Crew chief Ryan Pemberton has left Dale Earnhardt Inc., and the team said Doug Richert will replace him beginning Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.
Pemberton, who was crew chief for the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet in 2007, was scheduled to lead the No. 8 Chevy that will be co-driven next season by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola in 2008.
“Ryan is immensely talented and has always been sought-after,” DEI general manager John Story said Tuesday. “He's now chosen to pursue some of those opportunities and we wish him nothing but the best.”
Pemberton, 38, spent eight seasons with MB2 Motorsports, which was bought by Bobby Ginn before last season. Ginn then sold the team to DEI, and Pemberton continued with the organization after the acquisition.
Richert, 47, became the youngest crew chief to win a Cup championship when he did so as a 20-year-old with the late Dale Earnhardt in 1980. He spent most of last season with Brian Vickers and the No. 83 Toyota Camry at startup Red Bull Racing, but was let go late in the year. Before joining the Red Bull team, Richert was crew chief for Greg Biffle at Roush Fenway Racing.