“I remember Dale coming up to me and asking if I could make a driver out of Dale Jr.,” Eury Sr. said. “My remark to him was I don’t know why we can’t. Why would you want to spend money on someone else’s kid when you can spend money on your own kid?”
The partnership produced immediate results. With Eury Sr. as crew chief, Earnhardt Jr. collected 13 wins, 34 top-five finishes, and back-to-back NASCAR Busch Series championships in 1998 and 1999. The pair made the inevitable leap to the Nextel Cup Series, starting with a limited five-race schedule in 1999 and then the full slate in 2000. Eury Sr. remained Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief through 2004, winning 15 races, the Winston All-Star race, and the Daytona 500 before turning the reigns over to his son, Tony Eury Jr.
“Pops and I have a long history together, and I’m excited to see what he can bring to this company,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “We’ve worked really hard to build JR Motorsports to what it is today, but it’s time we take it to the next level. There is nobody that can motivate a group of people better than Pops. I think his leadership and knowledge of race cars will benefit all the teams and employees at JR Motorsports.”