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NASCAR NEWS 

Kurt Busch to make early Furniture Row switch

Kurt Busch Nationwide Toyota 2012Kurt Busch will switch to Furniture Row Racing's #78 car from the Charlotte Chase race onwards, getting an early start with his new team for 2013.

The 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was announced this week as Regan Smith's replacement in the Denver-based outfit for next year, but the team confirmed in a press conference on Friday at Dover that Busch will take over from Smith after next week's Chase race at Talladega.

"I can't wait to get in the car and deliver and we're going to start that process this year, so that's great, to get a jump [start] on 2013," said Busch.

"That way we don't go to Daytona with the deer-in-the-headlights feel. We're going to get all the bugs worked out of the way, the nuances, the operating procedures, the trips back and forth to Denver, all these."

Busch said he has been disappointed to read that his move has been perceived as a lateral one from the underfunded Phoenix Racing, where he has been driving this year after parting ways with Penske Racing at the end of 2011.

He said that such a comparison would be a "slap in the face" to Furniture Row Racing, as Phoenix Racing operates on a much smaller headcount, running older machinery with limited development, despite having a degree of support from Hendrick Motorsports.

Furniture Row, a single-car outfit like Phoenix, has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing.

This season Furniture Row driver Smith is currently 23rd in the points while Busch is only two places behind him in 25th.

"Anybody with a hardcard [NASCAR pass] knows that this #78 car has much more potential in it," said Busch. "The #51 [Phoenix], we're running equipment that's four years old, it's all 2008 stuff when [owner James] Finch switched over to the Car of Tomorrow and we did the best we could with what we had.

"So it's very obvious to me why this is not a lateral move."

Smith will wrap up his spell at Furniture Row Racing at Talladega.

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