PPI Motorsports and driver Ricky Craven have confirmed that they will split at the end of the current season, but denied speculation that the parting of the ways may come before this weekend's New Hampshire Cup round.

A joint statement issued by Craven and PPI team owner Cal Wells revealed that a lack of results had led to the decision for each party to go their separate way.

"PPI Motorsports and Ricky Craven remain committed to each other and to getting the #32 team into the top 25 in points this season," the statement said, "Together, PPI Motorsports and Craven have evaluated the team's performance-related challenges and agree that it is in their mutual best interest to part at the end of 2004 and explore opportunities for 2005 and beyond.

"Both Cal and Ricky want to see the best for each other and remain focused on the second half of this season."

The statement followed a week of speculation that Craven may not appear at Loudon this weekend, having apparently been fired from his ride in the #32 Tide Chevrolet. Craven himself denied the stories, initially pointing to the fact that his current deal extends into 2006, and will now appear in the car for the remainder of the year.

The NASCAR rumour mill is tipping Busch Series star Bobby Hamilton to fill the void next season.