What a silly season we've had so far.
It's hard to tell which development will have the biggest impact next season but the general consensus is that Kurt Busch's dismissal from Penske Racing is leading the pack. The Kurt Busch postseason has caused several ripples with Steve Addington joining Stewart Haas as the first domino to fall due to the tension at Penske Racing.
Busch was amicably dismissed a few days later, leaving a major driver without a team and a major team without it's driver.
These are all questions that will be asked in the coming days but this post is going to focus on Kurt Busch the driver and what options remain after his dismissal so late into silly season.
There's virtually no preexisting ride open and while both Richard Childress and Joe Gibbs each have a slot remaining, Busch will have to bring a sponsor and he's likely ran them off with his most recent antics. It's more likely that Busch will have to work his way up from the bottom in 2012 before returning to a top-tier team by 2013 and beyond.
But that doesn't mean Busch can't be competitive and challenge for race wins and a surprise Chase berth. The most intriguing option has to be with Furniture Row Racing. Furniture Row had tremendous qualifying efforts with Regan Smith last year and even won the Southern 500 at Darlington. Replacing Smith would be an unpopular decision but a justifiable one if Smith stayed with Furniture Row in a part-time role until Busch completes his one-year sabbatical from superstardom.
The move would benefit both parties.
Busch would be in a position to rehabilitate his image, compete for victories and perhaps make the Chase via a wild card berth. Smith's second car (don't rule-out it being a full-time ride if Busch brings enough cash) alongside Busch's car could provide incredible data for 2013 and beyond.
There's no doubt a ton of former Red Bull employees that would love to be a part of such a program.
The resources for such a move are available as are the drivers. This is the best possible option for both Kurt Busch's reputation and the hopefully-ascending Furniture Row race program. It's a win for everyone involved.
Make it happen.