NASCAR community mourns passing of Ryan Pemberton

Ryan Pemberton, who served as a crew chief in more than 600 Cup and Xfinity races and spent 10 years at JR Motorsports, died Sunday. He was 54.

Pemberton was a crew chief in 561 Cup races from 1997-2012. Among the drivers he worked with were Derrike Cope, Ernie Irvan, Dave Blaney, Joe Nemechek, Mark Martin, Brian Vickers and David Reutimann.

Pemberton won two Cup races, helping Nemechek win at Kansas in 2004 and Vickers win at Michigan in 2009.

Pemberton won three races as a crew chief in what is now the Xfinity Series. He won twice with Larry Pearson in 1995 and once with Regan Smith in 2014 at Daytona.

Pemberton joined JR Motorsports in 2012 before leaving in 2022. He was the director of competition. JRM won 58 Xfinity races and three titles during his time there.

"Ryan was instrumental to JR Motorsports’ success during the decade he spent with us," co-owner Kelley Earnhardt said in a statement. "He had such a passion for competition and, as a leader, knew how to motivate everyone he worked with.

"He will always be part of the JRM family. Our hearts go out to his wife Andrea and daughters Payton and Britton during this tremendously difficult time."

Pemberton was the brother of Randy, a former broadcaster who died in 2022, Robin, a former crew chief and NASCAR executive, and Roman, who also previously worked in the sport in various roles.

Those in the sport remembered Ryan Pemberton on Monday: