While future NASCAR on NBC analyst Steve Letarte believes that there’s a lot of learning ahead for Greg Ives – the man that will replace him as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season – he also thinks that his familiarity with Hendrick Motorsports will enable him to help the 88 camp.
“He’s been raised here. He knows Chad [Knaus] as much as anyone, he knows [Rick Hendrick], he knows Dale. He will get the most out of that race team because he understands our company,” Letarte said of Ives in the second part of his “exit interview” on Hendrick’s YouTube channel.
“The vast size of our company would swallow anyone from the outside – they would spend a year trying to figure out what the guy in the cubicle three buildings over does. And Greg knows. He’ll be able to get the most out of that guy, and that will translate to speed on the 88.”
Letarte also stressed that Ives needs to further his own relationships with all of the above – and to be himself.
“I read this on Twitter – people want Greg to be me. If he is me, then he has failed,” he said. “Greg needs to be Greg, and however Greg wants to do it, that’s fine. I’ve worked with some of the best. I worked with Ray Evernham. [But] I’m not Ray, I’m not Robbie [Loomis], I’m not Brian Whitesell, I’m not Chad Knaus.
“I do it my own way. I learned from all of those guys. But I applied what I learned from them to my own ability, and I would expect Greg to do the same thing.”
For more of Part 2, check out the clip above.