Regan Smith has signed up for two more years with Furniture Row Racing.
Smith was the 2008 Sprint Cup rookie of the year -- beating out Sam Hornish Jr. -- when he drove the 01 car for Dale Earnhardt Inc. While he finished 34th in points that season, he became the first driver in Cup history to finish every race entered in his rookie season.
When DEI merged with Chip Ganassi Racing, Smith was the odd man out and he hooked up with Furniture Row for a part-time gig in 2009. Furniture Row expanded its schedule in 2010 and Smith has held his own. He has qualified for all 24 races races and is currently 30th in points.
His best finish this season is 14th (Atlanta, March).
I think this is a good move for Furniture Row. Smith, 26, is a good young driver, who generally stays out of trouble on the track, keeping the need for repairs to a minimum.
-- Brian De Los Santos
Press release follows:
DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 26, 2010) -- Furniture Row Racing announced today that Regan Smith has signed a contract extension through the 2012 season to drive the team's No. 78 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Smith, the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year, is currently in his second season driving for the Colorado-based Furniture Row Racing team. Last year he competed on a part-time basis, entering 20 races. The 26-year-old native of central New York is running a full schedule this season and will do the same in 2011 and 2012.
"Regan is a young, talented driver with an outstanding future," said Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing general manager. "He has done a great job as our athlete and also as a spokesperson for our organization. The contract extension does indeed express a serious commitment by both the race team and driver."
Garone added, "We have a team of proven employees, state-of-the-art equipment and dedicated partners. We are producing increasingly positive performances and strongly feel that we're on the right path to become a contending team."
Smith, who has competed in 83 career Cup races since his debut in March 2007 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, also feels the energy and spirit of Furniture Row Racing's commitment.
"I am both happy and humbled about the contract extension," said Smith. "Furniture Row Racing is a team on the move. I feel we've made some big gains this season and we are all encouraged about the future. I really admire the behind-the-scenes work ethic and commitment of each and every member of this team. They want to win as bad as I do and I am proud to be their driver."
Along with his 83 career Sprint Cup starts, Smith has also competed in 102 Nationwide Series races and 23 Camping World Truck Series races. His first NASCAR start was in the truck series -- Sept. 21, 2002 -- at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va.