Richard Petty says Petty Enterprises has talked about mergers with other teams but prefers to stay independent if at all possible.
“We’ve talked to everybody about everything that could be talked about it and we’re still standing here independent,” Petty said Thursday. “We didn’t want to take on anyone else’s baggage. We had enough of our own.”
The team still needs to find sponsorship for its two Cup cars for next year, including veteran Bobby Labonte.
“We’re working on it,” Petty said. “Bobby is out working, I’m working.”
Petty said mergers are a last resort for teams in these economic times.
“Mergers in our business right now is an emergency situation,” Petty said. “In other words, if you’re drowning, then you’re going to get a partner to drown with you. That’s basically what it looks like it’s going to be, but maybe if they go together, maybe they don’t drown.
“They’re going to drown by themselves. … It’s because of the economic climate that we’re in to. If this was two years ago, you couldn’t have paid them people to join up with each other – even last year, because everybody was going to do it on their own. But when it comes down to a deal where there is not enough money out there for 45 teams to all run full first class, everybody is trying to save themselves right now.”
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