Daytona Beach, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Crew chief Steve Letarte will leave
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team at the conclusion of the
2014 Sprint Cup Series season and join NBC Sports for its coverage of NASCAR
NBC Sports Group made the official announcement of Letarte's addition to its
NASCAR broadcast team on Thursday afternoon after several media outlets
reported the story earlier in the day.
Starting in 2015, NBC Sports is televising the final 20 Sprint Cup races as
well as the last 19 Nationwide Series events of the season. Letarte will serve
as an analyst. In the broadcast booth, he will join Rick Allen, who is the
current announcer of FOX Sport 1's coverage of the Camping World Truck Series,
and Jeff Burton, who is driving a partial Sprint Cup schedule for Michael
Waltrip Racing this upcoming season.
"I've always been impressed with Steve Letarte's interviews and feel smarter
after hearing him break down the crucial elements of each race," NBC Sports
and NBCSN executive producer Sam Flood said in a statement. "It wasn't long
into our first meeting about this potential role on our broadcast team when I
realized that Steve is going to be 'Must See TV'."
Letarte has served as Earnhardt's crew chief since the start of the 2011
season. The pair have one win (June 2012 at Michigan) and have qualified for
the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship the past three years. Earnhardt
finished the 2013 season fifth in the point standings. Letarte was also a crew
chief for Jeff Gordon, guiding the four-time Cup champion to consecutive Chase
berths from 2006-10.
"As soon as I met with Sam Flood and his team at NBC Sports, it became obvious
to me how excited they are to be covering NASCAR in 2015 and beyond," Letarte
said. "Their excitement, along with my love for racing, solidified my decision
to move away from the pit box and into the broadcast booth. I want to thank
Rick Hendrick and everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for the opportunities they
have given me over the last 18 years, and I want to reaffirm my commitment to
Dale Jr. and the entire 88 team to go win races and challenge for the
championship in 2014."
Letarte has worked for Hendrick Motorsports since 1995 when he was 16 years
"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 Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "He has all the
tools to be a terrific broadcaster, and I know our fans will enjoy hearing his
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