When Furniture Row Racing received the recent news from NASCAR that its driver Regan Smith qualified for the invitational Budweiser Shootout, the excitement meter as well as the work meter hit new levels at the team's shop in Denver.
The invite to the prestigious, non-points Budweiser Shootout -- Saturday night, Feb. 12 at Daytona International Speedway -- was on the basis of Smith being a former NASCAR Sprint Cup rookie of the year (2008).
It will mark the first time that Smith and the Furniture Row Racing organization will compete in the Budweiser Shootout, the traditional opening event of Daytona 500 Speedweeks. The shootout lineup will consist of nearly 30 drivers, including the 12 who earned a berth in last year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
"When I got the call that we'll be in the Budweiser Shootout it was an awesome piece of news," said the 27-year-old Smith. "To be a participant in this race instead of a television viewer is not only uplifting, but it also gives us the opportunity to better prepare for the Daytona 500."
The 75-lap Budweiser Shootout at the newly-paved 2.5-mile superspeedway is a precursor to the Daytona 500. Both the Budweiser Shootout and Daytona 500 (Feb. 20) will be televised nationally on FOX.
"The invite to participate in the Budweiser Shootout was a pleasant surprise," said Joe Garone, Furniture Row Racing general manager. "Any chance we get to race is a chance to win and that's why we do what we do. As our performance increases it is exciting to see the team getting closer to meeting that goal. We're ready to kick off the new season in the Budweiser Shootout."
Credit: Front Row Racing PR