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DEI engine chief Gilmore recovering from brain aneurysm

CONCORD, N.C. -- Richie Gilmore, who heads the engine program for Dale Earnhardt Inc., is expected to be out at least a month after suffering a brain aneurysm last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

"This is something that could take some time," said Steve Hmiel, DEI's technical director. "He actually was lucky because about [one-third] of the people that have an aneurysm don't make it.

"He's going to get better. He just needs a lot of rest."

Gilmore was released from a Birmingham, Ala., hospital on Saturday and returned to Charlotte by plane. He was hospitalized again on Monday for tests, but his blood was too thick to do a proper dye test.

He underwent the dye test on Wednesday and was scheduled for two MRI's on Thursday.

Hmiel said Robbie Benson has taken over Gilmore's duties heading up DEI's side of the engine program with Richard Childress Racing.

Hmiel said the problem in the new R07 engines that led to blown engines in four of the seven entered at Talladega shouldn't be a problem this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"The plate engines are a completely different thing," he said. "Whatever happened last week won't affect this week. Richard has run his R07 since Atlanta in the spring and we have run ours since June. Our R07s are OK."

Hmiel said all four engines had a hole in the oil pan that appeared to come from a blown piston.

"They still weren't saying we know what it is, that'll never happen again," he added. "They're making steps to fix it, but I'm not sure they know how just yet."

David Newton covers auto racing for ESPN.com.