Kurt Busch will replace Regan Smith in Furniture Row Racing's No. 78 car beginning at Charlotte, but don't call it a "lateral move" from his current team at Phoenix Racing.
"That's a slap in the face to (Furniture Row Racing owner) Barney Visser, because he has put together a program that...is just levels above where James Finch is," Busch said. "When you say it's a lateral move, I don't like that so much. ... If you have a hard card, you'd know the differences in the team."
Busch announced a move to the Denver-based team earlier this week, and he called it a "diamond in the rough." The driver said Furniture Row is "undiscovered" and has not reached its full potential. Smith, the team's current driver, is 23rd in the standings after winning the Southern 500 last season.
Furniture Row has a close alliance with Richard Childress Racing, and Childress himself told Busch the 78 would virtually be the team's fourth car next season. Childress and Busch tried to put together a deal for the driver to join RCR, but the funding didn't come together.
In general, Busch joked he had the "wrong approach" to start out the season with Phoenix Racing because he was following "my Zen master, Charlie Sheen."
"That wasn't going very well," Busch said. "So I had to look around, and then I followed a fellow Top 10 Most Hated Athlete guy, LeBron James. And you know, he brought his talents down to Miami and won a championship down there, so I'm going to use that motivation. I'm going to take my talents to Denver and bring the championship out there, alright?
"Then I decided I didn't need Charlie Sheen, so I'm going to look a new Zen master. I found him: It's Bryce Harper, 19-year-old phenom out of Vegas. ... He's so wise. He told the media, 'No more clown questions. I'm not going to answer any clown questions.' So I'm really looking up to a 19-year-old Bryce Harper to help me through all this."