Kurt Busch will replace Regan Smith

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Kurt Busch will drive the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet next year.

The 2004 NASCAR champion will replace Regan Smith, who said last week the change was imminent.

“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 currently drives for James Finch’s No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. Finch has suggested that after struggling for years to find sponsorship he may be forced to close at the end of the season.

BALANCING ACT: Car owner Jack Roush not only has to worry about trying to win the Chase for the Championship with drivers Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth, he’s also has to start working on getting next year’s programs for Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. up to speed.

Moreover, he has to do it knowing Kenseth is leaving at the end of the season for a new job at Joe Gibbs Racing. One thing that will make the transition easier is it’s been easier to find sponsorship for Stenhouse than Kenseth.

“In truth of fact, the sponsors heard our appeal and have signed up for more races with Ricky than they had with Matt,” Roush said. “We’ve got about 70 percent of our races sold, but that’s more races than we had with Matt.”

Biffle is ninth and Kenseth is 11th in the playoffs after two races.


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