Busch replaces Smith at Furniture Row

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Furniture Row Racing, announced on Monday that it has signed Kurt Busch to drive its No. 78 entry in 2013, replacing Regan Smith.

“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,” Furniture Row Racing General Manager Joe Garone said. “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 experienc will play an important role as we plan ahead to 2013.”

Busch currently drives the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing. He entered into a one-year deal with the Phoenix organization prior to the start of the 2012 season after a seemingly bitter departure from Penske Racing. He joined Penske after being fired from Roush Fenway Racing for behavioral issues. Following the Penske Racing fiasco, Busch’s best option was to drive the No. 51 for the under-funded No. 51 owned by James Finch.

“Furniture Row Racing has the commitment, talent and resources to compete at a high level in the Sprint Cup Series,” Busch said. “I have watched with admiration on how this team has grown over the years, and that is why I am excited about this opportunity as I eagerly look forward to a new chapter in my racing career.”

Busch began his Sprint Cup career in 2001 and was the Cup Series champion in 2004. In total, he has 24 race wins in 427 starts.

Smith has driven the No. 78 since 2009, posting one race win at Darlington Raceway in 2011. That is the only victory, to date, for Furniture Row Racing.

“As our team driver the past four years, Regan has represented Furniture Row Racing with both class and competitiveness,” Garone said. “He is a friend and will always be a friend of Furniture Row Racing. We wish him all the best.”

Smith revealed over the weekend that he wouldn’t be returning to Furniture Row next year. He also said that he has discussed possible opportunities with other NASCAR teams, including some in the Nationwide Series.

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Tags: Furniture Row Racing Kurt Busch NASCAR Regan Smith

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