Hmiel Joins Chip Ganassi Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced today Steve Hmiel, former director of technical operations at Dale Earnhardt, Inc., has accepted a new position with the organization to serve as manager of competition of its Concord racing operation.
”I have said many times in reference to drivers that when good ones become available you owe it to your organization to make a run at them, well the same is true for leaders,” said Team Owner, Chip Ganassi. “Steve became available and I got him. I couldn’t be happier. He brings over 30 years of hands-on NASCAR experience with him and a skill set that perfectly complements those of John Fernandez.”
Fernandez will continue to manage the long-term strategic direction of the CGRFS race operations while Steve will focus more on the competition management and preparation – including race engineering. Both Hmiel and Fernandez will report directly to Ganassi.
“I really couldn’t be happier about this move,” said Hmiel. “I knew that the next role that I would accept would have to be in the perfect situation and this one is. Chip and Felix have an organization that is on the verge of great things and I really look forward to helping take them to the next level.”
Hmiel’s move to CGRFS follows what was already a stellar career in NASCAR. He began working in NASCAR over 30 year ago with Petty Enterprises and promptly helped Richard Petty win Cup championships in 1975 and 1979 as car chief and the Daytona 500 in 1979 and 1981. He would then go on to win another championship in 1984 as the crew Chief for Terry Labonte and Bill Hagan Racing.
In 1987, he along with NASCAR executive Robin Pemberton, helped Jack Roush and Ford step up from Trans-Am racing to NASCAR to form the foundation of Roush Racing as their first general manager. From 1989-96 he helped to create a racing dynasty, as Roush never finished out of the top-six in points during that span. In 1998 he left Roush for Dale Earnhardt Inc. and that same year brought home both their first Craftsman Truck and Busch titles. He would go on to work closely with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. while helping him win 17 Cup races including the 2004 Daytona 500.
Hmiel and his wife Lisa reside in Pleasant Garden, NC and have two sons, Shane and Tyler. He is originally from Syracuse, NY.
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