Steve Hmiel named interim crew chief for Earnhardt

After just 11 races, Pete Rondeau has been dismissed as crew chief of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Racing. Rondeau will continue on as an employee of DEI but in a different capacity. "Pete is a valuable asset and...

After just 11 races, Pete Rondeau has been dismissed as crew chief of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet at Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Racing. Rondeau will continue on as an employee of DEI but in a different capacity.

"Pete is a valuable asset and has brought a number of innovations to our organization. He will continue to do that in a different capacity and we're happy that Pete is so strongly dedicated to Dale Earnhardt Incorporated and its success," said Richie Gilmore, Vice President of Motorsports at DEI.

"We have high expectations of how our teams are to perform and we will utilize every resource we have to win races. Our primary objective is to get the 8 and the 15 solidly into the Chase for the Championship and as a company, we're focusing everything we have at that goal."

Steve Hmiel, DEI's technical director, will serve as interim crew chief for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. starting this weekend at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Previously, Hmiel has served as crew chief for Richard Petty and Mark Martin. Since coming to DEI Hmiel has at times served as the interim crew chief for the No. 15 of Michael Waltrip and the for the No.1 when it was piloted by Steve Park.

He is the father of Busch series racer Shane Hmiel.

The No. 8 team of Earnhardt, Jr. has struggled since swapping crews and shops with the No. 15 of Waltrip at the end of the 2004 season. Earnhardt has only five top-10 finishes this year and sits 11th in championship points.

At his two of his best tracks, Earnhardt garnered a disappointing third in the season opening Daytona 500 and a 15th at Talladega Superspeedway.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Michael Waltrip , Shane Hmiel , Steve Park. , Mark Martin
Teams Dale Earnhardt Incorporated