Childress lends support to Furniture Row
Furniture Row Racing will put the finishing touches on its technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing this week.
A meeting is scheduled on Friday between principles of the two companies in hopes to strengthened the single car operation at FRR and in essence create a satellite fourth car for RCR.
"While the team may look the same on the outside, eternally we're much stronger," said Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing. "One of the assets with the alliance with Richard Childress is our ability to be secure in the top 35.
"During the last quarter, we decided we needed to run the full season. Around May or June, we realized how much it hurt us not to run the full season."
In the offseason, FRR restructured its organization with an eye on expansion in the future. FRR acquired Mark McArdle, the former VP and director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, as its competition director and named former Michael Waltrip engineer Ryan Coniam crew chief for the No. 78. Pete Rondeau, who oversaw RPM's research and development program, joined FRR as car chief.
"Our hope is to secure our sponsorship to advance our growth as an organization for the future," Garone added. "We can race on the Furniture Row sponsorship, but it wouldn't allow us to expand to a second car. Our primary goal is to have the No. 78 team run at 100 percent efficiency."
FRR's relationship with two of the top RCR competition generals – director of competition Scott Miller and technical director Kent Day – date back to 1999 when Garone was program manager/crew chief at Cal Wells' PPI Motorsports.
With RCR's longtime involvement with General Motors and his friendship with Miller and Day, Garone is confident that Furniture Row can expedite its learning curve.
"We're really excited about this," Garone said. "There's a lot of synergy through our previous relationships and a lot of trust already established between us. It's obviously a big thing for us as a single car team to help support our efforts and we think we can be an asset to RCR as well."
FRR will continue its partnership with Kevin Harvick Inc., with the pit crew. FRR contracts the over-the-wall crew who work at KHI full-time and pit Harvick's Nationwide Series cars.