Suspended crew chief Parrott released from Petty team

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Richard Petty Motorsports has confirmed today that Todd Parrott, crew chief for the No. 43 RPM Ford Fusion of driver Aric Almirola, has been let go after he was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR last week for violating the sport’s substance abuse policy.

Greg Ebert, car chief for the No. 43 team, will now serve as the team’s interim crew chief through the remainder of the 2013 Sprint Cup season. Ebert has been in his car chief role at RPM for the last two seasons.

“We are confident in Greg’s leadership abilities and we will give him the resources he needs to be successful,” RPM vice president of operations/competition Sammy Johns said in a statement. “He is very familiar with our race program and gives us a more seamless transition. More importantly, he gives Aric the best opportunity to finish the season strong.”

Johns took on crew chief duty for the No. 43 this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, where Almirola finished 22nd in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 after starting from the pole via posting the fastest speed in first practice (qualifying was rained out on Saturday).

As for Parrott and his future, FoxSports.com’s Lee Spencer is reporting via Twitter that NASCAR has confirmed that the championship-winning crew chief has been accepted in the sport’s Road to Recovery program.

Parrott won the 1999 Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) title with Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing, and has collected 31 Cup victories as a crew chief over his career.

Lewis Hamilton enjoys epic trip to NASA’s Johnson Space Center (VIDEO)

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Lewis Hamilton went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston earlier this week, a thrill for the driver of a land-speed rocket for Mercedes AMG Petronas to then see actual ones.

In today’s pre-race coverage for the United States Grand Prix, NBCSN takes you behind the scenes of the trip in Houston. You can see that video, above.