Regan Smith has been told he will not return to the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy next season. Smith, who has piloted that car since 2009, drove it to the team’s first victory at Darlington Raceway in 2011.
Smith confirmed the change after qualifying for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but he wouldn’t speculate on reasons for the change.
There has been speculation that the team was trying to hire Kurt Busch. Earlier this year, FRR expressed interest in hiring Kurt Busch to drive a second FRR Chevy, if sponsorship could be found. It now appears that the team will hire Busch to replace Smith,
though nothing official has been announced.
Update: Kurt Busch has been signed to drive the No. 78 in 2013.
Update 2: According to SPEED’s Race Hub, Regan Smith’s final race in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy will be the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 7. Kurt Busch will take over driving duties the following week at the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.