Speculation grows over the No. 78 ride

After announcing roughly a month back that Kurt Busch wouldn’t return to Furniture Row Racing, they are now in need of a driver. With top prospects like Ryan Newman and Juan Montoya already deciding their future, it leaves Furniture Row without any “great” driver to choose from.

The 2000 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion Bobby Labonte, has been in the early conversation of getting the FFR (Furniture Row Racing) ride. Labonte, who hasn’t seen victory lane since Homstead in 2003, has been driving for JTG Daughtery in the No. 47 Toyota. That team though isn’t re-signing Labonte for 2014 because they picked up AJ Allmendinger last month. Labonte maybe isn’t the top prospect, but he is definitely an option.

After resigning from Richard Childress Racing (RCR), Jeff Burton has been in NASCAR’s free agency.  With the opening with the No. 78 team, its put him in a pretty good situation. The No. 78 is a RCR powered car.  But Burton also could easily retire from racing and coach his nephew Jeb Burton in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. A big deciding factor of whether Burton gets a ride next year could be this weekend.  Burton loves Loudon and with a win, it would make his chances of getting the No. 78 ride a lot better.

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Another and possibly the final contender for this spot is the 2013 Talladega winner, David Ragan. The current Front Row Racing driver isn’t signed for 2014 and his options are either the No. 78 car or re-sign with the No. 34 team. Ragan hasn’t been mentioned for this ride, but in my mind he is a front running candidate.

Free Agents:

Dave Blaney
Jeff Burton
David Gilliland
Travis Kvapil
Bobby Labonte
Mark Martin (looking for part time)
David Ragan
David Reutimann

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.


  1. My personally I think the best candidate for the #78 ride is David Regan no he has not been spectacular in the #34 but he has made that team better and I think if they put him in the #78 he may not be a chase driver but he will at least keep that team in the top 20 if not the top 15 in owner standings and he can at least guarantee to win races at places like Talladega and Daytona and could pill off upsets at track like Michigan and Kansas

  2. Dear Mrclause,

    I do agree, Ward is doing a great job with Jeb, but I kinda suspect Jeff to help Jeb until Harrison (Jeff’s son) makes it to a higher NASCAR rank.

  3. Why would you think Jeff would act as a coach for Jeb? Ward seems to be doing a pretty good job doing that. Besides Jeff has a son that is racing and coaching him would be a more likely situation. There might also be the problem of Jeb understanding Jeff after listening to his Dad all these years!


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