Furniture Row Racing announced that the team has hired Kurt Busch to drive the team’s No. 78 Chevy in the Sprint Cup Series in 2013. Busch will replace Regan Smith, who was recently told he would not return to the team in 2013.
FRR General Manager Joe Garone said:
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. 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.
Furniture Row Racing has the commitment, talent and resources to compete at a high level in the Sprint Cup Series. 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.
Busch spoke with Richard Childress Racing about a 2013 Cup ride, if sponsorship could be found. With signing with FRR, Busch moves to a satellite RCR team.
Busch was released from Penske Racing’s No. 22 at the end of last season after a series of high profile meltdowns. He joined Phoenix Racing for the 2012 season, but the team has struggled to find sponsorship.
Update: 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.
Update 2: With Kurt Busch leaving Phoenix Racing after the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Phoenix owner James Finch is looking for a driver to take over that car.
Finch, who has run the No. 51 Sprint Cup Chevy without sponsorship for much of the season, said he is looking for a driver who brings financial backing (read: sponsorship) with him.
Regan Smith could be another candidate, but like Allmendinger, he doesn’t bring sponsorship.
Finch is also said to be considering Camping World Truck Series driver James Buescher and Nationwide Series driver Justin Allgaier.