Report: Petty exec denies merger

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- The chief operating officer of Petty Enterprises disputes reports that the Sprint Cup auto racing operation will merge with Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

Reports Thursday said the proposed Petty-Evernham merger will form one four-car Sprint Cup operation.


"There is a lot of discussion going on, but the 43 car (driven by Bobby Labonte) and Richard Petty will be at the track next year," Petty executive Robbie Loomis told the Charlotte Observer. "I feel very confident in saying that everything is moving forward in our sponsorship drive. We are on track for the 43 car, but the second car is up in the air."

The newspaper reported that Chad McCumbee is under contract to drive the second Petty car next season, but the team is still trying to lock down full sponsorship for Labonte and his no. 43 Dodge.

"We're working in the shop that we're in, preparing cars for next season, and we plan on racing from right there where we are," Loomis added.

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