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Letarte to go from crew chief to commentator in 2015

Steve Latarte (right) with Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning the 2012 Quicken Loans 400
Steve Latarte (right) with Dale Earnhardt Jr. after winning the 2012 Quicken Loans 400
National Guard via Wikicommons

Steve Letarte will be leaving his post as crew chief of Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 Chevrolet SS Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. after this season to become a sports analyst for NBC and NBCSN next year providing exclusive coverage of Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series alongside Jeff Burton and race announcer Rick Allen.

“You never want to see a talented and all-around quality person like Steve move on, but we understand this is an exciting opportunity for him and his family,” said team owner Rick Hendrick. “He and Dale (Earnhadt Jr) have some of the best chemistry in the garage, and we know they’ll build on last season and continue to be a championship-contending team. At the same time Steve has all the tools to be a terrific broadcaster, and I know our fans will enjoy hearing his perspective.”

Born May 14, 1979, Letarte began his career with Hendrick Motorsports at the age of 15, joining the group full-time in 1996, and becoming a tire specialist for Jeff Gordon’s #24 team from 1997-1999. He then became a mechanic before taking over as Gordon’s crew chief from Robbie Loomis in September 2005.