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

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

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

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.