Found September 07, 2012 on
Tony Eury Sr. has stepped down from his role as competition director at JR Motorsports.
The former crew chief, affectionately known as "Pops," led drivers to a combined 55 NASCAR wins between the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series during the past 28 years. Eury joined JRM in 2007 and was named competition director of JR Motorsports five seasons ago. Since then, the company has collected nine wins, most recently with Jamie McMurray two years ago.
"The conversation Tony Sr. and I had was one of the most difficult I've ever been a part of," Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports, said in a release. "I believe Tony Sr.'s passion for the sport is exceeded only by his yearning to excel in it, and that itself became the issue that both he and I struggled with. At JR Motorsports, we do this to win races and compete for championships, and lately we have not met that standard. Being the competitor that Tony Sr. is, I know that bothers him more than anyone."
Eury Sr. was replaced by crew chief Bruce Cook on the No. 88 Chevrolet with driver Cole Whitt in April. Whitt is seventh in the points standings. Eury has since worked with the No. 5 team piloted by co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ron Fellows.
"I want what's best for Dale Jr., Kelley, (co-owner) Tony (Eury) Jr., and all those employees. I really do," Eury Sr. said. "We accomplished a lot in a short time, and nobody is prouder of that than I am. I'm not sure what's next for me, and I'm not sure I'm in a hurry to find out."
Prior to his service at JRM, Eury was one of the founding members at Dale Earnhardt Inc. In his 21 seasons at DEI, Eury won two Nationwide Series titles with his nephew Dale Jr. in 1998 and 1999. Eury Sr. was the second employee hired by Dale Earnhardt Sr. at the company.
"I can't think of anyone who has impacted my career and development as a driver more than Tony Sr.," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I know my dad ultimately put me in the Nationwide Series car back in the '90s, but Tony Sr. was the one who convinced him to do it. He was with me through two Nationwide Series championships and five full seasons as a Cup driver. We won a lot of races together, and as much as he impacted my career as a race car driver, he means more to me on a personal level. He's done a lot for this organization, and I thank him for it."
While Eury was expected to retire at year's end, his inability to embrace new technology coming from Hendrick Motorsports might have hastened his departure.
Sources tell FOXSports.com that a successor will be named next week. One name mentioned is that of Larry Carter, a former veteran crew chief who has hired by Hendrick Motorsports in January to work on special projects.
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Tony Eury Sr. is no longer the competition director at the NASCAR Nationwide team of JR Motorsports. Eury Sr. has had a long relationship with the Earnhardt family and had been the competition director for the past 5 years. As of today the two sides have decided to part ways effective immediately.
Eury is a winner of 55 NASCAR races in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series...
JR Motorsports and competition director Tony Eury Sr. have parted ways, effective immediately.
Eury Sr. is team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s uncle. General manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller says the conversation she had with Eury Sr. was one of the most difficult of her life, but that a change had to be made because JR Motorsports is not meeting its expectations.
JR Motorsports and its competition director of five years, Tony Eury Sr., announced today the decision to amicably part ways, effective today. Eury is a winner of 55 NASCAR races in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series as a crew chief. He has 28 years in the NASCAR industry, the last five of which were served as competition director and crew chief for JR Motorsports. The...
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