The changes keep coming for Furniture Row Racing, as the single-car team based in Denver has announced that it will train and field its own pit crew for the 2013 season.
Most recently, Furniture Row had leased a pit crew from Stewart-Haas Racing. But with the team essentially being a satellite operation for Richard Childress Racing, it makes sense that Furniture Row is moving away from SHR – itself a satellite team of Hendrick Motorsports.
"Re-establishing our own over-the-wall crew has been high on our radar," Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone said in a statement released by the team Tuesday. "But before entering into this vital operation, we wanted to make sure that we had everything in place that would allow us to produce a highly-qualified over-the-wall crew."
The development of a new pit crew will be spearheaded by Mike "Tiny" Houston, a former front-tire carrier for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. According to the team, Houston will "oversee and direct the specialized pit crew of six members, who will train at the 32,000-square foot Performance Instruction & Training (PIT) facility in Mooresville, N.C."
The decision by Furniture Row to hire and develop a pit crew follows the jettisoning of longtime driver Regan Smith, who was replaced by 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch with six races left in the year. In a short amount of time, Busch quickly gelled with his new team and ended 2012 with three consecutive top 10 finishes – a first for the organization.
Whether all these changes pays off for Furniture Row remains to be seen. But no matter the outcome, as evidenced by its recent efforts, it certainly won't be for a lack of trying.