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Blk3GM's Winston Cup News

Steve Hmiel to serve as Crew Chief for Steve Park
(May 11,1999) Press Release
Dale Earnhardt Inc. announced today that Steve Hmiel will serve as interim crew chief on Steve Park’s Pennzoil Monte Carlo for the remainder of 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Hmiel replaces Philippe Lopez who resigned Monday.

"Steve Hmiel is very valuable to our organization overseeing the technical direction for all of DEI’s teams," said Ty Norris, director of motorsports at DEI. "But, we need Steve to put his concentrated effort on the Pennzoil team with Steve Park until we fill the crew chief position, and I don’t expect us to fill that position for a few months."

Since October, Hmiel’s duties as technical director at DEI included car preparation at the team’s race shop in Mooresville, N.C. as well as assisting in pit strategy and car setups at the track. He is also DEI’s liaison to RAD - the three team aerodynamic alliance with the Childress and Petree organizations.

Hmiel, 44, a Syracuse, N.Y. native, worked at Roush Racing from its formation in 1987 until October helping Mark Martin’s team to eight consecutive finishes in the top six in the standings between 1989 and 1996. Hmiel and Martin combined for 18 victories, 30 pole positions, 111 top-five finishes and 160 top 10 performances in 228 starts. Hmiel also served as general manager of Roush Racing’s Liberty, N.C. - based operation as well as crew chief for Johnny Benson’s car.

"I can’t promise anything except that we are going to work as hard as possible to get Steve Park and the Pennzoil car to run as fast as they can each race," Hmiel said. "I think Steve Park has a world of talent and you will start to see more and more of that talent come through as he gets experience. This weekend is only this kid’s 33rd Winston Cup race. As his experience grows so will the results."

Lopez served as crew chief since the team’s inception in 1997.

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