|Letarte (R) will depart at season's end|
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will have a new crew chief in 2015.
GodfatherMotorsports.com has learned that crew chief Steve Letarte will relinquish his spot atop the No. 88 team’s pit box at season’s end to accept a new position as a television analyst with NBC and NBC Sports Network, beginning in 2015. Multiple sources say Letarte will join Rick Allen and driver Jeff Burton in the broadcast booth for the final 20 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, as well as the final 19 NASCAR Nationwide Series events. The network also holds rights to select NASCAR Regional Racing Series events, Mexico's NASCAR Toyota Series, the annual NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony and various post-season awards banquets.
Letarte has served as crew chief for NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver since 2011, with one win, 24 Top-5 and 54 Top-10 finishes in 106 starts. Earnhardt finished fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings last season, despite failing to win a race. He recorded Top-5 finishes in five of the final eight races and is expected to challenge for the 2014 title.
An official announcement of Letarte’s new position is expected this week in Daytona Beach, Fla., where NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams are scheduled to test tomorrow.
Reached for comment today, Letarte said, “I will be the crew chief for the No. 88 Chevrolet in in 2014. That’s all I know right now.”