Steve Letarte of Cornish, ME relishes his role as a NASCAR analyst for NBC Sports but he has also found a way to remain “relevant” on the competition side.
Letarte, a former crew chief for Cup Series stars Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr., is now serving as a consultant for Spire Motorsports, an up-and-coming Cup Series organization that will field at least two fulltime rides in the 2021 season.
Letarte has served as a consultant on some projects for the group in the past but has taken on a more formal role with the organization in recent weeks. He will remain a member of the NASCAR on NBC broadcast team next season as well.
“As part of my consultant role, I’m trying to help them try to build a race team. I’m giving them my advice on what I think the important pieces would be to build a competitive race team.”
Years ago Steve Letarte’s father, Don, had gotten a job as a chassis builder at Hendrick. Don also built cars in Maine, and he and Steve were pit-road regulars at Busch North Series tracks all over the northeast. But Steve, around racing since he could walk, dreamed of tinkering with cars, not driving them. “I knew right away that I wasn’t gonna be a driver,” he said.
Don owned a shop in Cornish, and Steve helped there. When the Letartes moved to Harrisburg, NC they were neighbors with Ray Evernham, Gordon’s crew chief. Evernham told Don he wanted a kid to wash cars and clean up the shop. “Give Steve a job,” Don told him. “He’ll work like a sonuvagun.”
The Letarte race cars were very much respected by the teams that raced in the NASCAR Busch North Series especially Joey Kourafas of Randolph, MA who had nothing but good to say about the Letartes. Kourafas was a winner of the first Oxford 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway in western ME.in the mid- 70’s among 71 other victories up and down the East Coast.