Furniture Row Racing Fills Three Key Positions
January 4, 2010
Coniam named crew chief; McArdle competition director, Rondeau car chief,
DENVER (Jan. 4, 2010) -- Furniture Row Racing announced today that it has filled three key positions as the Colorado-based NASCAR team prepares to run a full Sprint Cup schedule in 2010 with driver Regan Smith.
Ryan Coniam has been promoted to crew chief while Mark McArdle joins the team as managing director of competition and Pete Rondeau, also new to the team, will serve as car chief for Smith's No. 78 Chevrolet Impala.
“What's exciting about Ryan, Mark and Pete spearheading three essential areas is that it brings a special synergy to Furniture Row Racing," said team general manager Joe Garone. "I worked with Mark back when we helped start PPI Motorsports in the Cup series. Ryan and Regan worked together at Ginn Racing and Mark and Pete were teammates at Richard Petty Motorsports. We have good chemistry which most likely will shorten the all-important learning curve. The addition of these three individuals has generated a new wave of optimism to our team.”
Coniam, 30, a native of Burlington, Ontario (a Toronto suburb) joined Furniture Row Racing in early November following two years as a race engineer at Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR). During his stint at MWR he was the race engineer for Michael McDowell's entry in 2008, and the past year he was liaison between MWR and Germain Racing while overseeing the race engineering duties for driver Max Papis.
Coniam began his engineering Cup career in August 2005 with MB2 Motorsports and worked the following two seasons with the race team, which eventually merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. A 2000 mechanical engineering graduate from Georgian College in Barrie, Ontario, Coniam is a former sprint car racer in the World of Outlaws and All Star Circuit of Champions series.
“I am both excited and humbled to have been offered a position that I have dreamed about,” said Coniam, son of Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Warren Coniam. “With the driving talent of Regan plus the resources at Furniture Row Racing, I am full of confidence that we can achieve success in 2010.”
McArdle, a successful veteran of Indy Car and Stock Car racing, previously worked at Richard Petty Motorsports where he served as vice president and managing director of competition.
The 52-year-old La Crosse, Wis. native was a renowned engine builder and technical specialist in Indy Car Racing, dating back to 1986. He was the engine builder for two of Penske Racing’s Indianapolis 500 victories -- Rick Mears in 1991 and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1993. McArdle later joined Ilmor Engineering and served as the engine builder for the Mercedes Benz pushrod engine project that powered Al Unser Jr. to the Indy 500 win in 1994.
McArdle moved to stock car racing in the fall of 1999 as technical director with PPI Motorsports. After two years at PPI, he became general manager of Yates Racing Engines from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2003. He joined Evernham Motorsports (now Richard Petty Motorsports) in May 2003 where he directed the team's engine program for more than six years, and at the end of the 2007 season was named managing director of competition.
“I am full of enthusiasm and eagerly look forward to this new endeavor,” said McArdle, who has been involved in 18 career Cup wins in various capacities. “What is appealing is the team’s unyielding commitment to build on its already solid foundation.”
Rondeau, 44, joins Furniture Row Racing from Richard Petty Motorsports where he served as the team's director of research and development since July 2005. Prior to his employment at Richard Petty Motorsports, which was formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports, Rondeau worked at Dale Earnhardt Inc. (2001 to May 2005) and Jasper Motorsports (1998-2001). During his three-plus years at DEI, Rondeau's positions included the crew chief role for both Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
"It's an exciting time at Furniture Row Racing and I am happy to be joining the organization," said Rondeau, a native of Saco, Maine. "This is a great opportunity and can’t wait to kick off the 2010 season at Daytona."