With rumours circulating about a merger between Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises, Roush Fenway driver Greg Biffle had a different take on reports that a deal between GEM and Petty might remove one of NASCAR Sprint Cup racing's iconic names from the ownership rolls.

Asked whether the absence of Petty Enterprises might seem strange in a sport where the organisation has played such a prominent role, Biffle disagreed.

"I say this with caution, but, no, I don't think it will be strange, because the Petty name is synonymous with our sport," he said.

"It's part of our sport, and it always will be. Just because there's not a car competing that is owned by that organisation, I don't think that will be odd, because we know that's the natural progression of our sport. We know that some of the other guys - the Allisons, Holman-Moody, Bud Moore - they're not here anymore, but they're still known and recognized every day.

"That's going to continue to happen, and that's a natural thing."

Richard Petty won seven Cup championships, a record he shares with Dale Earnhardt. Petty's father, Lee Petty, was a three-time champion.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News