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NASCAR WCUP: Philippe Lopez To Miss Talladega Race

23 April 1999

Steve Hmiel To Serve As Steve Park's Crew Chief This Weekend

Dale Earnhardt Inc announced Thursday that #1 Pennzoil Monte Carlo crew chief Philippe Lopez will miss this weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup race in Talladega while he travels to France due to an illness in the family.

Steve Hmiel, DEI's Technical Director, will serve as the interim crew chief for driver Steve Park until Lopez's return next week when the team races at California Speedway.

Since joining DEI last Fall, Hmiel's duties as technical director include car preparation for the Pennzoil car, Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Busch car as well as Ron Hornaday's truck. Hmiel has been travelling with the Pennzoil team assisting Lopez in pit strategy and car setups.

Hmiel, 44, a Syracuse, N.Y. native, worked at Roush racing since its formation in 1987 helping Mark Martin's team to eight consecutive finishes in the top six in the standings between 1989 and 1996. Hmiel and Martin combined for 18 victories, 30 pole positions, 111 top-five finishes and 160 top-10 performances in 228 starts.

From 1997 until September, Hmiel served as general manager of Roush Racing's Liberty, N.C. - based operation as well as crew chief for Johnny Benson's car.

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