Five years ago, this team was one of those start and park teams that didn’t do much. Since Regan Smith’s breakthrough win in 2011 this team has been making gains in a big way.
2012 saw Regan Smith get canned with 5 races to go in the season in favour of Kurt Busch, who was set to replace Smith in the 2013 season anyway.
2013 was Furniture Row’s best season ever. With Kurt Busch behind the wheel the team suddenly became a force to be dealt with every week. In the July race at Loudon, Kurt and Furniture Row Racing went out and dominated that race. I believe they would have won it, had they not had a bad pit stop, causing Kurt to restart in 11th (instead of 1st) and subsequently get in a wreck with Ryan Newman, thus ending his bid to win that race.
Despite that setback, Furniture Row Racing continued to press on, as their goal of making the Chase had always been within their grasp as they had been in a top 10 position pretty much all year.
In September after the race at Richmond, the dream was realized. Kurt Busch and Furniture Row Racing became the first single car team to make the Chase. They made history that night.
As it would turn out. Furnature Row Racing would finish 10th in the final points standings, allowing them to go to the Championship banquet in Las Vegas. This feat is remarkable considering the media had been hounding the team since August as it was revealed that Kurt Busch would once again change teams to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014. Some teams crumble under this kind of negative attention.
Through a certain series of events I have documented in earlier posts, Furniture Row Racing has signed Martin Truex Jr. to drive teh #78 car for the foreseeable future. There’s no reason they can’t keep building on their success if Truex can gell with Todd Berrier as well as Kurt did. The team uses cars from Richard Childress Racing in a technical alliance. This is noteworthy now that Childress’ grandson Austin Dillon is in the Cup Series full time. Now Childress will move the majority of his resources back to the Cup Series, instead of just focusing on the Nationwide Series. This should have a trickle down effect to Furniture Row Racing too and everyone involved should improve.
It will be interesting to watch