With Mark Martin’s victory in Saturday night’s Subway Fresh Fit 500, and teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr’s subsequent dismal performance, the callings for Tony Eury Jr’s head are sure to get louder.
The calls have been prevalent all season, leading Hendrick Motorsports team owner Rick Hendrick, and then Jr himself, to defend his cousin and crew chief. The No. 88 team is struggling, and is often the worst of the Hendrick cars. The No. 88 team is the only Hendrick car without a victory this season, and the team is inconsistent at best.
While I believe Eury Jr is part of the problem, all of the blame, can’t go to him. Dale Jr. has had his share of pit road mistakes. He had two pit road errors at Daytona, he had one at Texas, and he had one on Saturday.
An ill-handling car is not helping matters. He crashed Saturday because of an ill-handling car, and he scraped the wall in Texas on older tires, ending his chance for a good finish.
Maybe next year we see Dale Jr and Alan Gustafon. No one knows that yet, but for now Jr and Hendrick are committed to Eury Jr. We’ll see how it all plays out, but at this point, if the driver and owner have confidence in him, that says a lot.
As the series heads to Talladega, a track where Jr had five wins in a row, maybe this is the week where the team turns a corner.