Here are Earnhardt's comments on the situation:
"It's a tough deal to go through. Steve has really put the team in a difficult situation because we all enjoy working with him so much. It has been rewarding for me personally to work with him and something you'd love to continue to do but he has an opportunity - he's a family man - and he has the opportunity to be with his family more with this position he's been offered at NBC. So, I am happy for him as a person and as a friend to have that opportunity and something that he's excited about and something he wants to try to go do. I've been able to be in the discussion with him about this for several months so it's something I've been able to wrap my brain around. I know a lot of people out there are finding out about this today and it's a bit of a shock.
"I look at it as an opportunity to work with Steve for another season. I enjoy doing that, so I look at it as an opportunity to work with him one more year before he goes off and does his deal. I feel really, really confident the team can run well all season and he's going to stay dedicated. He's that kind of a guy. He's a professional and we're going to have an opportunity to continue to try to improve on what we've been doing. We'll cross the bridge on who's the next crew chief when we need to. We haven't even had those discussions yet."