After Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Dover, an emotional Tony Eury Sr talked about the toll the pressure of trying to function as Dale Earnhardt Jr's crew chief had taken on his 36-year old son, Tony Eury Jr.
“I don't know what's going to happen,” said Eury Sr, who was the winning crew chief with driver Brad Keselowski on Saturday, “He's beat down pretty bad right now.”
After Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday that Eury Jr, Earnhardt's cousin, would be replaced by interim crew chief Lance McGrew, Eury Sr advised his son, who was offered a research-and-development position at Hendrick, to weigh his options.
“My advice was to get a breath of air, stay there, but build yourself back up because he's worn out,” said Eury Sr, who was crew chief for 15 of Earnhardt's 18 victories, “The media has worn him out, everybody's worn him out. He's beat himself to death.
“You know, he stood up there for a while, took it pretty good. I thought he was doing good — he was taking it for a long time — but then it started getting to him. And when it started getting to him, it really went bad then. It was getting to Dale Jr.
“I love both of them like a son. I've got two sons there - Tony and Dale Jr. I'm kind of in the middle of it. Honestly, I told them both they'd be better off apart. Family is hard to work with in this business. It's a cut-throat business. If you don't perform, you're gone and the crew chief is always the first one gone.”
by Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service