The Team Gears Up For 2007
December 22, 2006
Furniture Row Racing’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup program continues to make enhancements to strengthen the competitive level of its organization. The #78 Chevy Monte Carlo with veteran driver Kenny Wallace will run a full Cup schedule in 2007. New hires, new departments, new equipment, and Wallace’s complete focus on the team will expedite the growth and development of the program.
Joe Garone has been juggling duel roles as both crew chief and manager for Furniture Row Racing for two years. He will now focus his efforts exclusively on general manager responsibilities. Reporting directly to team owner Barney Visser, Garone will oversee the team operations in the various departments, act as the liaison between Furniture Row Racing and its partners, and continue to support the growth and development of the entire program.
Garone elaborates on the growth within the organization: “Last year we built a strong foundation for our Cup program. However, in order to grow the organization it was vital to add more structure. By adding individuals in key positions, utilizing the data from new equipment, and having Kenny exclusively in Cup, this expansion will help us achieve our team goals.”
Furniture Row Racing’s new additions to the organizations will be instrumental to realizing the team’s goals. The new hires include Jay Guy, Doug Holbrook, Gary Beveridge, and Claude Rouelle.
Guy joins the team as the newly appointed crew chief. Guy’s prior stint was with the #47 Clorox/American Red Cross Ford Fusion Busch team. His resume includes crew chief positions with Johnny Benson in Cup, and Casey Atwood, Dave Blaney and David Stremme in the Busch Series.
Guy elaborates on what inspired him to make the move: “This team intrigues me. It’s not a start up, however we’re still clawing our way into the Cup series. Although the team is not in the top 35 in points currently, I feel the program has a lot of assets, and all of the tools required for success. Now we need to implement them. In addition, I love to snow ski and now I’m an hour from some of the best skiing in the world. There is something to be said about the quality of life here.”
Furniture Row Racing has also inked a deal with a new car chief, Doug Holbrook. Holbrook, formerly with Evernham Motorsports, brings a vast repertoire of knowledge and experience to the position. Holbrook comments on the appeal of Furniture Row Racing organization: “You’re not a number here. You’re a part of the growing and building process of a team. I enjoy that aspect. Folks say one-car teams aren’t supposed to win races, I don’t believe that. If you’re right, you’re right, and you’ll win.”
Garone remarks on how the addition of Holbrook will fortify the program: “By adding Doug as our car chief, we can promote our former car chief, Brian Fuller, into the roll as the Director of Research and Development. This is a new department and Brian will be instrumental in its development, but also in the success of the program as a whole.”
Gary Beveridge comes to the organization after heading up the superspeedway department for Robert Yates for the last four years. Beveridge has been brought on as the fabrication shop supervisor.
Beveridge explains his rationale regarding his move to Colorado for Furniture Row Racing: “A change of scenery does everybody good, and it was time for a change. I’m impressed with the Furniture Row Racing facility, and am anxious to enhance the department. I’m happy to be here, and I’m confident I can help.”
In addition, a big gun as been added to the engineering department of the program. Claude Rouelle has been named as the Director of Engineering. Rouelle is a renowned high-performance racecar research and development engineer. With 30 years of experience in designing, testing and engineering racecars in Europe, Japan and the USA, Furniture Row Racing will benefit from his extensive and specialized skill set. In 1997, Rouelle also created OptimumG, a consulting company that teaches racecar engineering and data acquisitions.
Rouelle and the #78 Cup crew will have a plethora of new, beneficial data to analyze to enhance performance courtesy of Furniture Row Racing’s latest equipment acquisition.
Along with new equipment purchases in engine shop, the organization has acquired a seven-post rig (ride simulator). This equipment is extremely valuable in acquiring data due to the lack of actual track testing opportunities permitted by NASCAR during the season.
These enhancements to the organization will benefit Furniture Row Racing’s veteran driver Kenny Wallace. Likewise, Wallace is doing his part. He has made a renewed commitment to the team, and is ready to grow the organization to the next level.
With unparalleled energy and enthusiasm, driver Kenny Wallace participated in the Cup and Busch series in 2006. Sprinting between garages, appearances, and TV commitments with the SPEED Channel, Wallace was constantly on the go on and off the track. In 2007, Wallace's commitments in the Busch series will be removed from the equation. Wallace has signed an exclusive contract with Furniture Row Racing to run two consecutive Cup seasons for the program commencing in 2007.
Garone explains how the change in Wallace regime will positively affect the dynamics of the Furniture Row Racing organization: “Kenny was amazing last year. We all greatly admire his energy. Being outside the top 35 in Cup points, he was really in a high-stress situation during qualifying. Kenny would have to make a perfect qualifying run every time on the track, not for the pole, but to ensure qualifying for the race. This is a difficult task for any driver, especially one who just stepped out of a Busch car that may have a different balance and feel. When hundredths of a second determine making a race and not making a race, I feel total focus on the Cup car will help us into the top 35.”
Furniture Row Racing was the stand-alone Cup team from Colorado that turned heads in NASCAR in 2006. With new enhancements to the organization, the #78 is prepped, eager and ready to attack the field in 2007. For more information about the team visit www.furniturerowracing.com
Furniture Row Companies® are the exclusive sponsor and owner of Furniture Row Racing. With over 330 stores in 31 states, Furniture Row® Companies are one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers in the USA. The company is comprised of five specialty store brands including: Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions®, Denver Mattress Co®, and Big Sur Water Beds®. For more information about Furniture Row Companies® visit www.FurnitureRow.com