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NASCAR NEWS 

Regan Smith to run partial '09 season

Regan SmithNASCAR Sprint Cup 2008 rookie of the year Regan Smith will run a limited schedule this season for Furniture Row Racing.

Smith is currently scheduled to enter twelve events, driving the No.78 car that veteran Joe Nemechek raced last year. The team do not have funding to run the full championship but will kick off the season with next month's Daytona 500.

"I look forward to continuing my career in the No.78 Furniture Row Chevy," said Smith.

"Though it's a single-car team that battles heavy odds against the mega multi-car operations, the organisation has always been highly respected in the garage for its use of some of the best equipment as well as an undying commitment to growing a winning team.

"That's all a driver can ask for and I can't wait to get to Daytona and compete in another superspeedway race."

Smith, who was denied his maiden win at Talladega in October for a yellow line rule violation, was left as the odd man out at Dale Earnhardt Inc at the end of last season when the team partnered with Chip Ganassi Racing. His car didn't have any funding and his team was effectively shut down in the merger.

His new team boss Joe Garone believes Smith is one of NASCAR's rising stars.

"Furniture Row Racing is thrilled to obtain the driving services of Regan, who is one of the bright young talents in NASCAR," said Garone.

"His competitiveness and enthusiasm on the track speak for itself. In addition, he is a good fit for not only our sponsor but any partners looking for strong corporate representation in the Sprint Cup Series."

The 25-year-old will have to qualify his car through the Gatorade Duels if he is to compete in the season opener and his status will most likely remain the same for the whole season due to the limited number of races his team plan to enter.

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