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Bill Davis Racing's future uncertainUPDATE #6 Team owner Bill Davis said this weekend that a possible merger involving his Sprint Cup Series team has fallen through.
Widespread reports in recent weeks had Davis negotiating with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports majority owner George Gillett about a merger or outright purchase of Bill Davis Racing’s Cup operation, with a possible move by Gillett-Evernham to the Toyota camp. Sources told Sirius Speedway this weekend that Gillett has been unable to secure financing for the deal, and that talks have now stalled.
Davis did not comment specifically on a rumors of a merger with GEM, but admitted that he thought he had a potential merger done recently, only to have it fall through. Sirius-Speedway
11/09/08 Car owner Bill Davis has been open to selling part of his team to an investor - or even more - but all he has to show are "a couple of near misses."
The economy is making it more difficult to close a deal with banks less likely to lend large sums of money.
"Money availability seems to be the problem," he said.
With the season coming to a close, Davis is uncertain of his team 's future. He started the year with two cars but Jacques Villeneuve was unable to get sponsorship and the second car quickly went away. Caterpillar leaves as sponsor for Dave Blaney's team to join Richard Childress Racing and Davis hasn't found a replacement.
"I'm an optimistic person, but I don't know what's going to happen," he said. "It's pretty tough times out here. There are not a lot of sponsors." HamptonRoads.com
10/16/08 Tuesday [Oct 14th] on “SIRIUS Speedway” on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with Gillett Evernham Motorsports co-owner Ray Evernham. On reports that Gillett Evernham Motorsports will switch from Dodge to Toyota:
Moody: “There are published reports out there this week that say George Gillett is “99 percent certain” that he’s going to move from Dodge to Toyota next season. To your knowledge, is there truth to that?”
Evernham: “To my knowledge George is talking about several different things and to his credit, as I’ve said before, he’s going to do what he believes it takes to win a championship. And that’s why he purchased the race team. Again, I’m removed from the business side. There are things going on there that I don’t really need to be involved in nor want to be involved in. I try to help George with the competition stuff but George has made it very clear to me and to Dodge and to everybody else that he wants to win a championship. He’s got a good plan for growing this team. The man knows how to win championships if you look at the history with his hockey team. He’s going to do what it takes. I’ve heard a lot of those things just like everybody else but I don’t really have the answer for that.”
Moody: “You are still 20 percent owner of that team. Could something as important as a manufacturer change be done without your knowledge?”
Evernham: “No, it cannot be done without my knowledge. Any kind of business proposition, until it comes time to put something on paper, anybody can talk about anything. But certainly it could not be done without my knowledge.” SIRIUS Speedway PR
09/17/08 Dodge Motorsports officials say published reports that Gillett Evernham Motorsports could move to another manufacturer next season are "pure speculation."
Mike Delahanty, senior manager for Dodge Motorsports programs, joined a national NASCAR teleconference Tuesday to address the report that appeared on Fox Sports, saying that GEM could join ranks with Bill Davis Racing and switch to Toyota next season.
"I just want to respond to these recent reports regarding Gillett Evernham Motorsports, specifically regarding Bill Davis Racing and the speculation that GEM would leave Dodge," he said. "It's nothing but pure speculation. Dodge and Gillett Evernham have a long history that dates back to our return to Sprint Cup racing. Dodge and GEM have a long-term contract in place, and we plan to continue as partners in NASCAR.
"We're aware and have had discussions about GEM's interest in adding a fourth car, but there's been never any discussion about running anything other than anything but a Dodge. Anything beyond that, we classify as just pure speculation. We're pleased to see the turnabout in the competition side of GEM, and honestly we look forward to many more victory lane celebrations together."
As to the manufacturer's overall commitment to the sport in a year that saw no Dodge teams make it into the Chase For The Sprint Cup, Delahanty sounded resigned to the question when he addressed it.
"We are committed; we've got long-term contracts in place, not only with Gillett Evernham but with Penske Racing, with Petty and with Chip Ganassi Racing, so we're committed to the sport … and I don't know how many times we have to repeat it," he said. Scenedaily.com
[Editor's Note: If GEM wants to win championships they will buy Bill Davis Racing and switch to Toyotas. If they want to remain backmarkers, which all Dodge teams are (not a single Dodge driver made The Chase), they will stick with Dodge]
09/15/08 According to multiple sources, a deal is in the works for George Gillett, majority owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, to buy out Bill Davis' Sprint Cup operation — including the #22 team, the Toyota affiliation, Triad Racing Development and their engine shop. While Gillett could not be reached for confirmation, Gillett Evernham Motorsports Vice President and Managing Director of Competition Mark McArdle told FOXSports.com on Sunday that GEM was searching for a fourth car with a spot inside the top 35 in the owners standings. McArdle would not elaborate on which team or any possible terms, but Bill Davis has made it no secret in the garage that he is open to offers. "We're looking forward to having a fourth car next year to help us with our current business plans," said McArdle. "That's where we stand. To get a sponsor, they want to know that you're going to be there to race on Sunday." Although a deal has not yet been finalized, sources say Toyota has approved the plan. Davis will continue to field a Craftsman Truck Series team and add a Nationwide Series program to his High Point, N.C., operation. Davis, who was attending the debut NHRA event at zMax Dragway in Concord, N.C., could not be reached for comment. Sources in the garage said that Davis' current Cup driver, Dave Blaney, inquired last week about rides for next season. FoxSports
08/18/08 Bill Davis confirmed Sunday that he has had talks with several potential investors, including 1985 Indianapolis 500 champion Danny Sullivan. Davis has said throughout this year that he could sell Bill Davis Racing if he finds the right deal.
“[Sullivan] is one of several people that we’ve talked to in the last several months,” Davis said. “We’re still looking for the right situation that makes the most sense for Bill and Gail [Davis] and Bill Davis Racing. We’ve talked to some people that we have had a great interest in.
“I’m not going to put a time frame on it. We’re not going to rush into something that’s not right.”
08/17/08 Danny Sullivan, the "Spin and Win" driver who won the 1985 Indianapolis 500, has put an offer together to purchase the Bill Davis Racing operation in NASCAR. Sullivan, one of the most popular IndyCar drivers when he raced for team owners Roger Penske and Rick Galles, told SI.com on Friday that he has discussed a deal with Bill Davis. Davis confirmed those discussions to SI.com at Michigan International Speedway. "I've been pursuing it but haven't gotten a response from him (Bill Davis)," Sullivan told SI.com in a telephone interview. "He's still dreaming on the price. I have a partner who has lined up the money to do this and we've been kicking around on some stuff. He (Davis) is off on the numbers and had some bigger people chasing it. The last time I talked to him (Davis), I had the money but didn't get the documents that we requested." Davis confirmed the conversations with Sullivan but expressed some curiosity over some of Sullivan's statements. "We've had some conversations," Davis said. "I just heard some of those quotes and I was pretty amazed by them. We've continued to talk to Danny. We've talked to several people, yes. All we've ever talked about with anybody is the entire operation. Davis admitted the only reason he is open to selling his team is the skyrocketing costs involved to keep a competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup team on the track during the grueling season. Davis also has a highly-successful NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series operation. Sports Illustrated
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