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 next year, according to multiple reports.
SIRIUS-XM NASCAR Radio talk show host and Motor Racing Network announcer Dave Moody first reported the story on his blog, Godfather Motorsports.com, on Thursday.
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 would serve as an analyst. In the broadcast booth, he would 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.
Letarte told Moody, "I will be the crew chief for the No. 88 Chevrolet in 2014. That's all I know right now."
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.
Sprint Cup teams are testing at Daytona International Speedway this week, preparing for the Feb. 23 season-opening Daytona 500. Thursday's first day of testing has been delayed due to rain.