Eury Jr. Out As Earnhardt’s Crew Chief
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
The team of Junior and Junior – Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Eury Jr. – has been broken up at Hendrick Motorsports.
Beginning with this weekend’s Sprint Cup race at Dover, Earnhardt will have a new crew chief.
Earnhardt and Eury came over to Hendrick Motorsports from Dale Earnhardt Inc. together 48 races ago. In between, there has been just one point-paying victory.
This year, the team was in 19th place heading to Dover.
“It’s hard to put a finger on what the problem was,” team-owner Rick Hendrick said.
But what was not hard to put a finger on is, he said, is the fact that “a fresh start” was in need.
Earnhardt has been resistant to changing crew chiefs in the past, as Eury is his cousin.
But last week’s 40th-place finish at Lowe’s Motor Speedway may have been the final indignity.
“On Sunday, we were pitiful,” Hendrick said. “We were all embarrassed.”
“We were working out butts off behind the scenes but it wasn’t producing any fruit,” Hendrick said.
So, out of concern for fans and the team and sponsors, the move was made.
Hendrick pointed to pressure as being the reason the No. 88 Chevrolet has struggled the last season and a half.
“They are much better than they looked in Charlotte and Darlington,” Hendrick said of the two juniors. “The pressure finally got to everybody to where we had to call a time out.”
Team manager Brian Whitesell will take over as crew chief this weekend. Lance McGrew will take over the job on an interim basis.
Eury will moved to the team’s research and development operation, where he will switch jobs with McGrew.
The will primarily involved as serving as crew chief for Brad Keselowski in the R and D car.