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Kurt Busch signs with new team for 2013

Kurt Busch has signed to compete in next year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Furniture Row Racing, meaning that he will take over the wheel of the #78 from Regan Smith in 2013.
Kurt Busch has signed up to replace Regan Smith in the #78 Furniture Row Racing car for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it was confirmed on Monday.

"I am excited about the opportunity as I eagerly look forward to a new chapter in my racing career," said Busch, a former Cup champion in 2004 who has been spending the current season somewhat in the wilderness with the shoestring Phoenix Racing operation after splitting with Penske Racing at the end of last season.

While Furniture Row Racing might not put him back among the leading teams, it's certainly a step back to where he wants to be. And Busch's talent mixed with his new team's ambition could prove a potent combination.

"Kurt's exceptional driving talent has the capacity to take a team to another level," said said Furniture Row Racing's general manager Joe Garone. "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,” agreed Busch. "I have watched with admiration on how this team has grown over the years."

As well as competing in the Cup series with Phoenix Racing, Kurt has also been driving the #54 car in the Nationwide Series for his brother Kyle's new team. While various teething problems with the fledgling operation had thwarted him on multiple occasions, his performance has succeeded in reminding everyone of his driving talents rather than his fiery temper and succeeded in putting him back on the radar for many team managers.

The outgoing Regan Smith has been with the Furniture Row team since the start of the 2009 season, but had already indicated this past weekend at New Hampshire that he wasn't going to be returning with the team again next season.

"I've been told it appears I won't be back here next year," Smith told reporters before the Sylvania 300.

Garone said that the decision to part with Smith had been a difficult but necessary one if the team was going to move forward from the groove that they had settled into in 2012.

“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,” he said. "As our team driver the past four years, Regan has represented Furniture Row Racing with both class and competitiveness," he continued.

"He is a friend, and will always be a friend of Furniture Row Racing," Garone added. "We wish him all the best."




Related Pictures

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Regan Smith climbs out of the No.78 Furniture Row Chevrolet after winning the Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. [Picture credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR]
The #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith [Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kurt Busch watches practice at Daytona (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Defending Sprint Cup Champion Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, races to a second place finish, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finishes in sixth place, and Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision finishes in twelfth place Sunday, November 22, 2015 in the final race of the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. This Chevrolet drivers finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (respectively) in the Chase of the Cup Championship. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Former racing driver Mario Andretti, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton pose during pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 AXALTA Chevrolet, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with a burnout after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship and the race with his team after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, celebrates with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, and Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, lead the field on the first lap of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 21, 2015 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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