The departure of Regan Smith from the seat of the No. 78 Chevrolet will open up a ride for Kurt Busch in 2013. Busch, the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, has been driving the No. 1 car for Phoenix Racing.
Busch’s deal with Phoenix Racing is just for this year and team owner James Finch said a few weeks ago that the team may have to close its doors due to upcoming changes in the templates for the cup cars.
It has been no secret that Furniture Row Racing was interested in adding Busch to its driver lineup. It is believed that the team pitched a two car effort featuring Busch and Smith to Dodge before the automaker opted to leave NASCAR.
“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.”
Busch had stated that he was looking to make racing fun again in 2012. He is currently 26th in the driver standings.
“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.”