WHY IS BEING DALE EARNHARDT JR.’S CREW CHIEF SO DIFFICULT?

Steve Letarte became Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s third crew chief since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2008, which begs the question, "Why is it so difficult to be Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s crew chief?" Junior seems like an affable guy, he's backed by one of the strongest owners in NASCAR, he's got his own theme song and the team works side-by-side with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson. So why is there more turnover here than a McDonalds short order cook? Here are the top five challenges to ...

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NEW CREW CHIEF FOR EARNHARDT?

Look for a major shakeup soon on the No. 88 team. Dale Earnhardt Jr. endured another disappointing run at Michigan, and with the dust settled on the Kasey Kahne deal, Rick Hendrick can once again focus on righting the 88 team. One possible outcome: grab Kenny Francis and put him on the No. 5 car and slide Alan Gustafson over to the 88. This is much more probable than the other logical solution -- finding a new driver. Time for another shake-up to Earnhardt's team (SI.com)  ...

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LATE RACE PIT DECISIONS CAN BE AGONIZING

When caution flags wave late in an event, crucial decisions need to be made, and in a hurry.A flow chart runs through a crew chief’s mind to make a call that the team, fans and sponsors hope is correct. A lot of weight is put on one man’s shoulders very quickly and he needs to be choosing correctly. This is what he signed up for and why some make healthy paychecks. And why some can gain gray hair.A series of questions need to be answered fast. Where are we running? Late in the Su ...

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PATRICK TO DRIVE NO. 7 CAR FOR JR MOTORSPORTS IN NATIONWIDE SERIES

Danica Patrick is coming to NASCAR. On Tuesday Patrick said that she will race the No. 7 car for JR Motorsports part-time next season in the Nationwide Series. At a press conference that was streamed live to the Internet, Patrick made the announcement alongside JR Motorsports co-owner Kelley Earnhardt and Bob Parsons, CEO of GoDaddy.com, which will be her primary sponsor. Tony Eury Jr. will be Patrick's crew chief. And now we'll never have to write about Danica Patrick ever again. Other detai ...

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REPLACING CREW CHIEF DID NOT HELP JUNIOR

(Editor's note: This piece was somehow deleted in the last few days. Personally, I blame Gremlins. And Brian France. And the Car of Tomorrow. In any case, I am reposting it, along with your comments, which I copied from a cached version of the original article.)In early September I compared Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s first 12 races of the season with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. (pictured above) to his second 12 races of the season with replacement crew chief Lance McGrew. My conclusion: it was uncl ...

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