Friday, May 13, 2011

Furniture Row Racing: NASCAR's version of the Denver Broncos

   Regan Smith received a lot of attention from the media and fans for his surprise win in last Saturday's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. His Furniture Row Racing team, which is headquartered in Denver, Colo., didn't go unnoticed, either.

   On Thursday, team owner Barney Visser received a congratulatory phone call from Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. The following message was posted on the governor's Twitter account on Thursday: "Gov. Hickenlooper today called Furniture Row team owner Barney Visser to congratulate the team on the big win last week. Well done! "

   Smith was asked Friday at Dover about the recognition he and his team has received in Colorado.

   "We’ve worked very hard within Colorado to say hey, we’re Denver’s and Colorado’s race team and to have the governor call is neat. That means a lot to us. Denver has really kind of taken us under their arm and it’s been really neat to see what the media out there has done," he said. "They certainly give us attention like they would give the Broncos or the Avalanche and I wouldn’t have guessed that’s how that would go for when I first went to work for Furniture Row Racing.

   "It's been neat to see. We talked with them all throughout the off-season and the start of this year and I was out there three weeks ago. And they said well, we’ve been qualifying good, when’s the first win going to come? And we kept saying we’ve got fast race cars, we just need to focus on finishing them off and getting top 10’s. So to get to take the trophy back and show it off there is meaningful and to have the governor call is really cool.”