The highly publicized split between Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his crew chief cousin Tony Eury Jr. has left many NASCAR fans with hard feelings. Some blame Tony Eury Jr. for Dale’s lack of success while others blame Dale Jr.’s driving for Tony Eury’s perceived failure. As in most cases, both groups are right and wrong. The blame game is pointless. The bottom line: it just didn’t work.
They certainly tried to make it work, but Rick Hendrick finally decided to pull the plug. I feel this move is for the best. While improvement was a possibility, the recent evidence pointed against it. Hendrick was not willing to sacrifice the entire season to see if the cousins could pull it together, rightfully, so. This is big time professional sport. Nobody is immune.
It’s easy to start feeling badly for the two cousins that were unable to win a championship together. That would have been a great story that we all would have loved to see, but it didn’t work out. If you think about it, though, they are still both in great shape. Now should be a time for positive thinking. Dale Jr. has an opportunity to start fresh. His new crew chief, Lance McGrew, seems to have a clear plan about what to do. Meanwhile, Tony Jr. has a solid job at Hendrick Motorsports. I can think of worse things. The family is still together, they just don’t work on the same car. On a personal level, Tony Eury now gets to help all the Hendrick teams win championships, including Dale Jr., and Dale Jr. can hopefully benefit from McGrew who is a Hendrick veteran.
The Earnhardt Nation should feel good about the future of the 88 team. When Dale Jr. moved to Hendrick he knew that Rick would do everything in his power to help him win a championship and that is exactly what he is doing.