NASCAR

DEI's next generation; Vegas throws curve

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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

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Earnhardt's grandson

Intimidator II

Mark from Hays, Kan.: Jeff, With Dale Earnhardt Inc. hiring Kerry — said he might run a couple of races — and his son Jeffrey ˜ who they say drives like Dale Sr. — do you think Teresa staying out of the meetings about the hiring of Dale Jr. is a sign that he won't be at DEI next year? The money lost from sponsorship would be in the tens of millions. If so, this could be a year like 2005. Jeff Hammond: No, I don't think that's the case. DEI is keeping up with the Joneses. From Joe Gibbs Racing to Roush Fenway Racing to Richard Childress Racing, they're all signing young drivers. What's more appropriate than an Earnhardt carrying on the DEI tradition, whether it's Dale Jr., Kerry or his son Jeffrey? If the kid can drive, you want him in a race car, just like you want a Petty in a Petty Enterprises car. It means so much to our sport. I don't see it as anything more than just a good business move to tie up a talented driver.

Speed Mail Jeff Hammond

Up next for Cup

Matt from San Diego: Jeff, now that we have a week off and the teams head back home to prepare for Las Vegas, how are they preparing? What track is Las Vegas being most compared to now? Teams have had the tests so what are you hearing? Jeff Hammond: What I'm hearing is it's not like any other track where we race. The teams that ran well and gathered information are very confident that they've got a good handle on what it's going to take to be competitive. Another part of the equation is Goodyear changing up the left-side tire a little bit from what they tested. It may throw these guys a curve because they worked so diligently on all of the information gathered to fine-tune these cars. Having the week off will allow them to run simulations on their seven-post shaker rigs and try to get a better feel for what exactly it's going to take to make it work when they get to Las Vegas.


FOX race analyst Jeff Hammond led Darrell Waltrip to two of DW's three Winston Cup championships as his crew chief. They also teamed to win the 1989 Daytona 500.

For autographed copies of Jeff Hammond's book "Real Men Work in the Pits" plus magnets, hats and more, check out www.dwstore.com.

For photos and appearances, visit Jeff's web site www.jeffhammond.com.

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