Furniture Row Racing and Richard Childress Racing are closely aligned this season – so much so that officials say the single-car operation is essentially a fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup team in the Childress’ empire.
Mark McArdle, executive director of competition at Furniture Row Racing, is now also the director of racing operations for RCR.
There’s just not many ways to have more information sharing than that.
McArdle said the relationship will enhance the flow of information between the two teams. He worked with Dr. Eric Warren, competition director at RCR, previously at Evernham Motorsports, so the new partnership was an easy step.
“In an effort to assist the RCR effort and, again, hoping that the rising tide floats all boats in the pond, what we’ve done is (general manager) Joe (Garone) and (team owner) Barney (Visser) offered up my services to RCR if they could use me in any way to help that situation that they have there,” he said.
“Eric Warren and I had worked together for eight years at Evernham so when he heard about that offer he took us up on it and has asked me to operate as director of racing operations so the Cup teams, the Nationwide teams and the Truck teams all report up through me.”
McArdle is splitting his time between the two shops. He spends about two-thirds of each month at the RCR shop in Welcome, NC, and the rest at the Furniture Row shop in Denver, Colo. He says that schedule is because of the “intensity of kind of the changeover process at RCR” and that it could change down the road.
“We hope that as we get things stabilized and settled that will become more 50-50 and, eventually, the hope is to be able to train someone at RCR to kind of step into that role having defined it and gotten the processes and procedures down,” he said.
Right now, he is just focusing on helping both teams work better together to the benefit of each organization as RCR – with drivers Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton and Paul Menard – and Furniture Row – with driver Kurt Busch – prepare to enter the 2013 season.
“We just treat Furniture Row as a fourth team, so that’s kind of knitted us together even tighter,” McArdle said.