Three weeks after saying they would race in the Daytona 500, Triad Racing Technologies owners Bill Held and Marty Gaunt now say they will not take part in the 2009 season-opener, unless a major sponsor can be found.
Instead, they told SceneDaily.com that they will focus on providing chassis and engines to other teams.
“We don’t need to be there," said Held of the team formerly known as Bill Davis Racing. "We need to have the best package on the race track, and that is the package of chassis and engines that can win races for our customers. You don’t want to get into a situation, especially in this economic climate, where you put yourself or your employees at risk; where you try to do something because your heart says so (when) the finances dictate otherwise.”
“We don’t have a sponsor for the Cup program, so it doesn’t look like we’re going to put a race car on the track for the Cup series.”
Gaunt, meanwhile, refused to totally rule-out a Daytona 500 effort, calling it “highly unlikely."
“At this time, we haven’t said…absolutely not,” Gaunt said. “We’re saying it’s highly unlikely that we’re going to make Daytona, or have a car participate in the series next year.”
If Triad’s #22 Toyota does not compete at Daytona, the door would be open for Scott Speed to take part in the 2009 Budweiser Shootout. Speed’s Red Bull Racing entry finished 35th in 2008 owner points, and would inherit the newly announced “wildcard” slot for Toyota.