Kennon joins DEI as truck consultant
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Sept. 16, 1999)
Dale Earnhardt Inc. has hired Gere Kennon as a consultant for the No. 16 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet truck. Kennon will oversee daily operations and assist Steve Hmeil with "at-track" decisions. Hmeil will continue in his current role as "acting" crew chief with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and driver, Ron Hornaday.
Kennon last worked in NASCAR as crew chief of the No. 11 Ford, owned and driven by Brett Bodine, in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. In addition, he worked very closely with Hmeil at Roush Racing.
"Gere is a great addition to our family," said DEI team manager Ty Norris. "He brings a vast amount of knowledge to our NAPA team."
Kennon will maintain his consultant role when the team moves to the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division in 2000.
Kennon, who began his career in racing in 1977, enjoyed success in the NASCAR Busch Series with Sam Ard. The team claimed back-to-back championships in 1983 and '84. Since then, Kennon has worked with a number of top teams, including Roush Racing, Junior Johnson & Associates, Butch Mock Motorsports and MB2 Motorsports.
Kennon was the assistant crew chief for Mark Martin from 1992 to '93, before joining Johnson's team as crew chief for Bill Elliott. In 1995, he rejoined the Roush stable, working as assistant crew chief for Ted Musgrave.
In 1996, Kennon once again assumed crew chief duties -- with Mock and driver Morgan Shepherd. And after spending the second half of the 1997 season as a shop foreman for SB2 Motorsports, and driver Ernie Irvan, Kennon was hired by Bodine.
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