78 Days until the Daytona 500

In Sprint Cup Series competition the #78 car has started 587 races and has 10 wins, 10 poles, 54 top 5s, 125 top 10s, and 138 DNFs

 

  • Furniture Row Racing made their debut in 2005 with Kenny Wallace driving the #78 car at Dover. Later that year, Jerry Roberson drove the car Phoenix.
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Jerry Robertson, 2005

Wallace would return to the team in 2006. After failing to qualify for the Daytona 500, Wallace would compete in 17 events throughout the year. Jimmy Spencer piloted the #78 for both races at Pocono, and Travis Kvapil and Max Papis attempted the road-course events, but they DNQ’d for both.

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Kenny Wallace, 2006

Wallace returned to drive the #78 in 2007, but was released in August after qualifying for only 10 events. After Scott Wimmer and Sterling Marlin failed to qualify for any races, Joe Nemechek drove the car in the remaining 9 events of the season.

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Nemechek, 2008

Nemecheck returned to the #78 car for 2008, qualifying for 32 of 36 events. After winning the pole at Talladega in the spring, Nemecheck was signed to a 3 year contract with Furniture Row Racing.  However, late in the season the team announced that they would compete in a limited number of races for the 2009 season. Not willing to run a reduced schedule, Nemechek left the team. Kenny Wallace started 28 races in #78, and Front Row Joe started 41.

 

  • Regan Smith took over the wheel of the 2009, qualifying for all 18 races the team attempted. In 2010, the team became allied with Richard Childress Racing, and bought out the owner points of the former #07 RCR car. This allowed the team to run a full schedule again for the 2010 season, though Richard Childress ‘technically’ became the owner of the car for 5 races.
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Regan Smith, 2009

In 2011, Smith earned the team’s first top-10 finish with a 7th place finish in the Daytona 500. Smith followed up this success by scoring the first win for the team and his career at the 2011 Southern 500.

 

Despite this success, and his 2 top-10s in the 2012 season, Smith would be released in favor of Kurt Busch near the end of 2012. Smith has the most starts in #78 with 120.

 

  •  For the final 6 races of the 2012 season Kurt Busch replaced Smith in the #78. In these 6 starts Busch earned 3 top-10s, besting Smith’s total for the rest of the season. In the 2013 season Busch would greatly improve the consistency of the team, earning 16 top-10 finishes in 36 race. Busch qualified for the Chase for the Spring Cup, finishing 10th in points. Busch would leave the #78 for Stewart-Haas racing’s #41 in 2014.
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Kurt Busch, 2013

 

  • After the #56 MWR team folded due to lack of sponsorship Martin Truex Jr. and many of his crew members were hired for the #78 team for 2014. He started off the season well, qualifying 2nd at Daytona. Unfortunately, a crash in his duel race would force the team to start in the back. His performance was slightly better than Regan Smith’s before him, earning 5 top 10 finishes through the season.
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Truex Jr. in the 2014 Duel at Daytona

2015 showed a noticeable improvement in the team’s performance, due largely in part to new crew cheif Cole Pearn. In first 10 races of the year, Truex scored 9 top-10 finishes and briefly lead the point standings. At the “Axalta: We Paint Winners 400” at Pocono, Truex finally found victory lane again. The win would be the 2nd for Furniture Row Racing and the first for Truex in 69 races. After a top-10 at the rain shortened Michigan race, Truex became the first driver since Richard Petty to score 14 top-10s in the first 15 races of the year.

The Pocono win would qualify Truex for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. His consistency would prove favorable, earning him a spot in the Final 4 for the Championship race at Homestead. After a fire in the pits, Truex finished 4th in the final championship standings behind Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch.

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For 2016, Truex and the Furniture Row team switched to Toyotas due largely in part to a new alliance formed with Joe Gibbs Racing, and the #78 gained partial sponsorship from Bass Pro Shops. After narrowly losing the Daytona 500 by .010 seconds to psuedo-teammate Denny Hamlin, Truex would go on to dominate the Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway by leading a record breaking 392 of 4oo laps and winning the race.

Truex would also win the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, marking the first multi-win year in his career. After scoring 1 win in each of the first 2 rounds of the Chase for the Sprint Cup (Chicagoland & Dover), Truex seemed positioned to be a favorite for the Championship. However, after finishing outside the top-10 at both Charolette and Kansas, an engine failure at Talladega would end Truex’s contention for the title. To date, Truex has started 108 races in #78 with 5 wins. He will return in 2017 and will be joined at Furniture Row by teammate Erik Jones in the #77 car.

 

 

  • In 1955 Jim Paschal started 31 of the 36 races he entered that season in #78. He would win 3 races that season, his first multi-win year. He started the #78 in one race in 1959 for a grand total of 32 starts

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  • Other notable names in #78
    • Buddy Arrington, 28 starts
    • Dick Passwater, 12 starts, 1 win
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