Davis says report of team sale untrue, but won't rule out that possibility

Updated: October 20, 2007, 11:43 AM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Team owner Bill Davis insisted on Saturday that he has not sold his organization as published reports indicated.

That doesn't mean he won't.

The owner of Bill Davis Racing said several parties have expressed an interest in purchasing his company that includes two Nextel Cup cars driven by Dave Blaney and Jeremy Mayfield, who will be replaced by Formula One star Jacques Villeneuve next season.

"Like any team our size, we have to be realistic and look at all of our options with what's going on in the sport right now," he said before practice at Martinsville Speedway.

"We've had a lot of interest, a lot of very interested people, and a lot of things that are for real. We just have to do our due diligence and make a smart, logical choice."

Davis denied a published report that Villeneuve and his business manager, Craig Pollock, already have purchased his organization.

"Bill Davis Racing is still 100 percent owned by Bill and Gail Davis," Davis said. "I don't think Jacques has an interest in owning a race team. But we're not going to talk about specific individuals."

Villaneuve, who drives in the Craftsman Truck Series for BDR, said the report was a surprise to him.

"It's fun to learn stuff through the media," he said. "I'm not 100 percent sure what Craig is doing, but what matters to me is I am driving."

Davis said he has no timetable for selling, and was adamant that he wanted to maintain some ownership.

"That's what I would be the most interested in," he said.

But Davis said for a small team such as his to survive against the mega teams like Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing, a partner is needed.

"I don't know that they have to, but the handwriting is on the wall," he said. "We're going to super teams, big teams, whatever the word is. I don't know that the little guys are going to be able to survive.

"That's the wave. That's where the sport is headed right now. I don't think a team owner needs to be hard-headed. He needs to look at it and make the best decision for his employees and his sponsors."

Davis added that this is not just about money.

"It has to be something that makes sense, that adds strength to our team, that makes us better," he said. "Not just go out and raise some money. Gail [his wife] and I can raise some money. That's not an issue. It's what adds strength, what makes us better as a race team."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter