#78 Focuses On Cup For 2007
January 25, 2007
The intense and evolving sport of NASCAR is headed into a season of change in 2007. The impact will be felt by the elite field of NEXTEL Cup teams vying for a coveted starting position in each race.
Fans can expect a "survival of the fittest" showdown on the track each weekend, as seven new cars fielded by Toyota enter into the competitive mix. With the addition of Toyota, there are expected to be 55 fully sponsored teams attempting to qualify for Cup, and only 43 will make the field. In addition, the top 35 cars in owner's points are guaranteed spots in the race.
Currently outside the top 35 in owner's points, second year cup team Furniture Row Racing will feel the heat. The #78 Chevy Monte Carlo Cup cars, piloted by veteran driver Kenny Wallace, will take to the track every weekend to compete against multi-car teams that quickly accrue owner's points. Acutely aware of the challenges, the team has decided to focuses all of its energy, resources, personnel, and driver talents towards the unified goal of strengthening the competitive level of its Cup program.
General Manager, Joe Garone elaborates on realigning the organization's focus. "Cup is always a challenge, but with the car of tomorrow being implemented, a new manufacturer joining the series, and new teams jumping on board, 07 promises to be an unusually challenging year.
Our team was started from scratch in 05 with the intent of running a hand full of Busch races. At the start of the 06 season, the opportunity came up to compete in Cup on a full time basis. However, we were still a very small team and unsure of a lot of important factors.
The most important factor for us was our choice of driver. With the huge financial investment it takes to compete in Cup, as well as limited testing at NASCAR sanctioned tracks, it was important for us to find a veteran driver that could guide our competition department as well as assist with sponsorship awareness.
In addition, transportation issues out of Denver, Colorado became as important as any of the traditional competition related factors for our program. There were no full time Cup teams to model our transportation program after, as everybody runs their teams out of the South Eastern region of the US.
We currently have a full season under our belt, and feel we have a handle on the logistics. But with the changes in the series, we have had to make some major additions and adjustments to our team. In addition to new personnel, more equipment, and more engineering resources, we have made the decision to not run in the NASCAR Busch Series in the 07 season.
We are proud to be representing Colorado in the Cup series, but it comes at a high price and demands all of our focus to be pinpointed in the direction of Cup. Although we appreciate the assets a Busch team brings to the table, we are still in a building year and can’t spread ourselves too thin. Basically, it comes down to a division of resources. Running both teams ran the risk of taxing the organization's time, resources and energy. Ultimately, we felt it would negatively impact our Cup team's performance at this time."
There are early indications that the organization made the right call. The Cup team recently returned from testing at Daytona, with impressive results. However, mid-February will be the true test, as the Cup team gears up for the Daytona 500.
Based in Denver, Colorado Furniture Row Racing is owned and sponsored by Furniture Row® Companies.