JR Motorsports has replaced Tony Eury Jr. as the crew chief for the No. 7 car. Ryan Pemberton will be Danica Patrick's new crew chief and is expected to stay with JR in 2013. Although it was initially rumored that Pemberton was hired to be the new competition director, JR Motorsports (JRM) has found him a different role.
Tony Eury Jr. Leaves JR Motorsports
Tony Eury Jr. is a co-owner of JR Motorsports and Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s cousin. His father, Tony Eury Sr., was released from the team on Sept. 7 because JRM wanted new leadership for the next NASCAR season. Although there was speculation about Tony Eury Jr.'s future position with the team, the official announcement was only made on Sept. 17.
Tony Eury Jr. was made aware of the decision on Sept. 17 and stated, "They're trying to fix the competition of the cars. They thought they could do better without me there." It seems that there was a disagreement on the direction the team should take in 2013. Dale Earnhardt Jr. mentioned, "I had hoped he would be here for a long time, but as we've discussed the direction of JR Motorsports moving forward, it was clear our differences in ideas were too vast to overcome."
A New Crew Chief for JR Motorsports
Although Danica Patrick plans on moving to the Sprint Cup in 2013, she still has Nationwide races left this year. Ryan Pemberton's role in her next race was not mentioned in the press release from JR Motorsports, but he is included on NASCAR's official list for the Kentucky 300 as her crew chief. Pemberton is expected to stay with JR Motorsports next season.
The release of Tony Eury Jr. is part of the multiple changes as the team shifts its focus for 2013. It is rumored that Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is a co-owner, has become more involved in the daily operations of JRM because of the team's recent struggles. JR Motorsports has not been able to win a race for two years while sponsorships have been difficult to find. Tony Eury Jr. is still listed as a co-owner, but this may change in the future.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.
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