Jeff Gordon's crew chief Steve Letarte has signed a new multi-year deal with Hendrick Motorsports, the leading NASCAR Sprint Cup organisation announced on Friday.
Following the renewal in April of deals for Chad Knaus and Alan Gustafson, who currently serve as crew chiefs for reigning champion Jimmie Johnson and veteran Mark Martin, Hendrick Motorsports has also extended Letarte's contract, nearly five years after he first served as the leader of the #24 team.
After Gordon missed the Chase in 2005, Letarte was named as his new crew chief, replacing the departing Robbie Loomis. Since their first full year together in 2006, the four-time champion and Letarte have always been part of the championship play-off, taking runner up spot to Johnson in 2007.
This year Gordon has yet to win a race, but he is safely inside the top 12 in the points, currently running second in the standings.
"I'm extremely excited," said Letarte about his contract extension. "Hendrick Motorsports is the only company I've ever received a pay cheque from. I've worked here since I was a teenager, and they've provided wonderful opportunities for me. I owe a lot to them. I'm really excited to be extended here so I can go a few more years."
Since joining Hendrick Motorsports in 1995, Letarte has worked his way up, starting as parts assistant while still attending school, then becoming a tyre specialist, a mechanic and later car chief for Gordon's car, being part of the championship winning team in 1997, 1998 and 2001.
Letarte has called the shots from the pits in 10 out of Gordon's 82 Cup wins.