Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Break-Up heard around NASCAR Nation

One of my favorite things about the sport of NASCAR is the capability of listening in on your favorite drivers race chatter. At any given time you will be entertained by the pure emotion of both the driver and his crew chief. It can be anything from comedy to anger & frustration. It has been no hidden secret of emotional battle between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his crew chief (and first cousin), Tony Eury Jr. Recently, Dale cusses Tony out almost every single race.

So it didn't come as a surprise when Hendrick Motorsports announced that Lance McGrew will be taking over as Dale Earnhardt Jr's crew chief as of June 7th at Pocono. Team Manager, Brian Whitesell will interim the position at this weekends race in Dover.
Tony Eury Jr. will move from the crew chief position into a key role with Hendrick Motorsports' research and development group.

"Our performance hasn't been where it should be," said Rick Hendrick. "It's impossible to pin that on any one factor, but a change is the right decision at this point. We have a plan in place, and we're going to move forward with it."

The performance of the 88 team has been: one victory, one pole position, 19 top-10 finishes and 11 top-fives within 48 races.

So you may find yourself asking, Who is Lance McGrew? As a Crew Chief, Lance won the 2003 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with Brian Vickers. He has also earned victories in all three of NASCAR's major touring series: Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck. He won races with drivers Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, Ricky Hendrick, Kyle Busch, Mark Martin and Tony Stewart.

I wonder if Dale Earnhardt Jr. will threaten to hit Lance McGrew with a hammer?


Anonymous said...

"Dale cusses Tony out in every single race."

Let's call that what it is, a LIE. If you want to express a generalized opinion, that's fine, but don't lie in print and try to persuade Jr fans who listen to his in-car radio and hear every word he says that a lie is the truth.

Ally said...

Welp... Here we go! Its the big Junior debate...Look, ask anyone I know, I LOVE Dale JR. I mean love love, all of the fashionistas do! But the truth is, he is NOT doing well this year. It stinks...and RHM is not helping him or living up to their "promises" of making him a champion contender. Even Mark Martin is doing better then him, and Mark is like 89 years old. "back in my day we used to race cars uphill both ways in the snow!" You know your grandparents gave you that schpeel..sans the car racing of course.

Donna said...

Dale Jr is my favorite driver and I agree that a change needed to be made! For whatever reason, Dale Jr and Tony Jr were just not making in happen anymore. I'm glad they made the change now when at least there is still some time to salvage the season.

Steve said...

It does not matter who is on top of the box for jr. the guy just cannot drive this new car and does'nt know how to relay the information correctly to his crew chief! Junior is an average driver, driving the red headed step child car at Hendricks.

MïK said...

Ya left out the words, "sometimes on the radio" in saying that the JRs cuss each other. Calm down, Dude! Saying your Anonymous is a lie, too, Mr. Kettle.

@Steve- Another error, watch the team dYnamics change abruptly when Lance McGrew gets on the box. He's the one who decked his jackman for bein' mouthy in an ARCA race. Jr AIN'T gonna dis him. Whether he can prod Jr into drivin' remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

Week Two with Jr.'s new crew and things still look bad. Maybe its not the pit boss.

SOmeday the most popular racer in NASCAR is going to have to account for the gap betgween populairy and performance.

It's obviously not the equipment.