Petty Enterprises officials have admitted to be considering a possible merger with another Sprint Cup team given the current financial outlook in the United States.
The team has reportedly been in talks with other outfits, which are still seeking to complete their budgets for next season. Chip Ganassi Racing have held talks with Petty and more recently DEI has been said to be in negotiations with the oldest team in NASCAR.
Robbie Loomis, the team's Vice President for Racing Operations, said that a merger is one of the possibilities they are pondering for the future in order to stay afloat and be more competitive in the Sprint Cup series, although he stresses that they remain committed to Dodge as their manufacturer.
"We're very committed to Dodge at Petty Enterprises," Loomis said. "If you read the news out there, everybody is talking to everyone about our merger. I've banked with Wachovia all my life when they were First Union before they become Wachovia.
"As the future unfolds, we all have to be smart on how we pay attention to how we operate and is there ways that we can be more efficient as we grow. That's what will drive the decision of the future."
Petty Enterprises currently field cars for former Cup and Nationwide Series champion Bobby Labonte and a second entry that has been shared by Kyle Petty, Chad McCumbee and Terry Labonte during the year.
The team has lost their main sponsor for Labonte's car for next year and they have yet to announce a replacement. The future of the team's second car is still uncertain, as is Kyle Petty's permanence with the team.
This year the team announced a deal with Boston Ventures, which brought with it changes in the squad's management. Loomis admits that the current tendency of finding new allies may be one that they continue to pursue.
"We have been looking at things," Loomis added. "I know as I have the last couple years... we kind of saw that we were two cars and we wanted to get to four because years ago, NASCAR said there needs to be a four-car team.
"Then all of a sudden the landscaping is kind of changing and there are a lot of alliances. Before, a one or two-car team was trying to hook on another two-car team. Now, you're seeing a four-car team and two-car team that want to attach to them and maybe grow to a four-car team to attach to that.
"The competition level is just raising the bar quicker and quicker."
While Bobby Labonte is 20th in the championship, the team's second entry is currently outside of the top-35 in the car-owner standing after ending the last two seasons in 35th place with Kyle Petty behind the wheel.
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