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Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Ryan Pemberton, who was to lead No. 8 team, leaves DEI; Richert stepping in

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Crew chief Ryan Pemberton has left Dale Earnhardt Inc., and the team said Doug Richert will replace him beginning Wednesday.

Pemberton was scheduled to lead the No. 8 Chevrolet that will be co-driven next season by Mark Martin and Aric Almirola.

"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 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 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 at startup Red Bull Racing, but was let go late in the year.