Following the announcement that Furniture Row Racing is to run a limited schedule in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup, the team has now announced a contract buyout of driver Joe Nemechek.

The team had intended to continue running a full Sprint Cup programme in 2009 but the current economic climate has forced parent company Furniture Row Companies to tighten its expenditure.

With Nemechek having had a contract in place to run a full year next season, the contract buyout will allow him to seek a drive elsewhere rather than be limited to a part schedule, with team president Joe Garone keen to point out that the decision had nothing to do with results.

"Just like the reduced schedule announcement, this buyout of Joe's contract has nothing to do with his on-track performance," he said. "But our contract with Joe for 2009 was for a full schedule and we're not able to fulfil that part of the deal.

"Joe has been a great leader, mentor, and driver for Furniture Row Racing. This move is doing what is best for both Joe and our team. It doesn't require us to have him drive for Furniture Row in 2009, but it doesn't restrict him from doing what he loves - and that's racing at the highest level every week of the season."

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