chase spot before the two-wildcard entries. He is six points ahead of 11th place. A berth in the Chase, which began in 2004, would give Busch the distinction of being the first driver from a single-car team to qualify for the Chase. “We’re in position to make history and that’s pretty exciting for everyone associated with Furniture Row Racing,” said Busch, who won the NASCAR championship in the inaugural Chase season. “It's been our goal at Furniture Row Racing from the beginning of the year to make the Chase and we enter the final pre-Chase race controlling our own destiny. We need to get it done on our own Saturday night and not worry about what the other Chase contenders are doing.”(FRR)(9-5-2013)
Newman talks about 2014; Kurt Busch joining SHR: #39-Ryan Newman said he found out about Stewart-Haas Racing's expansion to four teams like most people -- first rumors and non-sourced reports on the Internet that were ultimately confirmed by Tuesday's formal announcement. But Newman, who was informed last month his contract won't be renewed by SHR for 2014, said Thursday he was mostly amused at this week's turn of events, particularly at the way it was handled with the team internally. "It was humorous,'' Newman told NASCAR.com about the announcement. "To me it was more funny, than any kind of frustration from my end. In the end, it won't affect me. Obviously, it frees up a situation for 2014 but in the end it doesn't affect me.'' Newman said he wasn't privy to any discussion about the expansion beforehand. "If they didn't tell (Tony) Stewart why would they tell me,'' he joked. With Busch's impending move from the Furniture Row Racing's #78 Chevy to SHR and media reports pointing to Kyle Larson being named to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's #42 Chevy on Friday, the 2014 driver lineups are taking shape. Newman said things are also coming together for his ride in 2014 and expects to announce his plans soon. "I don't know the when, how or what or where or anything else, but I feel confident (the announcement will take in next few weeks),'' he said.(NASCAR.com)(8-30-2013)
Kurt Busch still interested in Indy 500: Greg Zipadelli, crew chief both times Tony Stewart ran the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, is no fan of the grueling doubleheader. It's a position he made clear last October to Danica Patrick as she was trying to put together an Indy 500 deal that would interfere with her first full season of Sprint Cup racing. Now Zipadelli has a new problem on his hands: Kurt Busch, the newest addition at Stewart-Haas Racing, said he's still trying to put together a deal to run next year's Indianapolis 500 with Andretti Autosport. "It's something that's still on the table," Busch said Tuesday when he was introduced at SHR. "There's certain timelines that I've agreed to with Michael Andretti if we're still going to do the deal. We're working on things." Busch is also trying to put something together to run the IndyCar season finale at Fontana, and said Stewart, his new boss at SHR, wants to go to the race with him if he does. It was enough to make Zipadelli, the competition director at SHR, wince several times.(Associated Press)(8-29-2013)
Gene Haas responsible for deal with Kurt Busch: Gene Haas wanted to build a dream team, with an opportunity to see his name in Victory Lane. He wasn't going to let Tony Stewart stand in his way of making that happen. Haas admitted Tuesday he went rogue in courting Kurt Busch for a non-existent fourth team at Stewart-Haas Racing while Stewart was incapacitated with a broken leg earlier this month. When he finally brought his business partner up to speed on his expansion plans, Stewart balked. But Haas forged ahead anyway with a multi-year offer to Busch, who was introduced Tuesday as the newest driver at SHR, where officials are now scrambling to make room at an organization that will double from two cars in 2012 to four next season. "I don't think Tony was exactly enthralled with what I did," Haas said. "But I think he saw it my way, you know? Either that or get out of the building." Haas was laughing during two different recollections Tuesday of how he sidestepped Stewart during the lightning-fast courtship of Busch, which apparently began at a General Motors dinner in Indianapolis before the Brickyard in late July and ended last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway with Busch accepting Haas' offer. "Tony was very much in favor of the fourth team," [SHR competition director Greg] Zipadelli said. "What Tony was against was us trying to get it done for next year, just so you don't read anything more into it. Tony was in the hospital. Tony didn't know the discussions that were going on. When we all met and talked about it and assured him we would do our best to make sure things didn't slip through the cracks, it took him a couple days to process it.(Associated Press / ESPN)(8-28-2013)
Haas would sponsor Kurt Busch UPDATE Done Deal: Kurt Busch will be sponsored by Haas Automation if he signs with Stewart-Haas Racing for the 2014 season. Gene Haas, who co-owns SHR with Tony Stewart, told ESPN.com on Saturday he wants the 2004 Sprint Cup champion in one of his cars because he wants to take his non-racing company's name to Victory Lane. "I'd be happy to have a driver like that on our team," Haas said before the Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "You'd win a lot of races. I'd really be happy for my company Haas to be in the winner's circle. I've never been there. I want to be there with that name. I know Kurt has had a lot of sponsorship issues, but to me, I just want to win. I'm not too much worried about that stuff." Haas and the Furniture Row Racing driver began talking about the possibility of him coming to SHR last month during a General Motors dinner in Indianapolis. Not long after that, SHR offered Busch a contract to expand the organization to four teams with Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick. Busch has offers from several other teams, including one from Furniture Row that was given to his attorneys on Friday. Busch has yet to look over the FRR deal and likely won't until Monday. Haas said nothing has been signed as far as he knows, but he is optimistic Busch will come to SHR.(ESPN)(8-25-2013)
UPDATE: Kurt Busch has signed a multiyear contract to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing beginning with the 2014 season, Busch told ESPN on Monday morning. "I'm going to Stewart-Haas," Busch said. "I've signed my deal." The SHR organization has said it will hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon "to announce the future expansion of Stewart-Haas Racing." Busch received the offer to drive for Stewart-Haas a week ago and received a subsequent offer from his current team, Furniture Row Racing, last week. He will be the fourth driver in the SHR stable, joining team owner #14-Tony Stewart, #4-Kevin Harvick and #10-Danica Patrick. Busch said Monday that he appreciates greatly the opportunity afforded him at FRR. Asked whether he can maintain focus and help get the #78 team into the Chase, he said, "Come Wednesday, that's all I'm going to think about."(ESPN)
AND An official announcement with team co-owner Gene Haas - the man behind the decision - is set for 2:00 pm/et Tuesday at SHR headquarters in Kannapolis, NC. Sources say SHR is attempting to obtain the #00 for Busch to use beginning next season in the Sprint Cup Series.(Charlotte Observer)(8-26-2013)
UPDATE 2: Stewart-Haas Racing will expand to four cars in 2014. Kurt Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup champion and owner of 24 Sprint Cup victories, will drive the Haas Automation Chevy fulltime alongside Stewart in the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevy, Danica Patrick in the #10 GoDaddy Chevy and Kevin Harvick in the #4 Budweiser Chevy beginning in 2014. It’s a lineup that features four Sprint Cup championships, 36 poles and 93 wins.
“Stewart-Haas Racing has proven itself to be a very competitive race team. Every team wants to win, but the preparation and resources Gene Haas and Tony Stewart and everyone at SHR put into their racecars each and every week is incredible,” Busch said. “This is the kind of situation every driver wants to be in, and I’m grateful to Gene Haas and Haas Automation for providing me this opportunity. I didn’t think anyone wanted to win as much as me until I met Gene Haas.”
“Kurt Busch is a premier talent, one who gives you the opportunity to win races every week and contend for a championship every year,” Haas said. “When he became available, we seized the opportunity to make him a part of Stewart-Haas Racing. This is an organization built on winning, and Haas Automation is a company built on performance. Kurt embodies each of those qualities, and it’s why we’re investing in his abilities.”
“I’ve had a tremendous amount of respect for Kurt’s talent and determination for as long as he’s been racing in the Sprint Cup Series. Kurt is extremely knowledgeable, and his input will make all of Stewart-Haas Racing better,” said Stewart, still recovering from a broken right tibia and fibula suffered in a sprint car crash Aug. 5 at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, Iowa. “When Gene Haas laid out his plans for what he wanted to do in regard to this race team’s future, which included bringing Kurt on board in a fourth car, it was impressive. You can’t stand still in this business. You have to constantly improve. Gene’s investment in this race team ensures the success of Stewart-Haas Racing for many years to come.”
Work has already begun on the physical expansion of SHR. Land adjacent to the team’s existing 140,000-square foot facility is being cleared for construction of a building that will house research and development, a state-of-the-art pit fitness and training center, and multipurpose space for SHR partners.(Stewart Haas Racing)(8-27-2013)
Furniture Row Racing comments on Busch's decision: The following quote is attributed to Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing in regards to Kurt Busch's decision not to continue as the driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet after the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. “It was always our intention to extend Kurt's contract with Furniture Row Racing. We made him an offer last week to continue as the driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet in 2014 and beyond. Though he did not accept our offer we respect his decision and wish him future success. His driving skill and being a dedicated team player will always be appreciated at Furniture Row Racing. But for right now the main focus for Kurt and the team is to qualify for the Chase and contend for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series championship. Furniture Row Racing’s technical and engineering programs along with a talented road crew have made great strides this season, which have been evident with the consistently fast race cars that we have brought to the track week in and week out. We, along with our technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, are deeply committed to continuing the work in progress. We are currently in a search process for a new driver in 2014, one who shares the same commitment and winning attitude that we all do at Furniture Row Racing.”(Furniture Row Racing)(8-26-2013)
Furniture Row Racing to offer Busch an extension UPDATE: it was reported on FoxSports1 (thanks for the Jayski mention) during practice by Bob Dilner that #78 Furniture Row Racing is working on a contract extension for driver Kurt Busch. Busch is rumored to be talking to Stewart Haas Racing to run a 4th car there in 2014. Supposedly FRR will have the contract extension ready for Busch to look at after the first practice session at Bristol.(8-23-2013)
UPDATE: Kurt Busch has been offered an extension from Furniture Row Racing. Although Busch was offered a deal from FRR earlier this year, he opted to wait and ‘kick the tires’ before making a final decision. "The timing of making a decision is what it needs to be," Busch said. "There are timelines on things and things that have to fall into place. The timing of this is tough because it’s the middle of August and it’s the run towards the Chase. But it’s a decision I have to put a lot of time and effort into. "So, we’ll see how things play out. Right now, the focus is these three weeks and getting into the Chase. The cool part about everything is that after the next three weeks, I hope we’re five points from the championship lead — because that will mean we are in." When SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli was asked about Busch’s status for next season, he replied, "As far as Kurt’s deal, that is moving forward. We spent some time this week talking about buildings and expanding. As far as that part of it goes we are pretty much committed."(FoxSports)(8-24-2013)
Kurt Busch headed to Stewart-Haas? UPDATE 2 Zipadelli comments Stewart Haas Racing has submitted a formal offer to #78-Kurt Busch to drive a fourth Sprint Cup entry beginning in 2014, multiple NASCAR sources have confirmed to ESPN.com. The proposed deal would team Busch with team owner Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick in the SHR stable. Asked for confirmation Sunday, SHR spokesman Mike Arning submitted the following statement via email: "Stewart-Haas Racing constantly strives to improve itself, and expansion is something that is often discussed. If the right opportunity presents itself, it's something the team will certainly consider." Busch was unavailable for comment Sunday night. Sources said Haas/CNC would sponsor Busch's car, should he choose to sign with SHR. Busch has performed quite well this season in the #78 Chevy from Furniture Row Racing, but team sources say FRR has yet to offer him a contract extension.(ESPN)
AND Sources tell FOXSports.com that Kurt Busch has been made a formal, multiyear offer to join Stewart-Haas Racing next season. The offer was made before Stewart's sprint-car accident on Aug. 5. Neither Stewart, who is recovering from a broken leg sustained in that sprint-car accident, nor Gene Haas was at the track this weekend. SHR competition director Greg Zipadelli, meanwhile, laughed at the notion. “We still have to fill the 14,” Zipadelli said. However, he did not dispute that SHR has room to expand at its Concord, N.C., campus.(FoxSports)
UPDATE: Responding to reports that he has a formal contract offer from Stewart Haas Racing to drive a fourth Sprint Cup entry for the organization in 2014, Busch told ESPN.com that he has multiple opportunities for next season. He did not address Stewart Haas Racing specifically though he did say nothing was signed as of Monday morning. "I've received offers from multiple teams," Busch said. "This isn't a decision I'm taking lightly. I'm looking at what teams have planned long term and want to be in a place where my opinion and input is valued. I like to be involved in the process like I have been here at Furniture Row. At the same time, I was hoping to not have this distraction while working with my guys to get us in the Chase."(ESPN)(8-19-2013)
UPDATE 2: Greg Zipadelli, Competition Director of Stewart-Haas Racing and Mark Martin, interim driver for the #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS, were guests on this week's NASCAR teleconference. The transcript in part:
Q.) Zippy, I just wanted to see if you had any comment on Lee Spencer's report that SHR had offered Kurt Busch a deal for next year beyond a possible expansion?
GREG ZIPADELLI: I mean, right now we're really focusing on Mark. Obviously there's options out there. We're looking at everything that's there. There is nothing done. Right now like I said we're focused on the 39, trying to win another race to make it into the Chase and getting Mark fitted up in this car and heading to Bristol to do the best job we can.
Q.) For Greg, obviously there will be a lot of reports and whatnot moving ahead, not knowing what 2014 will hold, and are you talking to drivers still now, other drivers beyond the story and the talk in the garage about Kurt Busch?
GREG ZIPADELLI: No, not at all. Like I said, we've got two big things going on here right now with the 39 having an opportunity to make the Chase and getting Mark Martin over here, get him acclimated with the guys and how we do things and heading to Bristol. We'll take it week by week.
Q.) You talked about you're focused on the 14 and getting the 39 in the Chase, but obviously with the report of the possible expansion, certainly in your role as competition director you're looking short-term and long-term. You talked earlier this season about the challenges of going from a two-car to three-car operation and how that maybe slowed you guys up in performance. What are the lessons you learned and how do you avoid that if you go from a three-car to a four-car organization and not have those same problems?
GREG ZIPADELLI: Well, there's lessons to be learned. We're not to that point yet. Right now we are a three-car. We have made lots of gains throughout the year, but I still think we have room to improve. We're still working on that. Obviously if something were to come, we would look at where we feel like we fell short and try to do a better job at it.(Team Chevy)(8-20-2013)
Kurt Busch talks about 2014 plans: #78-Kurt Busch met with members of the media at Michigan and discussed his potential plans for 2014 and many other topics. The transcript in part:
Q) WITH THE #42 BEING OPEN FOR SURE NOW DOES THAT CHANGE AS FAR AS THE PEOPLE THAT YOU’RE TALKING TO ABOUT NEXT YEAR? SHOULD WE COUNT YOU AS A CANDIDATE FOR THAT RIDE?
Kurt Busch: “It hasn’t changed anything, I’m good friends with Felix Sabates and I know Chip real well and the whole gang, Max Jones, Steve Lauletta. They came up with that decision not based off any of the talks that I’ve had with them but it is a potential opportunity that’s for sure.”
Q) ARE YOU ANY CLOSER? HAVE YOU MADE PROGRESS WITH WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO NEXT YEAR OR HAVE YOU PUT ALL THAT ON THE BACKBURNER WHILE TRYING TO MAKE THE CHASE?
Kurt Busch: “Well, the focus is making the chase and we have four weeks to go and we’re in great position. It’s been neat to feel the energy from the team. We spent a week in Colorado meeting with Denver media and they’ve adopted us as like a fifth sports entity for that town. It’s been really neat. They talk Broncos. They talk Rockies. And now they’re talking us. So, it’s cool to have talks with Furniture Row about what we can do in 2014 and beyond. The Ganassi thing came up and other phone calls have happened. Nothing’s going to change. We’re just still really focused on the Chase and what we can do in these next four weeks together.”(see full transcript at Team Chevy)(8-16-2013)
Kurt Busch Nails First Pitch at Colorado Rockies Game: Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch threw a perfect strike during the ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday’s MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres. Busch, a rabid baseball fan, trotted to the Coors Field pitching mound wearing a #78 Rockies/Furniture Row jersey, then took a short windup and hurled a fastball over the center of the plate. The visit to the Rockies game was part of a four-day Denver blitz for Busch, who his in first full season driving for the Colorado-based NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. Along with attending the Rockies game, Busch paid a visit to local media outlets, conducted an autograph session for Furniture Row at its Oak Express store, played in a charity golf tournament that benefitted the Armed Forces Foundation and took part in a television commercial shoot for future Furniture Row/Denver Mattress promotions. His Denver week will culminate Thursday as a VIP guest to the Denver Broncos training camp.(see more and an inage at Furniture Row Racing's Facebook)(8-25-2013)
McaArdle joins Childress; Newman to the #29? Richard Childress Racing has named Mark McArdle as their Director of Racing Operations on a full-time basis, effective this weekend at Watkins Glen International. For the past four years, McArdle was with Furniture Row Racing, first as Director of Competition and this year holding the title of Executive Director of Competition. This season, his duties have included operating on a shared basis between RCR and Furniture Row Racing, which has had a technical alliance with RCR since 2010. McArdle will report to Dr. Eric Warren, Director of Competition for RCR, and still work closely with Furniture Row Racing, but from the RCR facility and not traveling to FRR's facilities in Colorado.(RCR)(8-11-2013)
AND: The move comes at a time when RCR is looking to fill the ride vacated by #29-Kevin Harvick and hoping to retain its technical alliance with Furniture Row and is in exploratory discussions with JTG-Daugherty Racing to add the organization's # 47 team to the fold as well. Currently FRR is weighing its options with other manufacturers since its contract with Chevy runs out at the end of the year. Toyota has visited FRR in Denver but nothing has been formalized either way. FRR principals have put their driver selection on hold until after the manufacturer decision has been made, which should be over the next couple of weeks. As for RCR, sources say Ryan Newman has taken the lead in the search to find a driver to replace Harvick, who is leaving at the end of the season. A new twist to the story could be the addition of crew chief Matt Borland with Newman as a package deal for RCR.(Fox Sports)(8-11-2013)
Kurt Busch looking to run IndyCar finale: #78- Kurt Busch says it is a "good possibility" that he'll race in the Izod IndyCar Series finale in October at Auto Club Speedway to prepare for next year's Indianapolis 500. "We're working on it," Busch said during a break in testing Monday at Watkins Glen International. "We just have to keep our fingers crossed." The IndyCar season finale, a night race, is Oct. 19 at Auto Club Speedway. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway the following day. Busch was encouraged by his May 9 test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He passed the IndyCar rookie test and had a top lap of 218.210 mph in a car from Michael Andretti's team. Busch's effort is contingent on sponsorship. If money isn't found for Busch to run at Auto Club Speedway this season, he says he would feel "blind" at Indianapolis next May "and that's just going to be too much to make up."(Motor Racing Network)(7-31-2013)
Kurt Busch looking into running 2014 Indy 500: #78-Kurt Busch tested an IndyCar at the Brickyard in May, and has a clear interest in potentially competing in the Indianapolis 500. That curiosity was further piqued Saturday, when he stood down in Indy's canyon of a frontstretch before qualifying sixth for the 20th edition of the NASCAR event at the 104-year-old track. "I can honestly say, standing out on the grid ready to qualify, that our qualifying is a lot less nerve-wracking than it would be to be ready for a full day, four laps at a time, and putting an open-wheel car on the grid," Busch said. "I was trying to chew on some of those emotions. That way, if I do come back in the month of May, I can chew on them and not be so nervous." On May 9, Busch took part in an IndyCar rookie test on the 2.5-mile speedway and passed it by turning a speed of 218.210 mph. Although neither the driver nor Andretti Autosport, the open-wheel team that supplied a vehicle for the test, were prepared to make a run at this year's Indy 500, Busch is clearly intrigued by the idea. "It's something you want to do as a dream," Busch said. "Sometimes you have to throw away common sense when you have a dream, and to go and do it. We'll see if it turns out. A lot of guys would love to do it, but there's that 600-mile race you've got to do that same night. So that's the big focus for a stock-car guy." Busch recently had a 45-minute telephone conversation with former Penske Racing teammate Sam Hornish Jr., an IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion who made the jump full-time to NASCAR in 2008. Hornish came away from that discussion believing that Busch would attempt the Indy 500 eventually.(NASCAR.com)(7-28-2013)
Indy Marks Berrier's 1-Year Anniversary at Furniture Row Racing: Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will mark Todd Berrier's one-year anniversary as crew chief for #78 Furniture Row Racing. Since joining the team at the 2012 Brickyard race, Berrier has shown his A-list talents, directing the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet to five top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in the past 36 point races. A marked improvement for the Denver-based team, which had only two top-fives and five top-10s in the 182 career starts prior to Berrier's arrival. Berrier, who has eight career Cup victories as a crew chief, including the 2003 Brickyard 400 and 2007 Daytona 500, feels the team is in a critical stage of the season as it continues its hunt to qualify for the Chase. With seven races remaining before the start of the Chase, Busch is in 14th place in driver points, only seven markers from 10th, the final Chase position before the two wildcard entries. "The potential is there, it's just a matter of execution," explained Berrier, who has made three Chase appearances as crew chief. "Kurt stresses consistency and that's what we've been lacking at times due to mistakes and a more than an usual amount of bad luck. This is a tight battle to make the Chase with so many drivers in contention. While it's great theater for the fans, it's a little nerve-wracking for all of us on the inside."(Furniture Row Racing)(7-24-2013)
Kyle Busch calls Newman 'idiot' UPDATE Newman responds, Busch backs away: #78-Kurt Busch kept his cool after being involved in a wreck with Ryan Newman that ended his chances of winning Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire, but his younger brother didn't. #18-Kyle Busch took several shots at Newman, who earlier in the week learned this would be his last season with Stewart-Haas Racing. "I really hate it that Kurt got tore up and I felt like he had the best car here today," Kyle said to ESPN of his brother, who led a race-high 102 laps. "He was definitely good. He could definitely roll the long runs for sure and I was proud of those guys, but man just stupidity. I mean Ryan Newman is the biggest stupid idiot out here. And he's a big ogre and he can do whatever he wants because he can probably kick anybody's butt, so no sense in getting into a fight with him. But glad he is out of a job." The incident occurred on lap 226 of 302. It turned a potential win into a 31st-place finish that dropped Kurt from ninth to 14th in the standings. Kurt didn't mention Newman after the incident, but said he got hit from behind. The driver behind him was #20-Matt Kenseth. Newman, who finished 39, said Kurt took himself out. "I guess [Kenseth] had a little influence on it," Newman said. "We were kind of in a bad spot having a little bit older tires. ... Just a lot of disrespect from a bunch of guys on restarts. What comes around goes around."(ESPN)(7-15-2013)
UPDATE: Ryan Newman wasted little time responding to Kyle Busch calling him an "ogre" and "the biggest stupid idiot out here" following Sunday's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Newman fired back Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR radio saying, "We know he's not very bright."
"I'm sure if I rearrange his face I might fix it," [Newman] said. "He's frustrated finishing third [actually second] or wherever he was after hitting me first and then giving me a little rub down the straightaway. Just imagine how I feel. It is what it is. We know he's not very bright. He's a heck of a talent, but not very bright."
Does that mean Newman, who is 19th in the standings and 36 points outside the top 10 needed to guarantee a spot in the Chase, might take revenge against Kyle who is seventh in points? I never said that," Newman told SiriusXM. "If he's going to run his mouth, he better be able to back up running his mouth. It seems like after his comment about me not having a ride it seems like he has way more to lose than I do." (ESPN)(7-16-2013)
UPDATE 2: Kyle Busch responded Tuesday on Twitter:
"I want to clarify that I was answering what I felt was two separate questions asked to me at the same time in an interview following the race in Loudon. The first was about how fast Kurt was and the second was how I felt about Ryan Newman blaming me for him getting wrecked.
First I answered the Kurt part. He was fast... Great to see them running well... Was a shame to see him crashed... Nowhere there did I place blame on who wrecked who. I didn't see it and I still haven't seen it.
My second answer came from being upset over an incident I had with RN on the track during the race. I answered it in the same response, but it was intended as a completely separate answer.
I was upset because I felt RN raced me poorly, making contact and causing damage to my RF fender that affected the handling on my racecar. This isn't the first time that I've been raced poorly by RN either, which added to my frustration. All this built up and allowed my emotions to spill over for how I felt. I'm not sorry for how I feel in those moments, but could have expressed it better and certainly my comments about someone's livelihood went too far.(7-17-2013)
Kurt Busch focused on making chase; also working on 2014: #78-Kurt Busch talked to the media Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway:
ARE YOU ANY CLOSER TO WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO BE DOING NEXT YEAR? DOES IT MATTER THAT YOU ARE KIND OF IN LIMBO ABOUT NEXT YEAR THROUGHOUT THIS RACE FOR THE CHASE?
"It's been one thing I've been trying to answer in my own mind. We have these eight weeks to focus on, get into the Chase but then it's not going to change anything if we're in the Chase because I want to run for the championship. But also contract negotiations and things are in discussion, but you try not to let that weigh any of what's going on right now. Right now is the most important thing. Living in the present. That's some of the things going on behind the scenes too. There are a lot of irons in the fire. It's good to run well. Being in the top 10 in points is an accomplishment. Now we've just got to close the door behind us and make sure we are part of the group that is in it." (Chevy PR)(7-13-2013)
Childress planning on at least 3 teams in 2014: Richard Childress Racing will have at least three Sprint Cup teams and possibly four in 2014. There has been speculation that RCR might shrink from three to two teams after losing Kevin Harvick and primary sponsor Budweiser to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Team owner Richard Childress told ESPN.com on Friday that he will have a lineup of Jeff Burton, Paul Menard and "question mark." "We're going to have three race teams for sure," Childress said between practices at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "Not 100 percent on a fourth." Asked if the third team would be fielded by grandson Austin Dillon, who has run six Cup races this season in anticipation of moving up from the Nationwide Series next year, Childress reiterated, "question mark." Childress recently said Ryan Newman, in his last year with SHR with Harvick filling out that three-driver lineup, is a candidate for the #29. He also has left open the possibility that Dillon, who drives the 3 made famous by Dale Earnhardt at RCR, could drive the #3 in Cup. Kurt Busch also has been mentioned as a potential candidate at RCR. Busch is ninth in points for Furniture Row Racing that has an alliance with RCR. Sources said RCR has a gentleman's agreement not to pursue Busch. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said negotiations to re-sign Busch are on hold as the single-car team attempts to make the Chase for the first time.(ESPN)(7-12-2013)
Drivers, owners start looking to 2014: It was curious when [#78-Kurt] Busch slipped last Thursday after he was asked a silly question about who he would prefer to have dinner with when given a list of drivers. His focus turned to #39-Ryan Newman, his former Penske Racing teammate with whom he experienced a not-so-friendly feud on and off the track as the two free agents searched for rides last year. "Maybe Newman and I need to have a sit-down, because we're both out there charging hard and trying to get into the Chase, and we're looking for rides," said Busch, who almost immediately regretted the last few words. Busch, 34, signed a one-year deal with Furniture Row Racing last year. Although team owner Barney Visser attempted to extend the contract with Busch after he posted three consecutive top-10 finishes to close out the 2012 season, the driver believed it was best to hold off.
And as Busch learned on Sunday - before he made the error of speeding down pit road twice, dropped to 38th and battled back to a fourth-place finish - FRR can produce cars capable of winning. That's a prospect not lost on his rival Newman, who has inquired about the possibility of a second team at FRR for 2014.
Yes, Busch is accustomed to competing with high-profile teams but those coveted seats are few and far between. There have been talks with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Richard Childress Racing but the driver landscape remains in flux.
On Sunday, Childress admitted that Newman, who will likely have the support of sponsor Quicken Loans, is topping his list of candidates for the #29 ride being vacated by Kevin Harvick. In the winner's post-race interview, Michael Waltrip acknowledged that Brian Vickers "is our guy." "We're trying to get all the pieces together so he can drive the #55 and race for the championship next year," Waltrip said.
Furniture Row Racing has no issues with Busch testing the market - as long as it doesn't become a distraction for the team.(Fox Sports)(6-25-2013)
#78 to pay tribute to Armed Forces Day at Sprint All-Star Race: With Armed Forces Day being celebrated on Saturday (May 18), Kurt Busch's #78 Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet will observe the annual holiday with a special paint scheme for Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Armed Forces Day, which was created in 1949 and celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May, was an initiative led by President Harry S. Truman to establish a single holiday for citizens to pay tribute to the men and women who served in the United States' armed forces. The paint scheme for Busch's car for the Sprint All-Star Race will include a ribbon on both the hood and rear quarter panels announcing Armed Forces Day. The inscription: "Thank You For Your Service" will also be positioned below the ribbon on the quarter panels.
"Honoring our members of the military at an all-star race is very appropriate because the true all stars in my mind are all the men and women who have served in the military to protect our freedom so we can do what we enjoy each week," said Busch, winner of the 2010 All-Star Race. "It's truly an honor to have our Armed Forces Day Furniture Row/Sealy Chevrolet honor these great American heroes on our special night of racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Working with the Armed Forces Foundation and dedicating each race this season to a service member suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress or was killed in action is an honor I carry with me every time I get in the driver's seat."
Over the past year, Busch has worked with the Armed Forces Fondation by living up to its motto: "Serving those who Serve" and partnering in various events, such as the military inspired mud run "Busch Whacked" at Texas Motor Speedway. To further enhance its support for Armed Forces Day, Furniture Row Companies will have a nationwide celebration at all of its 330 stores on Friday (May 17) from 3 – 9 p.m. The celebration, which will take place inside of Furniture Row's specialty stores – Denver Mattress, Sofa Mart, Oak Express and Bedroom Expressions, is for all active duty, former and retired military, as well as reservist and members of the National Guard and their families. The evening activities will include multiple drawings for Apple iPads and a 60-inch Samsung 180p Plasma HDTV along with free gifts and refreshments. Every item in the stores will be specially priced for this one evening.
"The sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made, and will continue to make, are extraordinary and it is our honor at Furniture Row Companies to pay tribute to these brave heroes and their families at our stores and on our #78 Sprint Cup Chevrolet," said Woody Boyd, Furniture Row Companies chief operating officer. "Armed Forces Day hits home here at Furniture Row with so many of our employees, including our company founder, who have proudly served our country. We are proud of them, as well as every member of the military past and present, for their service and commitment to preserve freedom."(Furniture Row Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(5-16-2013)
Kurt Busch passes Indy rookie test UPDATE: Kurt Busch wants to race an IndyCar at Indianapolis. Just not now. The 2004 Sprint Cup champion kept Ryan Hunter-Reay's primary car out of trouble Thursday, topping 218 mph on one of the world's most prestigious tracks. He became the first driver to pass this year's rookie test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, likely creating a rumor-filled month of May. "I really couldn't do it this year because of the stamina," Busch said. "My hands were tense and firm and that was only after 10 laps. Michael (Andretti) wants to do it, but they've already got five cars committed this year, so I think the proper thing would be to get some experience with this car at another track. There's going to be a lot of swirling that goes on after day like today, after reaching 218 on your first day around this place," Busch said after posting a fast lap of 218.210 mph. "But that doesn't mean anything because I need more time." Andretti acknowledged that's a possibility later this year, if Busch can work out the details with his Cup schedule.(Associated Press)(5-10-2013)
UPDATE: Busch developed a relationship with Andretti Autosport owner Andretti through their mutual agent John Caponigro last season when Busch interviewed with potential teams for 2013. At the time, Andretti was entertaining a possible entry into NASCAR and a possible partnership with Dodge. Since then, Busch signed with Furniture Row Racing to run in the Sprint Cup Series, where he is currently 20th in the points standings. Busch has the blessing of FRR team owner Barney Visser to pursue this latest dream. "It's a bucket-list type item," he said. "It's also because I have the heart and desire to do anything in motorsports. So to wrap my arms around, moreso of what can happen next, we've just got to let things sit on the burner here and see where it goes." Although this year's Indianapolis 500 is not a practical option for Busch, he's mentioned the possibility of racing in IndyCar events at Pocono Raceway, Milwaukee Mile and Auto Club Speedway. Busch isn't sure what opportunities exist in IndyCar, but just the chance to say he's been on the yard of bricks in an open-wheel car is "a nice achievement." "Any opportunity in motorsports is what I'm looking for. I grew up in a stock car world. I've spent the last dozen years in the Sprint Cup garage. You never know what's around the next turn. I've been full-throttle on a quarter-mile and full-throttle at Indianapolis. There's a lot of cool things out there."(Fox Sports) (5-11-2013)
Stewart thinks Kurt Busch could make Indy 500: Consider Tony Stewart officially jealous that fellow NASCAR driver Kurt Busch gets to test an Indy car at Indianapolis Motor Speedway later this week. The five-time Indianapolis 500 starter said that he plans to call Busch "to see if there's anything I can do to help him." "There's not a doubt in my mind that he could make the (500's) field," Stewart said following a sponsor event at the garage where he stores his classic cars. "If he gets with the right team — and obviously he's going with Andretti — I don't see any problem making the starting field for sure." Busch isn't targeting this month's 500, but he has told reporters he's open to pursuing a ride next year if all goes well with this test.(Indianapolis Star)(5-9-2013)
Kurt Busch, Trevor Bayne to test at MIS on May 14-15: NASCAR's new Gen-6 Car has drawn rave reviews from drivers and fans alike after the first 10 races in 2013. On May 14-15, the car will make its debut at Michigan International Speedway when two teams conduct a test. And fans are invited to watch free of charge.
Speedway officials will open the Turn One grandstands from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. May 14 and May 15 to watch testing. So far, #78-Kurt Busch and #21-Trevor Bayne are the only drivers schedule to test those days. "It will be exciting to finally see the Gen 6 Car at Michigan International Speedway," track President Roger Curtis said. "We became NASCAR's fastest track in 2012 during the Quicken Loans 400. So far in 2013, the new cars have been posting record qualifying speeds so it will be fun to see how fast they go here."
Last year, Marcos Ambrose posted a track qualifying mark of 203.241 mph for the Quicken Loans 400. That speed was the 11th-fastest pole-winning speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history and the first time the pole winning speed was faster than 200 mph at a track other than Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pulled into victory lane for his first win since June of 2008, also at MIS. Testing times, track schedule and drivers are subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. Fans are asked to park in Lot 10 off US 12 and enter the grandstands through Gate 17, just behind the water tower. The restroom facilities will be open. Fans are also allowed to bring in coolers that meet the MIS grandstand gate policies for any race weekend. MIS is once again host to a pair of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races in 2013. The top series comes to the Irish Hills for the Quicken Loans 400 on Sunday, June 16 and returns just two short months later for the Pure Michigan 400 on Sunday, August 18. Tickets are on sale at MISpeedway.com or by phone at 800-354-1010.(MIS)(5-7-2013)
Kurt Busch to test Indycar at Indy: After two days of testing the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy NASCAR Sprint Cup car this week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Kurt Busch left the track knowing he was going to get more seat time at the famed oval before the Crown Royal presents the "Your Hero's Name Here" 400 at the Brickyard in July. But this time, the additional seat time will be behind the wheel an IZOD IndyCar Series car. Busch will test a Chevrolet-powered Andretti Autosport Indy car Thursday morning, May 9, just two days before IMS officially opens for practice for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500. Andretti Autosport team owner and IMS legend Michael Andretti will be on hand to provide driver coaching and assist in getting Busch up to speed quickly.
"I have always enjoyed racing at Indianapolis, and when IMS and Michael presented me with the opportunity to test an Indy car prior to opening day of practice of the Indianapolis 500, I jumped at it," Busch said. "The Indianapolis 500 is an iconic event and having an opportunity to go through the testing process with Michael and Andretti Autosport, the defending series champions and two-time winners of the race, is pretty cool."
Said Andretti: "I had the chance to get to know Kurt last year when we were working on another racing project. I respect his talent and am happy to give him the opportunity to experience the raw speed of an Indy car. It's a unique feel and perspective - it will be totally different than what he is used to driving each week on the Cup circuit." Busch left open the door to compete in "The Double" - racing in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the same day - in the future. "I am looking forward to this test and experiencing IMS at the speeds the Indy cars run," Busch said. "Let's see how the test goes, and then I can look at the opportunities that could be beyond this coming Thursday. Running the Indianapolis 500 would certainly be a highlight, and doing another 600 miles in a Cup car on the same day would make for a special weekend." Only three drivers have attempted the Memorial Day weekend "Double" - John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon.(IMS)(5-4-2013)
#78 to Carry Message Honoring Military for Armed Forces Day: In observance of Armed Forces Day (May 18), a holiday for citizens to come together to thank military members for their patriotic service, Kurt Busch's No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS will include an added message at the next two Sprint Cup races at Talladega (May 5) and Darlington (May 11). A ribbon on the hood and rear quarter panels of Busch's car will announce Military Appreciation Night on May 17. The hood will also communicate, At All Furniture Row Stores. This special messaging is in conjunction with the 330 Furniture Row stores nationwide hosting Military Appreciation Night celebrations for all active duty, former, and retired military, as well as reservist and members of the National Guard and their families on the eve of Armed Forces Day.
The Military Appreciation Night on Friday May 17 will be held from 3 – 9 p.m. inside all of Furniture Row's specialty stores – Denver Mattress, Sofa Mart, Oak Express and Bedroom Expressions. The evening activities will include multiple drawings for Apple iPads and a 60-inch Samsung 180p Plasma HDTV along with free gifts and refreshments. Every item in the stores will be specially priced for this one evening. "I am really proud of Furniture Row for its support of our military," said Busch. "Having the Military Appreciation Night message on our race car is special to me because I am also a huge supporter of our men and women in uniform with my passionate involvement with the Armed Forces Foundation." President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country. On Aug. 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days. The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense (FRR), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(5-3-2013)
Kurt Busch to test V8 Supercar at COTA: Sprint Cup Series driver #78-Kurt Busch will add another form of professional motorsports to his driving resume. The former NASCAR champion, who has driven an Indy car, sports car and an NHRA Pro Stocker, will take part in a car swap Tuesday (April 23) with the Australian V8 Supercars Series during a media event at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. While Busch will be testing a Holden Commodore V8 Supercar, his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet SS will also be at the track with an offer to the Australian V8 drivers in attendance -- James Courtney and Fabian Coulthard -- to pilot the Sprint Cup car around the 3.4-mile Grand Prix circuit. "I'm flattered to be invited by Circuit of The Americas and the Australian V8 Supercars Series to participate in this unique event," Busch said. "Getting a chance to drive a V8 Supercar was high on my wish list, and the chance to do it at Circuit of The Americas makes this a dream opportunity." The V8 Supercars Series, Australia's premier motorsports category, is scheduled to compete May 17-19 at the Circuit of The Americas, which will also host the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix later in the year.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(4-22-2013)
Serta Mattress featured on #78 at Vegas: Furniture Row Racing driver Kurt Busch is banking on a "Lucky 13" start to beat the odds and fulfill a career dream of claiming his first Sprint Cup victory in his hometown of Las Vegas. "Not too many people beat the odds in Las Vegas, but after 12 attempts of trying to win there, I think I'm overdue," said Busch, whose #78 Chevy will feature a new associate sponsor – Serta Mattress – for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.(FRR)#78 Furniture Row / Serta schemes.(3-7-2013)
Mother of Kurt, Kyle Busch in golf-cart accident at PIR: Gaye Busch, the mother of #78-Kurt and #18-Kyle Busch, was among those taken to a Phoenix area hospital Saturday after a golf cart tipped over in the tunnel underneath Phoenix International Raceway. Kurt Busch tweeted last night: "Don't get in any moving vehicle w/ my mom. She was involved in a crash in the tunnel b4 the end of the race. A little banged up" He updated his twitter page this morning: "Thx again for all the nice comments about mom. She's here at the track & in great spirits. She was touched by all the concern" According to Fox 10 in Phoenix, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies say the golf cart had too many people on it, causing it to roll over. No one was significantly injured. (Sporting News)(3-3-2013)
Kurt Busch to to Backup Car at Phoenix: After a solid first qualifying lap at the Phoenix on Friday, Kurt Busch's #78 Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevy scraped the wall during the second lap due to a malfunction in the coolant system. The damage (right-front and right-side) was enough that the team will go to the backup car for Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup race. "Kurt did a great job saving the car from further damage," said team crew chief Todd Berrier. The culprit for the loss of grip was a parts breakage in the coolant system that sprayed water under the tires, causing Busch to wiggle and eventually lose control of the car. "The Furniture Row/Beautyrest Chevy steered to the right, brushed the wall and we'll be in a backup car come Sunday," said Busch. "You would think after Daytona we would fare a little better. But right now we need to suck it up and battle through this adversity." Going to a backup car will result in Kurt starting Sunday's race from the rear of the field. Busch was credited with the 25th fastest speed based on his first lap, which is usually the slower of the two.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-2-2013)
#78 Furniture Row Chevy will carry Beautyrest sponsorship in Phoenix: Joining Kurt Busch as an associate sponsor on his #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet SS for the Subway Fresh Fit 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix will be Beautyrest, the Atlanta-based manufacturer of premium mattresses, which are sold at Denver Mattress locations nationwide. It will be the first of seven races that Beautyrest will have associate sponsorship on the #78. Busch has tackled the Phoenix mile 20 times in his Sprint Cup career. He has one win (April 2005), four top-fives, 11 top-10s and has led 750 laps. His average start is 13.0 and average finish 13.2.(Furniture Row Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(2-28-2013)
Fourth Childress Car? The #78-Furniture Row Racing team that fields Kurt Busch's Chevrolets is based in Denver, Colo. Home to Richard Childress Racing is Welcome, N.C. Nevertheless, the two organizations have formed a bond that defies geography. Furniture Row's executive director of competition, Mark McArdle, doubles as director of racing operations at RCR, shuttling between the two shops. Asked whether he attends competition meetings with RCR drivers, Busch was adamant. "Absolutely," Busch said. "I was in Charlotte last year (for his first start with Furniture Row). The setups for all four cars were there on one sheet. The crew chiefs are in a meeting, the engineers are in a meeting, the drivers are in a meeting. You have all the top guys spread around into the meetings as well. It's like we're the fourth car. Instead of it saying '33' on the door, it says '78' and Furniture Row."(NASCAR Wire Service)(2-16-2013)
Patrick's #10 team using former #78 team crew: Frontstretches Mike Neff interviews Tony Gibson, crew chief for #10 Danica Patrick, Gibson was asked about the pit crew for the #10 team:
Neff: *One last question. Your pit crew this year that will be pitting Danica Patrick in the #10, is it your old crew from the #39, a whole new crew or a combination of old and new guys?
Gibson: "Actually, it is all guys that were working at Stewart-Haas last year that were pitting the #78 at the end of last year. That whole group of guys has moved over to the #10 team to pit Danica. The reason for that is that at least five of those guys work on the cars in the shop for our team. It makes more sense to take guys who work on the cars every day to be more connected to the cars when they get to the track. A lot of those guys I have worked with since the DEI days in the past. It pretty much just made sense to have those guys on the pit crew."(Frontstretch)(2-14-2013)
Kurt Busch one of the most disliked athletes: Forbes magazine ranked America's 10 most disliked athletes. "Feel-good stories can go sour pretty quickly, as Manti Te'o and Lance Armstrong can attest to. They lead the 2013 list of America's Most Disliked Athletes, based on the latest public surveys from Nielsen Sports and market research firm E-Poll. Candidates were limited to those scoring a minimum of 10% public awareness." Number 8 on the list was #78-Kurt Busch with an approval of 27%. They said, "Hot tempered and arrogant, Busch has feuded with teammates and reporters alike."(Forbes)(2-6-2013)
Furniture Row Racing announces associate sponsors: Three nationally-known mattress brands – Sealy, Serta and Simmons Beautyrest will partner with Furniture Row Racing and Denver Mattress as associate sponsors during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Each of the three mattress brands will sponsor selected races, a total of 20 during the 36-event Sprint Cup schedule. The brands will carry top billing on the rear quarter panels of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet SS driven by Kurt Busch. The spacious Denver Mattress showrooms, which are part of the multiple-store Furniture Row Shopping Centers nationwide, carry the best of all the better brands of mattresses, including Sealy, Serta, Simmons Beautyrest and its own factory-direct line of Denver Mattresses.
"We are thrilled about having Sealy, Serta and Simmons Beautyrest coming on board to complement our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress NASCAR sponsorship," said Dan Visser, president of Denver Mattress. "Our Denver Mattress stores allow consumers the unique one-stop shopping opportunity to compare all the better brands of mattresses. We feel strongly that the powerful and highly-visible NASCAR stage will help us convey our customer-friendly message to the mattress shopper."
Part of the scheduled races for each of the mattress companies will be in the area of its corporate headquarters – Sealy (Trinity, N.C.) May 18 & 26 at Charlotte Motor Speedway; Simmons Beautyrest (Atlanta) Sept. 1 at Atlanta Motor Speedway; and Serta (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway.
"Having top-of-the-line national brands such as Sealy, Serta and Simmons Beautyrest on your race car is one more reason to get pumped up for the start of the 2013 season," said Busch, a 24-time Sprint Cup race winner. "NASCAR fans and NASCAR competitors all need a good night's sleep and there's not a better place to find that comfortable mattress than at a Denver Mattress store."(FRR)(2-5-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #78-Kurt Busch / Furniture Row Racing: Kurt Busch moved over to the #78 team with six races to go in the 2012 season, starting at Charlotte. Busch finished in the top ten the final three races. Crew chief Todd Berrier moved over for the #47 JTG Daughtery Racing team midway thru the season. The team is based in Denver, CO. FRR flirted and talked to Dodge about becoming their flagship team and starting a 2nd team, keeping former driver Regan Smith [now in the NNS with JR Motorsports and part time in Busch's 2012 ride, the #51 Phoenix Racing team] but Dodge decided to leave the sport instead after the 2012 season. FRR remains affiliated with Richard Childress Racing and gets chassis and engines from RCR/ECR. FRR willfield its own pit crew in 2013 rather than using a crew from Stewart-Haas Racing as they did the past few years. See images of the #78 scheme on my #78 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-5-2013)
Rondeau named Director of Competition at Furniture Row: Pete Rondeau, who has been affiliated with Furniture Row Racing since the 2010 season, has been elevated to the competition director position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup team. Rondeau initially joined the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing as the team's car chief. He assumed the crew chief role in May 2010 and served in that capacity until July 2012. In his new position as competition director, Rondeau will be the point person at the Denver race shop with the building and preparation of the team's #78 Chevys which will be driven by Kurt Busch. Rondeau will report to Mark McArdle, Furniture Row Racing's executive director of competition, who also serves as director of racing operations at Richard Childress Racing. Furniture Row Racing and RCR are partners with a technical and engineering alliance.(FRR)(1-31-2013)
Mark McArdle works for Furniture Row & RCR: Even before this season, Furniture Row Racing had a close relationship with Richard Childress Racing. Furniture Row gets its engines and chassis from RCR. The partnership was strengthened recently when Mark McArdle, managing director of competition at Furniture Row, took on a dual role as director of racing operations at RCR. With Furniture Row based in Denver, Colo., and RCR in Welcome, N.C.. The new opportunity for McArdle resulted from a standing offer by Furniture Row owner Barney Visser and general manager Joe Garone and hit critical mass when RCR hired Eric Warren as director of competition late in 2012. McArdle and Warren worked together at Evernham Motorsports. "Joe and Barney offered up my services to RCR if they could use me in any way to help that situation that they have there," McArdle told the NASCAR Wire Service. "Eric Warren and I had worked together for eight years at Evernham's. When he heard about that offer, he took us up on it and has asked me to operate as director of racing operations. The Cup teams, the Nationwide teams and the truck teams all report up through me. I report to Eric." With three Cup teams at RCR and one at Furniture Row, McArdle is spending more time in North Carolina as the organizations develop the Gen-6 car. "Right now, because of the intensity of the changeover process at RCR, we're doing kind of a two thirds/one third," McArdle said. "Two thirds of any given calendar month is being spent here in North Carolina, and about one third in Denver at this point. We hope that, as things become more stabilized and settled, that that will become more 50-50. Eventually the hope is to be able to train someone at RCR to step into that role."(NASCAR Wire Service)(1-24-2013)
Busch could stay at Furniture Row after 2013: #78-Kurt Busch says Furniture Row is a "strong option'' for him in 2014. Busch signed with the Denver-based Sprint Cup team late last season, finishing the year with three consecutive top 10s to build momentum for this season. There has been much speculation that the 2004 Cup champion was using the single-car team as a stepping stone to a top-tier organization after this year. Much of that speculation has involved Busch going to Richard Childress Racing, which supplies engines and chassis to Furniture Row. But Busch told ESPN.com during Day 2 of the Sprint Media Tour that he is happy at Furniture Row, which he already considers a fourth car at RCR. "It's a strong option,'' he said of signing an extension. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said preliminary discussions already are taking place with Busch. Asked if he thought it was possible a deal could be reached, he said, "Yeah, I do.'' Busch said serious negotiations for next season likely wouldn't start until sometime after April.(ESPN)(1-22-2013)
Furniture Row Racing Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: #78-Furniture Row Racing opened Day 2 of the media tour, having Furniture Row recliners on stage for the team to sit in.
Driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevy, Kurt Busch said "We want to be a western-based team that can compete w/ the big dogs."
Busch said. “It was great to have those six weeks to get team communication up and to feel comfortable.”
Busch open to idea of more NNS races with Phoenix Racing (3 scheduled). Not set to drive any for his brother but not closing door.
Busch said heading into 2012 was bizarre, this is the moat comfortable I've ever felt (going into a season) and that he travels at least twice a month to the shop in Colorado.
#78 crew chief, Todd Berrier, says Goodyear will open the season with conservative tires.
Berrier says relationship RCRracing gives team a base line, able to work & adapt from there.
Berrier says Busch truly cares about the people he works with and says a team will work very hard for that type of person.
Furniture Row's Director of Competition Mark McArdle says parts from third-party suppliers are tight for all teams. Deck lids among them. Also of note, McArdle is also the Director of Racing Operations at RCR.(from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-22-2013)
Kurt Busch to run three NNS race for Finch: Kurt Busch and team owner James Finch are rejoining forces for the three Nationwide Series restrictor-plate races in 2013. Busch competed for Finch in 30 Sprint Cup races in 2012. Their first win together, however, came at the Daytona Nationwide Series race in July. "He did a really good job for us on the plate races, said team owner James Finch. "We have a shot at winning all three." The team announced on Tuesday that Guy Roofing will sponsor the first NNS race on Feb. 23 at Daytona. Finch is optimistic that the relationship could blossom with additional support. Busch currently competes full-time in the Sprint Cup Series for #78-Furniture Row Racing.(FoxSports)(1-11-2013)
Furniture Row Racing to extablish own pit crew: Furniture Row Racing has taken another major step in a continuing effort to strengthen its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The Denver-based organization, which showcases the #78 Chevy driven by 24-time Cup winner Kurt Busch, announced that it will develop, train and oversee its own over-the-wall pit crew starting with the 2013 season. Furniture Row Racing has been utilizing over-the-wall crews employed and trained by other NASCAR teams, most recently with crewmen from Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). Mike "Tiny" Houston, a veteran over-the-wall crewman, has been hired as the pit crew coach for Furniture Row Racing. He will oversee and direct the specialized pit crew of six members, who will train at the 32,000-square foot Performance Instruction & Training (PIT) facility in Mooresville, N.C. Houston joins Furniture Row Racing from Hendrick Motorsports where he performed the front-tire carrier duties on Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s race car. During his seven-year stint at Hendrick Motorsports, Houston also worked as a front-tire carrier on Jeff Gordon's and Jimmie Johnson's cars.(FRR)(12-5-2012)
Kurt Busch Ready for Furniture Row Racing Debut: Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch will make his Furniture Row Racing debut in Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The agreement with the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing calls for Busch to drive the team's #78 Chevy in the final six Sprint Cup races of 2012 and during the 2013 campaign. "This weekend begins a new chapter in my racing career and also a new chapter for Furniture Row Racing," said Busch, who captured the NASCAR title in 2004, the first year of the Chase. "The excitement level about driving the #78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet is at a high pitch and I can't wait to get started.ccThis is a team that is committed and it's also a team with plenty of potential. The guys are ready, I'm ready and we all look forward to having a positive debut. Our goal is not only to get ready for 2013, but also be competitive in the final six races. But first things first. We will need to work out the kinks as we attempt to get more speed out of the car. I look forward to working with crew chief Todd Berrier, he is a veteran in the Cup garage who has enjoyed success."(Furniture Row Racing PR)(10-11-2012)
Kurt Busch parked by NASCAR during race UPDATE2: While most of the race was monotonously boring, there were moments of emotion, yes. And Kurt Busch provided some of those. He was leading midway when he suddenly ran out of gas. And Busch wound up bouncing into the infield wall. During the yellow Busch got out to look at his car and decided it could be repaired. So he cranked it up and started to drive it back to the garage, though without his helmet. NASCAR ordered him to stop on the track, to stop scattering debris. But without his helmet Busch didn't get the radio message. So Busch roared off while the emergency crews were still at his car, one even with his arm inside, and other with an emergency medical kit on the roof, which fell off. NASCAR angrily order Busch's car parked for the rest of the race....which is his last with team owner James Finch. Busch said, "This is the way my life works. Today is a perfect example: I am leading, I wreck, I run out of gas. I tried to get back in the race, and now NASCAR is yelling at me because I don't have my helmet on, and I'm trying to get it to the garage so the guys can work on it. Now I'm in trouble, this little storm right here. This is my life. I'm not complaining; I put myself in a lot of these situations."(MikeMulhern.net)(10-8-2012)
UPDATE: NASCAR is reviewing whether Kurt Busch will face further penalty for ignoring official requests to stop his car after a lap 98 wreck on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. NASCAR parked Busch for the remainder of the Sprint Cup race because he drove away from the wreck with emergency workers still in the process of providing him and the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy assistance, and because there was emergency medical equipment on the track. NASCAR officials told ESPN.com the incident is under review. Penalties typically are announced on Tuesday. Busch is on probation through the end of the year for verbally abusing a reporter in June. He also was suspended from the Sprint Cup race at Pocono.(ESPN)(10-8-2012)
UPDATE 2 - No Penalty: Kurt Busch won't face further penalties for ignoring official requests to stop his car after a Lap 98 wreck at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR officials said Tuesday. NASCAR parked Busch for the remainder of Sunday's Sprint Cup race because he drove away from the wreck with emergency workers still in the process of providing him and the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy assistance, and because there was emergency medical equipment on the track. Busch said he never heard NASCAR's repeated requests to stop because he'd taken off his helmet that contains radio communication equipment. "I got out of the car and surveyed the damage, saw that it could still roll so I jumped back in," Busch told reporters at Talladega. "That is the competitor in me, which is the desire that I have and that is what gets misconstrued all the time." Busch was leading at the time of the wreck that was caused when his car ran out of gas. The 2004 Cup champion finished 39th in his final race for Phoenix Racing before moving over to the #78 at Furniture Row Racing to get a head start on the 2013 season. "This is the way my life works," Busch said. "I am leading, I wreck, I run out of gas. I'm still that competitive guy that tried to get back in the race and now NASCAR is yelling at me because I don't have my helmet on and I'm trying to get it to the garage so the guys can work on it. Now I'm in trouble, now I have this little storm right here. This is my life. I'm not complaining. I put myself in a lot of these situations, but it's on to good things now moving forward. I got all the bad luck out of the way. This year has been a great year to test me in every way." Busch is on probation through the end of the year for verbally abusing a reporter in June. He also was suspended from the Sprint Cup race at Pocono.(ESPN)(10-9-2012)
Regan Smtih to the #51 at Charlotte: Regan Smith and Kurt Busch are trading places - at least for now. Smith, 29, will drive the #51 Phoenix Racing Chevy at Charlotte Motor Speedway while Busch takes over the seat in the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet for the remainder of the season and on to next year. "We're looking forward to having Regan in our car," Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll said. "Regan performed the tire test at Kansas, and that should be helpful at intermediate tracks. We believe he can help get our program back on track and help attract sponsorship going forward." For Phoenix Racing, this is a tryout of sorts to see how Smith acclimates with the team. Team owner James Finch is not committing to one driver as the company continues its sponsor search. Barkdoll added that there has been recent interest from potential sponsors and hopes to find the right match between a benefactor and driver.(Fox Sports)(10-7-2012)
Smith out of the #78 after Talladega? UPDATES - Confirmed: 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.(9-26-2012)
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)(9-27-2012)
UPDATE 2: Regan Smith was interviewed on SPEED's Race Hub Thursday night and said he knew about two weeks ago that he would be out of the #78 for 2013, although he did not know what the team's plans were. Since that time he has been talking to several owners, but is just starting to decide what to do next. He said his priority is to be in good equipment next year, either Sprint Cup or Nationwide, and that the Nationwide Series might be a good option for him at this point in his career. There was no discussion of him being out of the car before the end of the season.(9-28-2012)
UPDATE 2: In a move to accelerate Furniture Row Racing's preparations for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Kurt Busch will take over the team's driving duties beginning with the Oct. 13th Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch, who was announced earlier in the week as Furniture Row Racing's new driver for 2013, will replace Regan Smith in the #78 Chevy. Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing's general manager, stated that Smith's Furniture Row Racing contract, which expires at the end of the season, will be fully honored.(Furniture Row Racing)(9-28-2012)
Kurt Busch to drive the #78 in 2013 UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing announced today that Kurt Busch has been hired to drive the team's #78 Chevy 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."
"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 #51 Chevy for Phoenix Racing. His previous two teams in the Sprint Cup Series were at Penske Racing [#2 & #22] and Roush Fenway Racing [#97].(Furniture Row Racing)(9-24-2012)
UPDATE: Busch announced today on SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub that he has taken over as driver of the #78 Furniture Row entry for the 2013 season, moving on from Phoenix Racing. SPEED NASCAR Race Hub host Steve Byrnes sat down with Busch in an exclusive interview about his new ride. Here is what he had to say about 2013 read the full interview at SPEED: Kurt Busch Speaks About His Move To Furniture Row Racing.(9-25-2012)
Smith expects to be out of the #78 UPDATE: . Regan Smith, who piloted Furniture Row Racing to its breakthrough first victory on the Sprint Cup tour last season, has been told he won't be back in the organization's #78 car next year. Smith confirmed the news to NASCAR.com after qualifying Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. "I've been told it appears I won't be back here next year," Smith said. Furniture Row's general manager, Joe Garone, could not immediately be located for comment. Smith didn't want to speculate on the reasons behind the impending change and he said he's unsure if he will finish the season in the #78 Chevy (NASCAR.com).
AND 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." Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said in an email Friday that his team is interested in Busch but that Busch has talked with other teams as well. Richard Petty Motorsports is among the organizations that has not signed its drivers for next season and also could be a candidate for Busch. When asked Friday if he would be back with Furniture Row next season, Smith said, "I don't believe so."
"There's a lot to it, is the best way I can put it," said Smith, who moved to Denver last year to be closer to the Colorado-based team. "It's a place where I've been for a while. I'm happy here. I like it here. But sometimes change isn't bad, either." Smith said he has been talking to other teams about 2013.(Sporting News)(9-21-2012)
UPDATE: That someone could be Kurt Busch or Brian Vickers. Both drivers are on the short list for Furniture Row – which recently re-signed its technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Busch met with Furniture Row principals back in early July.(FoxSports)(9-22-2012)
Smith wants to return to Furniture Row: #78-Regan Smith would like to see his deal extended with Furniture Row. Having driven for the team part-time in 2009, Smith finished 28th in the standings in 2010 and 26th in 2011 with a win at Darlington. He is 23rd in the standings this year but since crew chief Todd Berrier joined the team in July, Smith has an average finish of 17th-seven spots better than his average finish for the first 19 races. "It's been going really good so far," Smith said. "Our performance has been greatly improved since he came on board. … We want to get to where we know we're capable of being, one step further up the grid. The case has been made. We'll see how things play out. My first option is to be here. This is the place where I want to be and as long as they want me here, then that's fine and it's a happy fit." With rumors swirling that [Furniture Row] might pursue [Kurt] Busch, Smith emphasized that he wants to stay with the team. "We've grown together," Smith said. "We've gone through a lot together. I want to make sure we go through the really, really peaks of the mountain together. We'll see how it plays out. You're always talking. There's a lot of stuff going on in the garage area right now. That's no different than this time of year in any year."(Sporting News)(9-13-2012)
Patrick says Smith apologized: #10-Danica Patrick says #78-Regan Smith called to apologize for their run-in last Saturday night at Bristol, and she described that move as 'upstanding,' though it's not clear if she's really buying the apology 100%. Any regrets about not throwing her helmet at the man who took her out of a top-20 finish? That's what teammate Tony Stewart did at his Bristol antagonist, Matt Kenseth, much to the delight of the crowd of some 153,000. "I'm just glad I didn't give him the finger, because I understand that is a penalty," Patrick said with an impish grin.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-1-2012)
Azar singing National Anthem at Michigan; guest of #78 team: Country music recording artist and songwriter Steve Azar will be a guest of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Sprint Cup team at this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. Azar, who has recorded a number of hits, including the "American Farmer" tribute, will sing the national anthem prior to Sunday's Pure Michigan 400. Azar is a supporter of Furniture Row Racing's Farm American program, an initiative to keep America's food supply produced in the United States.(Furniture Row Racing)(8-16-2012)
Furniture Row and RPM looking to firm up manufacturer deals: Sprint Cup teams flirting with a move to Dodge will try to land other manufacturer deals for next season now that Dodge has decided to leave the sport after this season. Richard Petty Motorsports, a Ford team, and Furniture Row Racing, a Chevrolet team, both had contemplated moves to Dodge before the announcement Tuesday that the manufacturer will not field a Sprint Cup car next year. RPM fields cars for Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola while Furniture Row fields a car for Regan Smith.
"RPM is still looking at all their options as far as manufacturers go," said Ambrose. "For the sport, Dodge pulling out was not a great thing. It's been really healthy to have four manufacturers in the sport. As a fan of NASCAR, I'm disappointed that Dodge has taken that choice. I understand it, though. For us, we're building to the future at RPM and I look forward to playing my part and helping them make good choices. It's exciting times for RPM."
It would appear that RPM's options are limited. Chevrolet (13 cars) and Toyota (seven) appear to be content with their number of teams. RPM likely will return to Ford, but it has added Penske Racing to its lineup for next season. Furniture Row has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing for cars and Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines. "What it does is it allowed us get focused on what we're doing now and what we're doing for next year," Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone said. "All of our contracts were open after this year. We're starting to meet with (Childress) this weekend and start working on that." Now that it has a good idea of its manufacturer situation, Garone said the team can also focus on Smith, who's contract is up after this season. "Now that that is behind us, we'll go into that process of evaluating where we're at, looking at the whole thing and trying to get everything done," Garone said.(Sporting News)(8-11-2012)
Furniture Row to buy Penske engine program? Kurt Busch in second FRR car? UPDATE2 No Dodge: Nobody is talking on the record, still, but unofficial word from the NASCAR engine building world Sunday morning is that Barney Visser [#78 Furniture Row Racing], the Denver, Col., businessman is considering buying the Dodge engine department from Roger Penske. With Penske moving to Fords for 2013, and with Penske -- according to Jack Roush -- agreeing to run Roush-Yates Ford FR9s next season, the future of Penske's huge engine department has been the subject of much debate. Now word is that some of Penske's top engine men will be moving to the Roush-Yates engine department, and that Visser will be taking many of the rest, along with Penske's engine building equipment, and Visser will thus be switching from Chevy to Dodge. And -- though again no one is talking on the record -- it appears that Visser is very interested in hiring Kurt Busch to team with Smith next season.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-5-2012)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing is prepared to switch from Chevy to Dodge in 2013 if the manufacturer chooses to go in that direction. Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said Sunday at Pocono Raceway that there have been initial talks with Dodge about making a switch and adding a second team, potentially with 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch. "If Dodge comes to us and says here's the right deal, we would do it," Garone said. "They're trying to figure out who they're going to do it with and how they're going to do it." Furniture Row currently gets its chassis from Richard Childress Racing and engines from Earnhardt Childress Racing. Everything else is built in the organization's Denver shop. Garone said the organization intends to keep driver Regan Smith, who won at Darlington Raceway last year, beyond this season. He said there have been talks with Busch about expanding, but that would depend on finding a sponsor or a manufacturer willing to give financial help. Garone said he has not given Dodge a deadline for making a decision, but he'd like to know sooner than later. Garone said they are waiting on a decision from Dodge before completing a deal with Smith. "It's our intention to bring him back," Garone said. "With all this other stuff pending, you don't make a commitment and find there is another avenue we should have taken."(ESPN.com)(8-5-2012)
UPDATE2: Dodge put out feelers to potential new teams in February, and one of the teams negotiating with Dodge was Furniture Row Racing, the Colorado-based team that currently fields the #78 Chevy for driver Regan Smith. Furniture Row General Manager Joe Garone said as recently as Saturday at Pocono Raceway that his team was waiting to hear from Dodge on their plans for 2013. "We made a proposal to Dodge, telling them what we would need and what we had to offer," said Garone. "We expected that they would evaluate the proposals they received from various teams and get back to us, but it simply didn't happen. Weeks turned into months with no response, and eventually, it became the old joke about, `Free Beer Tomorrow' "Tomorrow never came." Garone said there were at least three teams interested in joining the Dodge camp next season. He declined to name them, but numerous reports had Richard Petty Motorsports and Phoenix Racing involved in talks with the automaker.(Godfather Motorsports)(8-7-2012)
Smith's #78 Chevy Pays Tribute to Victims of Aurora Tragedy: Regan Smith's #78 Furniture Row Chevy will pay tribute to the victims of the Aurora, Colo. tragedy during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The movie theater where the shooting took place is approximately seven miles from the Furniture Row Racing shop in Denver. The paint scheme on Smith's car for Sunday's Brickyard 400 will include the following:
The hood of the car will showcase a ribbon, and inside the ribbon will be a memorial cross and the red and gold logo that appears on the Colorado state flag
The rear quarter panels will read Aurora, CO and the names of the 12 people who were killed in the tragedy
The rear bumper (TV panel) will include the following inscription:
Crew Chief Changes #78? UPDATE: Todd Berrier is listed as the crew chief for #78-Regan Smith, Berrier had been #47-Bobby Labonte's crew chief and GM for JTG Daugherty Racing.(7-23-2012)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing announced today that Todd Berrier has been named crew chief for the team's #78 Chevy driven by Regan Smith. Berrier, who replaces Pete Rondeau, will take over the crew chief duties immediately. His first race on the pit box will be Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In making the announcement team general manager Joe Garone said, "Todd will be a great fit with our operation. The skill sets he has acquired during a successful crew chief career will be valuable assets as we move forward with a high level of energy and anticipation."
"Furniture Row Racing has a reputation in the Sprint Cup garage for its commitment and potential," said the 42-year-old Berrier. "I welcome this opportunity and can't wait to begin my new position at Indianapolis this weekend."(Furniture Row Racing)(7-24-2012)
Crew Chief Changes #47? UPDATE and new general manager: David Hyder is listed on NASCAR's entry list as the crew chief for #47-Bobby Labonte while Todd Berrier, woh was the crew chief, is listed as the crew chief for #78-Regan Smith.(7-23-2012)
UPDATE: Approaching the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race weekend, JTG Daugherty Racing announced today significant changes that include a new general manager and crew chief change for the #47 single-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation. Bobby Hutchens joins the racing organization as general manager. "Bobby Hutchens is someone I have admired for a long time and the individual I've turned to many times for direction over my 18 years as a car owner," said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter. "In my opinion, he is the best in the business and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber step in to help steer our team in the right direction during this important transition."
David Hyder will assume the role as interim crew chief for this weekend's race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We have our eye on the crew chief that we want for the long term, but couldn't get it all done in time for the next few races," Geschickter said. "We would rather make the right decision for the long term. We are fortunate to have David Hyder working at JTG Daugherty Racing every day as crew chief for the K&N Pro Series East team that we have been preparing each week for Cale Conley. He has a wealth of Sprint Cup experience and we know he will do a great job until we make our decision." Todd Berrier, who joined JTG Daugherty Racing at the end of the 2011 season as crew chief and general manager, recently accepted a position with another team that was announced today. Labonte's team is prepared for the Brickyard this weekend as they display SCOTT Products on the hood of the #47 Toyota.(JTG Daugherty Racing)(7-24-2012)
Crew Chief Changes? #78 & #47?: David Hyder is listed on NASCAR's entry list as the crew chief for #47-Bobby Labonte while Todd Berrier is listed as the crew chief for #78-Regan Smith. It had been rumored that Crew chief Pete Rondeau was out as Smith's crew chief and remain with Furniture Row Racing in another capacity.(7-23-2012)
Changes coming at Furniture Row Racing? UPDATE: Denver, CO-based Furniture Row Racing, disappointed in driver #78-Regan Smith's 26th-place standing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, could potentially make significant personnel changes before or during this weekend's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Team spokesman Dave Ferroni acknowledged the possible changes but declined to specify where they will take place. However, Ferroni said Smith — who is in the final year of his contract — will continue to drive the #78 Chevy. The team is managed by Denver native Joe Garone, who oversees crew chief Pete Rondeau and director of competition Mark McArdle.(Denver Post)(7-12-2012)
UPDATE: Crew chief Pete Rondeau will spend his final day as crew chief of Regan Smith's #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Rumors of a shakeup at the Colorado-based team have circulated widely in recent days, and sources now confirm that Rondeau will step down as crew chief following Sunday's race. He will remain with Furniture Row Racing, assuming a position with the team's Research and Development wing. There is no word on who will replace him.(Godfather Motorsports)(7-13-2012)
Colorado fires on Smith's mind: To see improving performances spoiled by an overload of bad luck has been discouraging for Regan Smith in recent Sprint Cup races. But at the same time the Furniture Row Racing driver just needs to look outside of his mountain home near Denver to get a crueler perspective of tough luck. Before leaving for Kentucky last week, Smith said he could see and smell the smoke from the raging fires that have engulfed Colorado, where more than 300 homes have gone up in flames and more than 100,000 acres torched. "I love this area and it tears your insides apart seeing the destruction that has taken place," said Smith, who moved to Colorado last year to be near the team's Denver race shop. "Our recent issues are minimal compared to the fire-stricken families. I want Colorado residents to know that our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected and that Furniture Row Racing is very proud to represent the great state of Colorado on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. I also want to give a team shout out to the brave firefighters and safety personnel who risk their lives daily in their continuing efforts to control and extinguish the fires." Though Smith's home has not been affected, the devastation of the Colorado fires will no doubt be on his mind in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway.(Furniture Row Racing)(7-3-2012)
High Plains Drifter Mentors Smith for Sonoma Road Race: How did Furniture Row Racing driver Regan Smith prepare for the first Sprint Cup road-race of the season? He went to High Plains Raceway with the High Plains Drifter. Translation: High Plains Raceway is a road course east of the team's Denver shop, and the High Plains Drifter is Smith's driving coach Rick Carelli, an Arvada, Colo. native, who acquired the moniker during his successful career as a late-model, modified, stock car and truck series racer. "They even have a corner named after Rick at High Plains Raceway," said Smith, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Farm American Chevy. "It's pretty neat that we have a road-course facility fairly close to our Denver (Colo.) shop, and to have Rick offering his expertise is a bonus." Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team were at High Plains Raceway in Deer Trail, Colo. Tuesday testing for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 road race in Sonoma, Calif. Carelli, an inductee into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, feels both Smith and the team are well prepared for the Sonoma event. "If you don't like road racing chances are you're not going to do well at it," stated Carelli, an original NASCAR Truck Series driver in 1995. "But that's not the case with Regan. He is a good student and welcomes the challenge to improve his road-racing skills. I am looking for a solid weekend out of this Furniture Row Racing team." Of his six road course starts, Smith's best finish was 16th last year at the demanding 10-turn, 1.99-mile Sonoma circuit.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(6-21-2012)
Furniture Row has talked to Kurt Busch about second team: UPDATE: #78-Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone confirmed today that talks have taken place between the team and driver Kurt Busch, but said those conversations are not a result of dissatisfaction with the team's current driver, Regan Smith. "I have talked to Kurt Busch," said Garone, "but it was about a team we don't even have yet. We are working diligently on getting a second (Sprint Cup) car for next year, and I'm trying to get my hands around some of the guys that will be available going onto 2013. I wanted to make an introduction to Kurt, and just let him know what our plans are for the future." Garone said he believes Smith and Busch would make good teammates, saying, "Kurt and Regan have worked well together on the superspeedways in the past. They have drafted well together and talked well back and forth. Adding a second team would be a major boost for Furniture Row Racing, and we're all working hard to try and make that happen."(Godfather Motorsports)(5-3-2012)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing has met with Kurt Busch, but not in an effort to replace driver Regan Smith. "I met with Kurt about starting a second team for next year," said Joe Garone, FRR's general manager. Since FRR made its debut in 2005, it became clear to team owner Barney Visser that the Denver-based organization would eventually have to expand to two teams to compete with the NASCAR powerhouses. "It's nice that people want to talk and that they're showing interest in me driving for them. And there have been other teams interested. It's very early. (Phoenix Racing team owner James) Finch knows and the rest of the team knows that I'm a free agent. But I'm committed to racing the entire year here at Phoenix Racing and (will) talk with whoever wants to talk about racing in the future." said Busch. Although an investor expressed interest in partnering with FRR, that deal fell through. However, Furniture Row has been mentioned as one of the top candidates for the Dodge Motorsports program. The sticking point in finalizing the deal appears to be which company will build the Dodge engines. Roger Penske currently builds Dodge engines for his teams. However, with Penske Racing moving to Fords for 2013, it's unclear what the future of Dodge's engine program will be. What is missing from the Dodge equation, however, is a marquee driver. Certainly, Busch would fill that void.(Fox Sports)(5-5-2012)
Smith, Menard escape injuries in Colorado road accident: UPDATE: NASCAR drivers #78-Regan Smith and #27-Paul Menard, along with Smith's wife Megan and a friend of the Smiths, escaped injuries in a Colorado road accident today (Wednesday, approximately 8:45 a.m. MT). The foursome was on the way to a nearby ski slope. Smith lost control of his Silverado truck after hitting a patch of ice near his mountain home in Evergreen, outside of Denver. The truck slid off the road and crashed into a collection of trees. Smith and Menard will compete in Sunday's Kobalt Tools 400 Sprint Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
(Funiture Row Racing/RCR)(3-7-2012)
UPDATE: Reagan Smith tweeted Wednesday evening, "Thank you to everybody for the well wishes, everybody is doing fine, shaken up but healthy. Had somebody looking out for us this morning".(3-8-2012)
Smith tours locomotive as part of unique CSX Transportation sponsorship: It wasn't the "little engine that could" that NASCAR driver Regan Smith toured. Instead, it was a big, powerful machine with a weight of approximately 125 times more than his 3,400-pound #78 Chevy stock car. Smith, who is currently residing at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Daytona 500 Sprint Cup season opener, took a side trip last week (Friday) to Jacksonville, Fla. to pay a visit to the CSX Transportation headquarters. The visit also included a trip to a railroad yard where Smith got up-close-and-personal to a 434,000-pound CSX locomotive. CSX Transportation, which is the largest railroad in the East with more than 21,000-mile freight network serving 23 states and portions of Canada, joined Smith's Furniture Row Racing team as an associate sponsor for the 2012 season. CSX is building upon several years of its innovative safety communications campaign and will utilize the Furniture Row Racing sponsorship as part of the "Play it Safe" campaign to urge pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution around railroad tracks. "It was both a thrill and an incredible learning experience to tour a CSX locomotive," stated Smith. "We're honored to get the opportunity to spread such an important message. "Unlike our Furniture Row/CSX Play it Safe Chevrolet, trains can't stop on a dime. In fact, they can take up to a mile to stop. So, even if they see you on the tracks, it's usually impossible for them to avoid you." Smith's Daytona 500 car will carry a bumper sticker reading, "I brake for trains."
"One incident is too many," said Cliff Stayton, Director-Community Affairs and Safety for CSX Transportation. "We hope that by getting our message out in one of the greatest sporting events in the world with a great driver, we can prevent a tragedy. We're thrilled to be working with Regan and the #78 Furniture Row Racing team."(Furniture Row Racing)(2-21-2012)
Company signs on to support Furniture Row Racing's Farm American Program: #78-Furniture Row Racing announced that Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. has signed a letter of intent to develop a business plan of becoming a partner with the NASCAR team's Farm American program for the 2013 season. Furniture Row Racing created the Farm American program in 2010, an initiative to bring awareness to the importance of keeping America's food supply produced in the United States. Over the past 25 years, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., an animal health company with U.S. headquarters in St. Joseph, Mo., has supported its growth through research and development of innovative products for the livestock, equine and companion animal markets. Innovation and research are the keys to BIVI success. "There has never been a better time to show support for American Agriculture. It is a strong, vibrant business that consumers need to know more about – that's why we're so honored to work with Furniture Row Racing to develop a plan on becoming a Farm American partner in 2013," said Colin Meyers, Executive Director, U.S. Cattle Business at Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. BIVI's cattle division introduced a new way of thinking this year, Prevention Works. A partnership with Farm American enhances this industry commitment. "The unique opportunity offered with Farm American will allow us to support consumer agriculture education that is so vital today," added Meyers. "Our Prevention Works focus is an animal health philosophy that is better for the animal, better for the producer, and better for the consumer." Joe Garone, general manager of the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing, is equally excited about establishing a partnership with BIVI. "We are thrilled that a world-class company like Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. has shown an interest in becoming a 2013 partner with our Farm American program, which continues to attract attention in the agriculture community," said Garone "The staffs from both Furniture Row Racing and Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica are excited about working together to develop a strategic plan to further the important work of Farm American."(Furniture Row Racing)(2-10-2012)
Furniture Row Racing Announces Assoc Sponsorships: Coming off its most competitive season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, #78 Furniture Row Racing is enjoying similar success on the sponsorship side with the addition of CSX Transportation and its railroad crossing and pedestrian safety campaign for the 2012 season. CSX Transportation, the largest railroad in the East and third largest in the United States, joins Chevrolet and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers in the associate sponsorship role with all three companies complementing the team's primary sponsors – Furniture Row and Denver Mattress. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., CSX Transportation maintains a more than 21,000-mile freight rail network serving 23 states and portions of Canada. Building upon several years of its innovative safety communications campaign, CSX will utilize the Furniture Row Racing sponsorship as part of the "Play it Safe" campaign to urge pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution around railroad tracks.(Furniture Row Racing)(1-25-2012)
Congrats: Regan Smith, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy, and Megan Mayhew were married Saturday evening, November 26 in Florida.(11-27-2011)
Furniture Row Racing Announces Assoc Sponsorships: Coming off its most competitive season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, #78 Furniture Row Racing is enjoying similar success on the sponsorship side with the addition of CSX Transportation and its railroad crossing and pedestrian safety campaign for the 2012 season. CSX Transportation, the largest railroad in the East and third largest in the United States, joins Chevrolet and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers in the associate sponsorship role with all three companies complementing the team's primary sponsors – Furniture Row and Denver Mattress. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., CSX Transportation maintains a more than 21,000-mile freight rail network serving 23 states and portions of Canada. Building upon several years of its innovative safety communications campaign, CSX will utilize the Furniture Row Racing sponsorship as part of the "Play it Safe" campaign to urge pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution around railroad tracks.(Furniture Row Racing)(1-25-2012)
Military Service Shaped Life, Career of #78's Krauch: Charlie Krauch's focus will be on his garage duties with Furniture Row Racing and the No. 78 Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith this Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. But Veteran's Day, comrades past and – especially – those currently in service to the nation won't be far from the mind of the U.S. Army Vietnam War soldier. Krauch, the Denver-based team's director of transportation, served as a Specialist Fourth Class with the U.S. Army from 1971-73 maintaining heavy equipment at bases near Hue and later at Da Nang. His unit was the last to leave his first base as the American presence wore down. Krauch then was a passenger on the final Freedom Flight out of Da Nang. "My thoughts are with the soldiers in there now," said Krauch, who is proud of how America is thanking its post-9/11 service members. "But all (who have served) should be acknowledged for what they've done. We know what the active ones are going through. We need to take care of all these people (but) the guys in the past need to be recognized as well." Krauch, 59, a native of Hamburg, Pa. now living in Greeley, Colo., is grateful for the positive experiences his military service provided. "It was a job that few people wanted to do but we did it," he said of serving in Vietnam. "Learning a sense of authority was a real eye-opener, how to take (and execute) orders at a young age. "The whole experience taught me how good we have it here and how to take care of yourself and other people." On race weekends, Krauch wears a number of hats, typical of a one-car team whose members are expected to perform multiple duties. He and his truck drivers are responsible for setting up equipment and observation decks. During the race itself Krauch will haul gas cans back and forth to the Sunoco fuel station as well as handling the transport of tires to and from the Goodyear Tire Station inside the garage. He also conducts pit tours for Furniture Row guests and prospective sponsors. "I try to explain everything in layman's terms and try not to get too technical," he said. "There's a lot of information to absorb and most of the people on the tours have no clue as to what happens" behind the scenes.(Furniture Row Racing/NASCAR)(11-11-2011)
Fuel fire causes damage to #78 hauler: A fuel fire next to #78-Regan Smith's hauler created chaos -- and a huge billowing cloud of black smoke -- in the garage area following Sunday's Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Thankfully, no one was injured and the blaze was extinguished without extensive damage. Crewmen were busy disconnecting the fuel probes from gas cans and dumping excess fuel into a storage can near the front of the #78 hauler after the race, when a spark apparently ignited fuel inside one of the cans. "They had the gas can on the ground there between the tractor and the hauler," Furniture Row Racing spokesman Dave Ferroni said. "They took off the fuel probe, something sparked it and it ignited. That's all we know at this time." Everyone involved was able to scramble to safety, and several alert crewmen grabbed fire extinguishers and beat down the flames before the fire truck could get through the hundreds of crews, media and onlookers that are usually scurrying around in the garage once a race ends. Ferroni said several crew members' personal bags were damaged or destroyed by the fire, but most of the major damage was contained to the hauler itself. "There's a lot of damage to the back of the tractor, a lot of melted hoses," Ferroni said. "Somebody from Penske came over and they're going to offer us an extra tractor to take back to Denver, and hopefully we can get this one repaired."(NASCAR.com)(10-24-2011)
Smith's Talladega Helmet to Support Children: #78-Regan Smith's helmet for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway will have a special paint scheme, supporting the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation whose mission is to provide college scholarships and educational counseling to military children who have lost a parent in combat or accidents. The red, white and blue helmet for the Furniture Row Racing driver will carry the www.fallenpatriots.org web site address and logo. The helmet will be auctioned off at the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation gala, Saturday, Nov. 12 in Riverside, Conn.(Furniture Row Motorsports)(10-21-2011)
Chevy Teams Add Pink Numbers and Bowties for Dover Race: Several Chevy teams will showcase pink numbers and Chevy Bowties in their paint schemes during this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway in support of Chevrolet's ongoing efforts to help the American Cancer Society in raising awareness during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The participating teams will have pink car numbers on the roof and doors, pink Chevrolet Bowtie on the hood and rear bumper, and pink Impala nameplate on the front bumper.
"October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Chevrolet is extremely proud to help support the American Cancer Society's efforts to save lives and create a world with less cancer and more birthdays," said Jeff Chew, Chevy Racing Marketing Manager. "Several Team Chevy Impalas are carrying the pink awareness message, which will be seen by countless race fans, and hopefully will help to serve as a reminder that we can all do our part in helping in the fight against cancer." Chevrolet dealers across the country will be working in their communities to support the fight against breast cancer through the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer program.
In September, Chevrolet donated $29,800 to the American Cancer Society as a result of a combined 149 caution laps during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Richmond International Raceway. Chevrolet had pledged to donate $200 for each caution lap that a specially-themed "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" pink 2011 Camaro SS pace car led the field during those two races.(Team Chevy), see some of the cars are posted: #14, #27, #29, #31, #42 & #78.(9-30-2011)
Support From Farmers and Ranchers, Smith Ready for Michigan Race: When it comes to promoting a sponsor or a cause, NASCAR Sprint Cup winner Regan Smith has the special knack to articulate a message without sounding scripted. The 27-year-old Smith will be wearing two hats this weekend at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), promoting the Furniture Row Racing team as well as the Farm American program, which will be showcased on his #78 Chevy. The Farm American initiative that Smith and the Furniture Row Companies have been backing for more than a year has attained plenty of interest in the agriculture community, including a financial partner in Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers based in St. Johns, Mich. Furniture Row and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers are teaming to promote the importance of having a stable and robust agriculture industry along with bridging the awareness gap between urban and rural America. Smith's car will also carry the Farm American paint scheme at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sept. 4) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 9).(Furniture Row Racing), see image of scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(8-18-2011)
#78 to Showcase Farm American in three races: In a continuing effort to support the American family farmer and rancher, Furniture Row Racing announced that its #78 Sprint Cup Chevy, driven by Regan Smith, will display the Farm American initiative as a major associate sponsor at three upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup races -- Michigan (Aug. 21), Atlanta (Sept. 4) and Kansas (Oct. 9). Furniture Row Companies and its Farm American financial partner - Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers - are teaming to promote the importance of having a stable and robust agriculture industry along with bridging the awareness gap between urban and rural America. Based in St. Johns, Mich., Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers is a manufacturer and marketer of premium crop nutrition. An industry leader since 1983, Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers joined Furniture Row Racing's Farm American program earlier in the year as a financial and communications partner. Members of the Furniture Row Racing team will take part in Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers public open house -- Wednesday, Aug. 24 in Ashley, Mich. -- to celebrate the company's new manufacturing facility. The #78 Farm American Chevrolet will also appear at the event.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #78 Team Schemes page.(8-5-2011)
Smith to throw the first pitch on Wednesday: #78-Regan Smith, driver for the Denver-based Furniture Row Racing team on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Wednesday afternoon's (Aug. 3) Major League Baseball game between the Colorado Rockies and Philadelphia Phillies [Jayski fave team] at Coors Field. Smith, who is coming off an impressive third-place finish in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, is looking forward to the 60-feet, 6-inch throw. "I've been fortunate to participate in many neat things throughout my career and throwing out the first pitch at a Rockies game is going to rank right up there," said Smith. "I am really excited about this opportunity and hope I can throw a strike."(Furniture Row Racing)(8-2-2011)
#78 Team Qualifies for Sprint Pit Crew Challenge: By virtue of the #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy's NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM win Saturday, May 7 at Darlington Raceway, the pit crew is now qualified for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman. The competition is the only indoor event sanctioned by NASCAR featuring head-to-head competition between the top-24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pit crews. The finishing order of the NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman will determine the order of pit selection for The Sprint Showdown or NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The following teams are currently eligible: #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy, #4 Red Bull Racing Toyota, #5 GoDaddy.com Chevy, #11 FedEx Toyota, #14 Office Depot Chevy, #16 3M Ford, #17 Crown Royal Ford, #18 M&M's Toyota, #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge, #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy, #29 Budweiser Chevy, #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy, #39 US Army Chevy, #42 Target Chevy, #48 Lowe's Chevy, #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy, and #99 Aflac Ford. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.pitcrewchallenge.com or by calling 800-745-3000.(Sprint)(5-10-2011)
Regan Smith wins at Darlington: #78-Regan Smith won the Showtime Southern 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway for the first win of his career. He stayed on track during the last caution and held off #99-Edwards on a green-white-checker finish.
Edwards held on to finish second followed by #2-Keselowski, #4-Kahne (the pole sitter), #39-Newman, #11-Hamlin, #14-Stewart, #16-Biffle, #1-McMurray, and #56-Truex, Jr.
#29-Harvick and #18-Busch were called to the NASCAR hauler after the race. They were involved in the accident that brought out the final caution of the night. Then as cars were headed to pit road after the checkered flag, they parked next to one another on pit road and Harvick got out of his car to confront Busch, when Busch took off and pushed Harvick's car out of the way and into the pitwall.
The win was the 5th ever for a car #78 and the first since Jim Paschal won at Columbia, SC running the #78 on July 9, 1955 [see wins by car number page].
There were 21 lead changes among 12 drivers; 11 cautions for 46 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 61,000, down from 67,000 last year.
Scheduled Race Re-Air: Wednesday, May 11 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED
For points standings, see the Drivers Points Standings page and the Owners Points Standings page. (3-7-2011)
Pole is Ragan's first in 153 starts: 102 is the number of starts #78-Regan Smith will have in the Cup series when he takes the green flag on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, making him the full-time active Cup driver with the most starts without a pole in the Sprint Cup Series. #6-David Ragan had the most starts among active Cup regulars without a pole until he grabbed the poled Friday for Saturday's Samsung Mobile 500, which will be his 153rd Cup start.(Sporting News)(4-9-2011)
Farm America makes 2011 debut on #78: Furniture Row Racing, which is spearheading the Farm American program, announced that the team's #78 Chevy will showcase the Farm American colors for the first time this season at this weekend's Samsung Mobile 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. Regan Smith's car at the 1.5-mile Texas oval will be known as the #78 Farm American Chevy, presented by Furniture Row Companies and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers.(Furniture Row Racing) see an image of the car on the #78 Team Schemes page.(4-6-2011)
#78 Crew Chief fined over infraction: Peter Rondeau, crew chief for the #78 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been penalized for a rule violation committed last week at Auto Club Speedway. Rondeau has been fined $25,000 for violating sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 20-2.3A (improperly attached weight) of the 2011 NASCAR rule book. The violation occurred during practice on March 25.(NASCAR)(3-30-2011)
Special sponsor for the #78 at Texas: Furniture Row Racing, which competes on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit, announced that Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers has joined the team as a financial partner for its Farm American program. The announcement was made during the Commodity Classic trade show at the Tampa Convention Center. Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers manufactures and markets in-house formulated and branded liquid fertilizer products. Incorporated in 1983, the well-known St. Johns, Mich.-based agricultural company has worked years ahead of the industry response to the demand for environmentally friendly products. The company owns the largest fertilizer research farm in the United States dedicated to plant nutrition. The Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row Racing team spearheaded the Farm American program in 2010 with a special paint scheme at selected races on its #78 Chevrolet, driven by Regan Smith. The Farm American program promotes the importance of U.S. agriculture, which employs directly and indirectly more than 22 million people in the American workforce. The details and schedule of the 2011 Farm-American program are still being worked out and will be announced at a later date but the first race will be at Texas Motor Speedway in April.(Farm America). To see an image of the scheme, see the #78 Team Schemes page(3-21-2011)
Another career mark for Smith: For the second time this season #78-Regan Smith set a career Sprint Cup mark. The latest was an all-time best qualifying performance of third, which he achieved Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway during time trials for Sunday's Jeff Byrd 500. His other career performance came last month in the Daytona 500 when he posted an all-time best finish of seventh. And for the second time in the first four races of 2011, Smith recorded the fastest qualified speed for a Chevrolet driver. Smith's #78 Furniture Row Chevy covered Bristol's .533-mile oval in 15.040 seconds at 127.580 miles per hour. He was a few ticks shy of #99-Carl Edwards' pole-winning numbers of 14.989 at 128.014.(Furniture Row Racing)(3-19-2011)
Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers joins Furniture Row Racing's Farm American Program: Furniture Row Racing announced that Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers has joined the team as a financial partner for its Farm American program. Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers manufactures and markets in-house formulated and branded liquid fertilizer products. Incorporated in 1983, the well-known St. Johns, Mich.-based agricultural company has worked years ahead of the industry response to the demand for environmentally friendly products. The company owns the largest fertilizer research farm in the United States dedicated to plant nutrition. The Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row Racing team spearheaded the Farm American program in 2010 with a special paint scheme at selected races on its #78 Chevy, driven by Regan Smith.(FRR)(3-4-2011)
Furniture Row Racing Details Season Plans: The third day of the annual NASCAR Sprint Cup Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway began with a breakfast visit to the Charlotte, N.C., area's new Furniture Row retail store and its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team. This marked the first time in the 29-year history of the tour that participants visited a retail store for a presentation. Regan Smith, 2008 Sprint Cup rookie of the year, will drive Furniture Row Racing's (FRR) #78 Chevy. Smith was the first rookie in Cup history to finish every race he started. FRR is based in Denver, Colo., far removed from most of the other NASCAR Sprint Cup teams. Mark McArdle is FRR's managing director of competition and Pete Rondeau will resume his role as crew chief for 2011. General Manager Joe Garone spoke of the team's 2011 season plans. "We wanted to get one team working very well. We feel that with the addition of the guys we have, we are getting there. And, we would really like to get a second team going. One of the biggest advantages for us is that we are a fully funded race team, but we are actively seeking sponsorship to get a second team going."(CMS Media Tour Notes)(1-31-2011)
Furniture Row aligns w/Stewart-Haas Racing for pit crew: Regan Smith's #78 over-the-wall pit crew for Furniture Row Racing will be employed and trained by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. "We are excited to partner with SHR as it relates to the pit crew," said Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing general manager. "After reviewing SHR's program, personnel and facility we are confident that SHR will deliver a crew that meets all of our objectives." The #78 pit crew will be under the supervision of SHR pit crew coach Joe Piette, who also oversees the pit crews for Tony Stewart's #14 team and Ryan Newman's #39 team. The SHR team is based in Kannapolis, N.C. "We are very excited about our new partnership with Furniture Row Racing and having the opportunity to help contribute to the growth of their program, while also giving our pit crew the chance to compete and improve on a weekly basis," said Bobby Hutchens, director of competition, Stewart-Haas Racing. The first race for the new Furniture Row Racing pit crew will be the invitational Budweiser Shootout, Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway. Smith qualified for the non-points race on the basis of being a former NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie of the year (2008). The first Sprint Cup points race is the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20.(Furniture Row Racing)(1-11-2011)
Furniture Row Racing Forms Marketing Dept: Furniture Row Racing announced that it has formed a marketing division and has named Kevin Jerome to direct the team's new multi-staff entity. "The new marketing arm is dedicated and specific to Furniture Row Racing," explained team general manager Joe Garone. "This is an effort to expand our program as we seek to meet our goals of bringing a business partner on board for our #78 team and a new primary sponsor to form a multicar operation. We are excited about Kevin joining our team and leading an aggressive marketing department. He brings a wealth of sales and marketing experience that will help grow the business side of Furniture Row Racing." As marketing director for Furniture Row Racing, Jerome will oversee the team's sales, sponsorship relations, sponsorship procurement and licensing operations. Jerome joins Furniture Row Racing from Alcatel-Lucent, a global 100 telecommunications equipment manufacturer. He had been affiliated with Alcatel-Lucent for the past six years and was most recently sales director for the company's internet protocol (IP) products. "Our objective is to expand the visibility of Furniture Row Racing through the business community with potential and existing partners," said Jerome, who earned a master's degree in business from the University of Colorado. "I am leaving the premier telecommunications company to join Furniture Row Racing because I realize the potential of the motorsports company. I will take what my background has to offer and work diligently to use those skills with the goal of taking Furniture Row Racing to the next level from a marketing perspective." Jerome will lead a marketing team which includes Pat Driscoll, corporate relations, business development and new hire Skip Fox, senior account manager, licensing. Driscoll has been involved with Furniture Row Racing the past two years, leading the Farm American program. Fox is joining the race team from Richard Petty Motorsports. A native of Golden, Colo., Jerome and his wife, Debra, reside in Highlands Ranch, Colo.(Furniture Row Racing)(11-30-2010)
#78 team hauler damaged in accident near Denver UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that a racecar transporter and motor home belonging to the #78 Furniture Row Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup team were demolished this morning in a massive pileup on Interstate 25 near Larkspur, Col.; about 40 miles south of Denver.
Authorities say the crash happened on northbound Interstate 25 at approximately 8:45 am local time. A spokesperson for the Colorado State Patrol said 34 vehicles, including four tractor-trailers, were involved in three separate crashes on northbound Interstate 25. Two victims required extrication from their vehicles, and approximately 20 people were transported to hospitals with non life-threatening injuries. One of the semi-trucks spilled diesel fuel onto the highway, requiring a HazMat crew to respond to the scene.
Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that details on what caused the crash are still sketchy. "From what I understand, our transporters came over the top of hill and saw cars all over the highway." Garone said the tractor was "for sure totalled" and the trailer seriously damaged, to the point of being unusable. "We cant get the back door of the transporter open," he said. "We'll have to cut it open." The motorcoach, a pickup truck in tow behind the coach and a golf cart in the bed of the pickup were also destroyed in the crash. The motorhome was used to house team personnel at the speedway. Driver Regan Smith's personal coach was not involved.
Race cars for this weekend's event at Homestead-Miami Speedway were not in the transporter at the time of the crash, and Garone said Richard Childress Racing has offered a transporter loaded with equipment to help FRR make it to Homesetad on time. "Mike Dillon jumped immediately on board to help," he said. "They're putting the final touches on a transporter full of equipment for us." Garone assessed the damages at more than $500,000, and said the total could climb higher once a more accurate assessment can be made. "It's a big mess," he said. "We're just grateful that nobody got seriously hurt."(Sirius Speedway)
AND A massive pile up involving 34 vehicles including 4 semis injured 18 people and closed all northbound lanes of Interstate 25 near the Greenland exit earlier today, according to officials. By 1:15 pm, all northbound and southbound lanes had been re-opened, according to Colorado State Trooper Nate Reid . Reid said the accident about 8:40 am was the result of weather conditions.(Denver Post)(11-15-2010)
UPDATE: One day after the transporter and motor coach for Furniture Row Racing were heavily damaged in a major accident on northbound Interstate 25 in Colorado, team general manager Joe Garone said that all systems are in place for this weekend's Sprint Cup season finale in Homestead, FL. The accident, which involved 34 vehicles on the icy highway, occurred Monday at approximately 8:40 a.m. near Larkspur, Colo., 40 miles south of the team's race shop in Denver. The Furniture Row vehicles were returning from Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Phoenix. The two Furniture Row race cars for this weekend's Cup event will be transported from the race shop to south Florida in the team's test transporter. Once the test transporter arrives at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Richard Childress Racing will provide the #78 Furniture Row team with a fully-loaded racing transporter. "Words cannot describe how grateful we are to Richard Childress Racing for immediately stepping up and offering its support," said Garone. "Furniture Row Racing also wants to extend a sincere thank you to the NASCAR community for the outpouring of support we have received since the accident. It has been overwhelming and truly shows the spirit of brotherhood that embodies our sport."
The team's transportation drivers -- John Slingerland, Dennis LaCroix and Gary Miller -- escaped serious injuries and all have returned to the Denver area. The damaged motor coach and transporter, which housed the two Phoenix race cars and racing equipment, have been towed to an impound lot. Garone added that he was extremely proud of the team's transportation drivers for how they navigated their vehicles to avoid serious incidents under adverse weather and road conditions.
"Our tractor/trailer averted head-on collisions and our motor coach driver -- Gary Miller -- put his life on the line when he made a split-second decision to ram into the back end of the team's trailer instead of running over cars," explained Garone. "It was a brave move that most likely avoided serious injuries to others. If you saw the aftermath of the motor coach, you would know what I mean."(FRR)(11-17-2010)
Farm American scheme back on the #78: For the third time this season Regan Smith's #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy will carry the Farm American paint scheme, which will pay tribute to the American farmer and rancher at this weekend's Pepsi Max 400 Sprint Cup race in Fontana, Calif. "There's been plenty of excitement with our Farm American car and I look forward to driving it in Southern California, which is known for its dairy and cattle farming" said Smith. "Protecting the American farmer and rancher and our nation's food supply is a cause we at Furniture Row Racing strongly believe in and having both my mother and father grow up on a farm makes it even more special for me."(Furniture Row Racing)(10-7-2010)
Smith Looking to Capitalize on Milwaukee Test: In preparation for Saturday night's short track race at Richmond International Raceway, Regan Smith and the #78 Furniture Row Racing team spent part of last week testing at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis. "We've been showing improvement in many areas this season," said Smith, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevy. "But if there's one area that we feel needs extra attention it is our short track performances. As a driver I am happy that we had the opportunity to test at the Milwaukee Mile and it's one more indication of the commitment to the future that our Furniture Row Racing team is making." Smith added, "We came away from the Milwaukee test feeling that what we learned will have a positive impact, especially at the next two races in Richmond and New Hampshire."(FRR)(9-9-2010)
Furniture Row Racing re-signs Regan Smith: Furniture Row Racing announced that Regan Smith has signed a contract extension through the 2012 season to drive the team's #78 Chevy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Smith, the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, is currently in his second season driving for the Colorado-based Furniture Row Racing team. Last year he competed on a part-time basis, entering 20 races. The 26-year-old native of central New York is running a full schedule this season and will do the same in 2011 and 2012. "Regan is a young, talented driver with an outstanding future," said Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing general manager. "He has done a great job as our athlete and also as a spokesperson for our organization. The contract extension does indeed express a serious commitment by both the race team and driver." Garone added, "We have a team of proven employees, state-of-the-art equipment and dedicated partners. We are producing increasingly positive performances and strongly feel that we're on the right path to become a contending team."
"I am both happy and humbled about the contract extension," said Smith. "Furniture Row Racing is a team on the move. I feel we've made some big gains this season and we are all encouraged about the future. I really admire the behind-the-scenes work ethic and commitment of each and every member of this team. They want to win as bad as I do and I am proud to be their driver."(Furniture Row Racing)(8-26-2010)
Farm American returns to the #78 at Bristol: The paint scheme on Regan Smith's #78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy at this weekend's Sprint Cup race in Bristol will once again pay tribute to the American farmer and rancher. The car is designed to promote the importance of U.S. agriculture, which is responsible for employing more than 22 million people in the American workforce.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the car on my #78 team paint schemes page.(8-17-2010)
Regan Smith offered contract extension: #78-Regan Smith has been offered a contract extension with Furniture Row Racing. Although the contract has not been signed yet, Smith says, "I'm very comfortable here and want to keep working on moving forward. I feel very good about Furniture Row. We've made a lot of progress over the last (year) and they're at the point where things are really starting to take off. Smith, 26, has forged a patient path with Sprint Cup team owner Barney Visser and Furniture Row. After being named rookie of the year in 2008 and nearly winning the fall Talladega event the same season for Dale Earnhardt Inc., Smith moved to FRM. Smith made 18 starts his first season in the #78 Chevy. This year, the organization returned to full-time competition. The team's engineering department developed a program to polish up Smith's driving skills. The organization has benefited from a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing this season and will run Earnhardt Childress Racing engines in 2011.(Fox Sports)(8-14-2010)
Regan Smith to promote cause of protecting U.S. Food Supply: Regan Smith's Furniture Row Racing Chevy will pay tribute to the American farmer and rancher in Sunday's Brickyard 400 Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The paint scheme and program will promote the importance of U.S. agriculture, which employs directly and indirectly more than 22 million people in the American workforce. Known as the #78 Farm American Chevy, the multicolored car of green, yellow, blue and white will depict farm life on the hood along with the program theme on the rear quarter panel of 'Cultivating the Future'. The United Soybean Board (USB) is the only other sponsor to jump into a partnership with the Farm American car at this time. Furniture Row Racing is hoping other suppliers and industry organizations will help share in the support for this team. Until then, Furniture Row Companies will be underwriting a majority of the Farm American sponsorship at Indianapolis and also at two additional Sprint Cup races - Aug. 21 at Bristol Motor Speedway and Oct. 10 at Auto Club Speedway.(Furniture Row Racing), see an image of the car on my #78 team paint scheme page.(7-20-2010)
Smith Breaks Wrist; Fitted with Custom-Molded Splint:Due to suffering a fractured left wrist in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Sonoma, Calif., Regan Smith has been fitted with a custom-molded splint for this weekend's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Smith, driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevy, fractured his scaphoid bone (located at base of thumb) when he was involved in a multicar accident at Infineon Raceway on Lap 67 of 110. The 26-year-old Smith is being treated for the injury at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte.(FRR)(6-25-2010)
Rondeau Named Crew Chief for Furniture Row Racing : Furniture Row Racing announced that Pete Rondeau has been named crew chief for the #78 Chevy, driven by Regan Smith in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Rondeau's new role will commence at this weekend's Coca-Cola 600. A 44 year-old native of Saco, Maine, Rondeau joined Furniture Row Racing following the 2009 season. His former position was director of research and development at Richard Petty Motorsports from July 2005 through the 2009 season. Prior to his employment at Richard Petty Motorsports, which was formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Rondeau worked at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (2001 to May 2005) and Jasper Motorsports (1998-2001). During his three-plus years at DEI, Rondeau's positions included the crew chief role for both Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. "Pete has brought experience and stature to our team and we feel it was in our best interests to utilize his strengths in the crew chief role," said Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing. Regarding his new position, Rondeau said, "I have great anticipation in my role as crew chief due mainly to the commitment of Furniture Row Racing and the strong driving talent of Regan Smith."(Furniture Row Racing), no word on plans for former crew chief Ryan Coniam.(5-26-2010)
Same RCR Car Lifts Smith's Outlook for Texas: The #78 Furniture Row Chevy that Regan Smith will drive in Texas this weekend will be the same Richard Childress Racing-built car that he drove last week in Phoenix. The Phoenix race was the first time that Furniture Row Racing entered a RCR-built car since the two companies formed a technical and engineering alliance at the beginning of the season. "Texas will be our second straight race with a RCR car," said Smith. "On paper the Phoenix finish (26th) wasn't that good, but we sure made some gains after slipping with poor performances in Bristol (36th) and Martinsville (32nd). Having the same RCR car in Texas as we had in Phoenix gives us a good feeling about this weekend. We know Texas is a fast track and we're fine with that." Smith, his crew chief, Ryan Coniam, and other members of the Denver, Colo-based team got together for a post-Phoenix debriefing and a pre-Texas game plan. "It was a great meeting as we addressed many issues," noted Smith. "We felt that we were heading in the right direction, but have plenty of work ahead of us, especially with our qualifying performances. We haven't been qualifying that well and need to bump up that effort. Where you start has a lot to do on how the race plays out." After seven races, Smith is 32nd in Sprint Cup driver points.(FRR)(4-16-2010)
Smith Completes Test Session at Infineon: #78-Regan Smith completed a one-day test session on Wednesday at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 18-20. Smith completed about 60 laps around the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in a late-model stock car provided by Chris Cook Performance. Smith placed 30th in his only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visit to Infineon Raceway in 2007. "I'm just trying to refresh my memory of this track after not being here for a few years because there are so many nuances to the different corners," said Smith. "I grew up karting, so I love road-course racing, and I'm really looking forward to coming back in June." Smith was coached by road-course veteran Chris Cook, who has also worked with NASCAR drivers Joey Logano and Los Gatos' AJ Allmendinger, among others. "Regan did fantastic today. He's just a great athlete with great focus," said Cook. "He has a great ability to apply what he's learning, and he actually has plenty of road-course experience. We're just fine tuning things for race weekend." For special ticket packages to the Toyota/Save Mart 350, including Kasey's Korner, the 24 Special and the Jimmie Johnson® 4-Pack, call 800-870-RACE or visit infineonraceway.com.(Infineon Raceway)(4-14-2010)
Keselowski, Smith to test at Infineon:NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Brad Keselowski and Regan Smith will take part in test sessions next week at Infineon Raceway in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 18-20. Keselowski (#12 Penske Dodge) will test the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course on Tuesday, April 13, while Smith (#78 Furniture Row Chevy) will visit the circuit on Wednesday, April 14. Both will test in late-model stock cars provided by a Northern California-based race team.(Infineon PR)(4-10-2010)
Smith tests at Pikes Peak: Regan Smith's confidence meter took a jump following a successful test session Tuesday at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. Smith and the Furniture Row Racing team will attempt to transfer the data learned at the Pikes Peak facility to its #78 Chevy for Saturday evening's Subway Fresh Fit 600k at Phoenix. Like Pikes Peak, the Phoenix oval is also one-mile in distance.(Furniture Row PR)(4-8-2010)
There's no such thing as a "home game" for Furniture Row Racing: While almost every team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup game is located within an hour of Charlotte, Furniture Row Racing is based 1,600 miles west in Denver, Colo. The closest thing it has to a backyard race is a 1,200-mile round trip to Kansas City. Kan. The Mile-High City, you see, is Barney Visser's hometown. Denver is the headquarters for his five furniture-related businesses - 330 stores in 31 states. But having Denver as a home base means his race team's three truck drivers will collectively trek nearly 100,000 miles this year for 38 events. It's the equivalent of four trips around the globe, and 40,000 miles more than Charlotte-area teams must cover. "NASCAR racing is a strong marketing tool," said team manager Joe Garone, a former Cup crew chief and ex-director of NASCAR's Research & Development Center. "For Barney, it made sense to get involved. When you're a national company and you need a national advertising campaign, it doesn't get any better than this." Calling Denver home offers a unique challenge, but nothing insurmountable.
For instance, Furniture Row Racing leases engines from Hendrick Motorsports. That may not sound like a towering hurdle, but because engines have to be installed before racecars leave the shop, the Denver team must pick up its powerplants five to seven days ahead of the competition in North Carolina. "We've got a good system that makes it go easy," said Regan Smith, the driver of the #78 Chevrolets and the 20th starter in today's Food City 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. "Barney's got over-the-road trucks that are constantly on the road to his stores. They schedule them so that they're in Charlotte to pick up the engines at Hendrick, then they're trucked to a central location, where another truck picks up that crate on its way back to Denver. That's the toughest part of being out here - and we've got that covered."
Mark McArdle, hired in January as the team's managing director of competition, added, "When you race as often as we do, it inevitably comes down to planning. We just have to do a little bit better job of it than everybody else." When Visser decided to venture into big-time NASCAR racing in 2005 for a couple of events, it made sense to do so out of Denver, where he could keep an eye on his investment. "We had absolutely nothing but an empty building," said Garone, a native of Colorado. "We had to start from dead scratch with cars and people." The team was launched with a few locals turning the wrenches, but Garone knew he would also have to eventually import personnel from Charlotte to be more competitive. Of late, that hasn't been as daunting a task. The nation's economic downturn caught many teams in a financial chokehold. Many of them survived by sacking employees, but others simply shut down.
McArdle was among the legions affected when Richard Petty Motorsports merged with another team. Ryan Coniam, an engineer and former sprint car driver, was ready for a change of scenery, and veteran car chief Pete Rondeau was ripe for a move. Garone hired all three, and Coniam was promoted to crew chief almost overnight when his predecessor chose to return to the Charlotte area. "I love it in Denver," Coniam said. "I live right downtown and can walk from my house to the (Colorado Avalanche hockey) games. I'm originally from Toronto, and the culture of the city seems more like a Canadian city to me, more like home. Avs games, Broncos games, and in 45 minutes I can be in the mountains." The toughest part of convincing people to move two time zones away, Garone said, is first convincing them to give Denver a look. After that, he said, it's a relatively easy sell. "They see that we have a full-blown Cup team with all the same stuff they have in Charlotte," Garone said. "Then they see Colorado and the things that are different, and the quality of life that's available if you're into hunting or fishing or skiing. It kind of hooks them. It makes sense to them: 'I get to be in another state and still do my craft.' It's unique."
And unlike the Charlotte area, Furniture Row is the only game in town. "We don't have a revolving door of people walking in here looking for jobs," Coniam said. "The guys in the shop are focused on their job, not worrying about guys who'll come in and take their job for $100 less a week. Our guys can stay on the same page, and that's an intangible benefit. You can't even put a value on that." By 2008, with 40 races over three part-time seasons under its belt, the team had enough of a foundation to tackle the full slate with driver Joe Nemechek. But when the American economy went off the cliff, Visser had to cut back across the board, race team included, to survive the fall. Nemechek opted out of a contract that guaranteed a full season behind the wheel, and Smith, the 2008 rookie of the year, was hired. There was a plus to pulling back, Garone said, in that more time could be spent fine-tuning the cars for competition. By midseason, the downside had gotten an upper hand.
"Not being in NASCAR full-time was hurting us from a marketing perspective, and definitely in performance," Garone said. "Even the simplest things - the road crew, the relationships within the team - it was like starting all over at every race. If you're not out there every week, you get rusty and everybody's not on the same page, even down to communication between the driver and crew chief. You're better prepared, but you're not in tune." Even so, later in the year, a financial rebound convinced Visser, who avoids interviews, to make the commitment to gear up for the full schedule in 2010. Garone has negotiated a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing that will include cars and engineering expertise, and he added that FRR's game plan includes expansion to a two-car operation. "Initially, as we were building the program, there were a lot of things to overcome, but we've worked most of that," Garone said. "There's no question in my mind that we can achieve our goals being right where we are."(Fayetteville Observer)(3-22-2010)
#78 team getting RCR cars: #78-Furniture Row Racing's technical relationship with Richard Childress Racing is more than just having use of the #07 owner points for the first five races of the 2010 season. Furniture Row now is getting cars built by RCR and also has access to RCR data. The technical alliance is similar to the Stewart-Haas relationship with Hendrick Motorsports, but Furniture Row still has a contract through the end of this year to lease engines from Hendrick. "A lot of the initial part of working together is literally learning how to work together and how we're going to do that," Furniture Row general manager Joe Garone said. "That's what we're going through right now." In the past, Furniture Row has gotten chassis from Laughlin Racing Products/Ortec Racing and still has a contract with the company for a few more cars. Garone said that the move to RCR will allow Furniture Row to have a little more control over the chassis as well as the access to RCR's information. "For us, as a single-car team, some of the tools that it takes with simulation programs and chassis measurement and having control of your tolerances for your modeling simulation is very difficult when you're not building your own chassis," Garone said. "Being on their chassis gets us on the same page, and it also gives them another person that's on their chassis that is sharing information back to them through all the different facets of testing and simulation." The team will continue to use its own pit crew. The Furniture Row pit crew is the same pit crew that does Kevin Harvick Inc.'s Nationwide Series car.(SceneDaily)(3-4-2010)
Furinture Row, RCR expected to finalize alliance: UPDATE 2: #78-Furniture Row Racing will put the finishing touches on its technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing this week. A meeting is scheduled on Friday between principles of the two companies in hopes to strengthened the single car operation at FRR and in essence create a satellite fourth car for RCR. "While the team may look the same on the outside, eternally we're much stronger," said Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing. "One of the assets with the alliance with Richard Childress is our ability to be secure in the top 35. "During the last quarter, we decided we needed to run the full season. Around May or June, we realized how much it hurt us not to run the full season. We can race on the Furniture Row sponsorship, but it wouldn't allow us to expand to a second car. Our primary goal is to have the #78 team run at 100 percent efficiency." FRR will continue its partnership with Kevin Harvick Inc., with the pit crew. FRR contracts the over-the-wall crew who work at KHI full-time and pit Harvick's Nationwide Series cars.(Fox Sports)(1-29-2010)
UPDATE: On the surface it looks basically the same. But behind the scenes it's a whole new look for the Furniture Row Racing team, which made significant personnel moves during the offseason as it readies to return to a full 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule in 2010. The team's driver (Regan Smith), car number (78) and car manufacturer (Chevy) remain the same for the new campaign, which kicks off Sunday Feb. 14 with NASCAR's traditional season opener -- the Daytona 500. But when you get beyond the driver, car make and car number, the Denver-based Furniture Row team is quite different than it has been in recent years. For starters, more than 20 new employees were hired during the offseason, increasing the team's growing staff to more than 60. Along with the new hires, Furniture Row Racing went even a step further to enhance its program by forming a technical and engineering alliance with Richard Childress Racing. "Being a single-car team against the mega, multicar teams has put us at a huge disadvantage over the years," said Garone. "Now that we have formed an alliance with RCR, we will have the ability to be secured in the top 35 and keep a better pace with the other multicar teams. RCR has always been a leader and a winner, and we are proud to be affiliated with Richard Childress and his outstanding organization."(Furniture Row Racing PR)(1-29-2010)
UPDATE 2: Furniture Row General Manager Joe Garone told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that as part of the team's new technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing, Childress is now an owner of FRR. Garone said the details of the technical alliance are not fully ironed out, but will give the team a major boost in engineering. He confirmed that the team will not utilize Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines, choosing instead to continue their relationship with Hendrick Engines.(1-29-2009), See the 2010 Owners Points Standings page [totally unofficial] for how the owners points are stacking up for the first five races.(1-29-2010)
Furniture Row Racing hires McArdle & Crew Chief UPDATE: Sirius Speedway has learned that former Richard Petty Motorsports Director of Competition Mark McArdle will resurface as Director of Competition at #78 Furniture Row Racing next season. McArdle was suspended and subsequently released by RPM after a confrontation with team owner George Gillett at Richmond International Raceway in mid-September, and said he is looking forward to his new position. "It's good to be working for someone I can really get behind," said McArdle. "Once Ray Evernham left RPM, things became more and more difficult. But (Furniture Row owner) Barney Visser is in it for all the right reasons, and he's putting the right people in place to be extremely competitive in 2010. We're just trying to wrap things up right now, and I expect an official announcement in the next day or two." Ryan Coniam will serve as crewchief on Smith;s #78 Chevy, after working with rookie Max Papis at Germain Motorsports a year ago. Pete Rondeau, who served as Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s crewchief in 2005, has signed on as carchief.(Sirius Speedway)(12-31-2009)
UPDATE - Furniture Row Racing Fills Three Key Positions: Furniture Row Racing announced today that it has filled three key positions as the Colorado-based NASCAR team prepares to run a full Sprint Cup schedule in 2010 with driver Regan Smith. Ryan Coniam has been promoted to crew chief while Mark McArdle joins the team as managing director of competition and Pete Rondeau, also new to the team, will serve as car chief for Smith's #78 Chevy.
"What's exciting about Ryan, Mark and Pete spearheading three essential areas is that it brings a special synergy to Furniture Row Racing," said team general manager Joe Garone. "I worked with Mark back when we helped start PPI Motorsports in the Cup series. Ryan and Regan worked together at Ginn Racing and Mark and Pete were teammates at Richard Petty Motorsports. We have good chemistry which most likely will shorten the all-important learning curve. The addition of these three individuals has generated a new wave of optimism to our team."
Coniam, 30, a native of Burlington, Ontario (a Toronto suburb) joined Furniture Row Racing in early November following two years as a race engineer at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR). During his stint at MWR he was the race engineer for Michael McDowell's entry in 2008, and the past year he was liaison between MWR and Germain Racing while overseeing the race engineering duties for driver Max Papis. Coniam began his engineering Cup career in August 2005 with MB2 Motorsports and worked the following two seasons with the race team, which eventually merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. A 2000 mechanical engineering graduate from Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, Coniam is a former sprint car racer in the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions series. "I am both excited and humbled to have been offered a position that I have dreamed about," said Coniam, son of Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Warren Coniam. "With the driving talent of Regan plus the resources at Furniture Row Racing, I am full of confidence that we can achieve success in 2010." McArdle, a successful veteran of Indy Car and Stock Car racing, previously worked at Richard Petty Motorsports where he served as vice president and managing director of competition. The 52-year-old La Crosse, Wis. native was a renowned engine builder and technical specialist in Indy Car Racing, dating back to 1986. He was the engine builder for two of Penske Racing's Indianapolis 500 victories -- Rick Mears in 1991 and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1993. McArdle later joined Ilmor Engineering and served as the engine builder for the Mercedes Benz pushrod engine project that powered Al Unser Jr. to the Indy 500 win in 1994. McArdle moved to stock car racing in the fall of 1999 as technical director with PPI Motorsports. After two years at PPI, he became general manager of Yates Racing Engines from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2003. He joined Evernham Motorsports (now Richard Petty Motorsports) in May 2003 where he directed the team's engine program for more than six years, and at the end of the 2007 season was named managing director of competition. "I am full of enthusiasm and eagerly look forward to this new endeavor," said McArdle, who has been involved in 18 career Cup wins in various capacities. "What is appealing is the team's unyielding commitment to build on its already solid foundation."
Rondeau, 44, joins Furniture Row Racing from Richard Petty Motorsports where he served as the team's director of research and development since July 2005. Prior to his employment at Richard Petty Motorsports, which was formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Rondeau worked at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (2001 to May 2005) and Jasper Motorsports (1998-2001). During his three-plus years at DEI, Rondeau's positions included the crew chief role for both Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. "It's an exciting time at Furniture Row Racing and I am happy to be joining the organization," said Rondeau, a native of Saco, Maine. "This is a great opportunity and can't wait to kick off the 2010 season at Daytona."(Furniture Row Racing)(1-4-2010)
Revised Scheduled [18 races] 2009 Sprint Cup Races for the #78 team:
Feb. 15, Daytona 500 (finished 21st)
March 1, Las Vegas (20th)
April 5, Texas [added](31st)
April 18, Phoenix (28th)
April 26, Talladega (15th)
May 9, Darlington (21st)
May 31, Dover [added](22nd)
June 7, Pocono (33rd)
June 28, New Hampshire (27th)
July 4, Daytona (12th)
July 26, Indianapolis (39th)
Aug. 22, Bristol [added] (27th)
Sept. 6, Atlanta [added] (DNQ)
Sept. 12, Richmond (40th)
Sept. 27, Dover
Oct. 11, California [added]
Nov. 1, Talladega
Nov. 15, Phoenix
Nov 22, Homestead [added]
Furniture Row Racing hires McArdle & Crew Chief: Sirius Speedway has learned that former Richard Petty Motorsports Director of Competition Mark McArdle will resurface as Director of Competition at #78 Furniture Row Racing next season. McArdle was suspended and subsequently released by RPM after a confrontation with team owner George Gillett at Richmond International Raceway in mid-September, and said he is looking forward to his new position. “It’s good to be working for someone I can really get behind,” said McArdle. “Once Ray Evernham left RPM, things became more and more difficult. But (Furniture Row owner) Barney Visser is in it for all the right reasons, and he’s putting the right people in place to be extremely competitive in 2010. We’re just trying to wrap things up right now, and I expect an official announcement in the next day or two.” Ryan Coniam will serve as crewchief on Smith;s #78 Chevy, after working with rookie Max Papis at Germain Motorsports a year ago. Pete Rondeau, who served as Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s crewchief in 2005, has signed on as carchief.(Sirius Speedway)(12-31-2009)
Jay Guy, Furniture Row Racing Mutually Part Ways: Furniture Row Racing and crew chief Jay Guy have mutually agreed to part ways as was announced today by the team's general manager Joe Garone. "We wish Jay all the best -- he is a good friend who worked hard to help bring us to where we are at," said Garone. "Jay was a true asset to our organization the past three years and we support him with his new opportunity." Garone went on to say that the atmosphere at the Denver-based shop is upbeat as the team prepares to compete in all of the 36 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in 2010. "The future is exciting at Furniture Row Racing," added Garone. "We are continuing to expand our resources to run a full schedule next year and are on the right track towards giving our driver Regan Smith the best tools possible to race competitively on a weekly basis."(Furniture Row Racing), no word on the new crew chief for Regan Snith will be.(11-30-2009)
New crew chief for Keselowski: Jay Guy will be crew chief for Brad Keselowski and the #12 Penske Racing Dodge in 2010. Guy heads to Penske Racing following a three-year stint at Denver-based Furniture Row Racing. The 36-year-old Lancaster, Penn., native says he's looking forward to building a program around a driver with Keselowski's potential. "(Keselowski) has definitely won a lot of races in the Nationwide Series," Guy said. "There's a great upside to him. This is what I've worked for the last 20 years, to have an opportunity such as this with a company like Penske Racing."(FoxSports), no word on what plans are for former #12 crew chief Roy McCauley.(11-30-2009)
#78 team tests at Pikes Peak: To prepare for another strong Phoenix performance in Sunday's Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the Denver, Colo-based Furniture Row #78 Chevy team of Regan Smith conducted a test session earlier in the week at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. "We had another good test session at Pikes Peak," added Smith. "The last time we raced in Phoenix we also tested at Pikes Peak and it was a huge benefit. We're looking for similar results this weekend. We really want to close out the season on a positive note with solid results in Phoenix and at the season finale in Homestead (Nov. 22)." Running a part-time 20-race Sprint Cup schedule in 2009, the Furniture Row team is gearing up to run a full 36-race slate in 2010. "There's a lot of buzz at our Denver race shop right now," offered Smith. "Both the team roster and the shop size are expanding. We all have an upbeat feeling heading into next season. Running all 36 races is going to make us a better team. It's been fun and we're even going to have more fun."(FRR)(11-12-2009)
Congrats to Jay Guy: It's a Baby Girl for Carrie and Jay Guy. Carrie Guy, wife of #78-Furniture Row Racing crew chief Jay Guy, gave birth to the couple's first child – Ansley Sophia – Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colo., a suburb of Denver. Ansley weighed in at 8 pounds, 1 ounce and was 21 inches long. Word from the maternity ward is that mother and the little Guy are doing fine.(10-22-2009)
Furniture Row headed to California with eye on 2010: The preparation to be one of the top 35 teams in points following the fifth race in 2010 continues for driver #78-Regan Smith and Furniture Row Racing this weekend in Fontana, Calif., site of the Pepsi 500 Sprint Cup event at Auto Club Speedway. Furniture Row Racing announced in August that it will run a full Sprint Cup schedule in 2010, compared to a part-time slate of 20 races this season. Teams, which are secured in the top 35 in points following the fifth race (Bristol) next year, will have the luxury of gaining an automatic qualifying berth, something the young Furniture Row organization has never experienced. "With California being the second race in 2010, we added it to our schedule recently so we can acquire data for our important return trip in February," said team general manager Joe Garone. "We wanted to make sure that we'll have a good data book for each of the first five races next year. Our goal is to be in the top 35 and not have to worry about qualifying for the main event." Furniture Row's original 2009 schedule included two of the first five races of the season -- Daytona and Las Vegas. The organization added the other three sites -- Atlanta, Bristol and Fontana -- once the decision was made to run the 36-race Cup schedule next season.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(10-8-2009)
Smith's #78 Chevy to Showcase World Vision at RIR: The Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith will carry a special paint scheme for the Sept. 12th Saturday night NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Smith's car will be fully-adorned in the colors of World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization based in Federal Way, Washington. The entire space on the car is being donated to World Vision by the team's sponsor -- the Denver-based Furniture Row Companies, one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers with more than 330 stores in 31 states. The idea to donate the space came from Furniture Row owners Barney and Carolyn Visser, long-time World Vision supporters. World Vision is dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. More than 40,000 aid workers and volunteers comprise the international relief and development organization. "This innovative partnership with Furniture Row, one of World Vision's most faithful donors, will help bring the needs of the world's most vulnerable children to followers of NASCAR," says Richard Stearns, president of the international Christian organization. Joe Garone, president and general manager of Furniture Row Racing, said, "The global care-giving services that World Vision provides to children and families are truly inspiring and we are proud to offer our assistance in bringing this incredible humanitarian story to the NASCAR community." (Furniture Row Racing). See images of the scheme on my #78 Team Schemes page.(9-1-2009)
Furniture Row adds two more races: Furniture Row Racing driver #78-Regan Smith knows what he’s doing next season, and, in a way, that will dictate a little bit of what he’ll do the rest of the 2009 season. With the Furniture Row Racing team returning to a full-time schedule in 2010 after scaling back to a part-time schedule in 2009, the team has added next week’s race at Atlanta and Auto Club Speedway in California in October to help Smith prepare for next year. The team was at the track in Rockingham, N.C., earlier this week testing and also does some testing at Pikes Peak in Colorado, which is near its Denver base. The team will also need to build road-course cars for next year.(SceneDaily)(8-27-2009)
Smith may have full-time ride in 2010; with a sponsor? UPDATE: Regan Smith, the 2008 Sprint Cup rookie of the year, has agreed in principal to drive the #78 car for Furniture Row Racing in 2010, sources close to the situation said on Saturday. Smith is driving a part-time schedule for the Colorado-based team this season, but tentative plans are to run a full schedule next year. Smith was left without a fulltime ride after his Dale Earnhardt Inc. team was shut down due to lack of sponsorship following 2008. He has competed in 11 races this season for Furniture Row, with a top finish of 12th at the July 4 race at Daytona.(ESPN)
AND At the recent gathering of Farm Bureau PR and Communications professionals in Denver, CO, Furniture Row Racing, unveiled a new NASCAR paint concept to support and bring awareness to the ag industry as a whole; The Car of the Heartland…Official Car of the American Farmer. The people at Furniture Row Racing know and understand the hard work and devotion that ag producers across the country have made to their industry and their way of life. Furniture Row is making a substantial financial commitment to promote that hard work and devotion and to try and put American agriculture back on the radar screen of consumers across the country. The attendees of the unveiling were moved and excited by the new car. Julie Murphy, Communications Director for Arizona Farm Bureau was brought to tears by the car and what it represents. "As a producer, I am just so grateful," she said. The Car of the Heartland represents a revolutionary change in NASCAR, one not seen in 60 years of the sport. Traditionally, car designs have been a mish-mash of logos and brands, confusing fans and diluting effectiveness. Furniture Row understands that what individual cars need is a focused message, one that fans can follow, and they are leading the way with their new Car of the Heartland. Going forward, Furniture Row needs help from Farm Bureau in the promotion of the Car of the Heartland. They need Farm Bureau members to talk to their friends and acquaintances and help tell the story of the car and promote the message of American agriculture. Colorado Farm Bureau will do its part to help promote the car and raise awareness with the public. Other industry groups are on board to help promote that car as well. If all goes according to plan, the car should run in 36 races next season.(Colorado Farm Bureau), no comment from team about this news.(8-16-2009)
UPDATE: Furniture Row Racing announced that it will run the full 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule in 2010. The race team also announced that Regan Smith will continue to drive the #78 Chevy next season. The decision to return to a full-time schedule was based on the positive effect the race team along with NASCAR's popularity have had on the Furniture Row Companies marketing and advertising programs. The race team, which ran a full schedule in 2006, 2007 and 2008, also stated that it will continue to search for additional sponsorship partners, in the form of primary or associate to help with costs and possibly grow the race team. The #78 Furniture Row team was originally scheduled to compete in 12 races in 2009. Four additional races have been added to the schedule, including Saturday night’s race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. According to Garone, there is a good possibility of adding more races.(Furniture Row Racing PR)(8-19-2009)
Born on Date: January 23, 2002