By Jade Gurss, fingerprint inc., Anheuser-Busch / Dale Earnhardt Jr. Publicity
Dale Earnhardt Incorporated announced today that Tony Eury Jr., will take over as crew chief for the No. 8 Budweiser team, effectively immediately.
Eury Jr. had been crew chief for DEI’s No. 15 NAPA team for the first 26 races of the season, and will be reunited with driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. The two Juniors are cousins, and previously worked together from 1998 through the end of 2004, amassing two Busch Series championships and 15 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victories together, including the 2004 Daytona 500.
”This is the best plan for us as a company,” Eury Jr. said. “(Dale Jr. and I) haven’t been in the same pit box this year, but we’ve been working closely as a team. Looking at where we want to be for 2006, it made sense to switch now and get that much further ahead.”
”By putting Tony Jr. back with Dale Jr. now, it enables us to start working towards our goals for next season," said Richie Gilmore, Vice-President of Motorsports at DEI. "Those two can start finding their rhythm, and (interim No. 8 team crew chief) Steve Hmiel can return his full focus on the technical aspect of our programs.”
Hmiel, who has been the interim crew chief for the No. 8 team since May, will return to his position as Technical Director for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Tony Gibson, car chief for the No. 15 team, will serve as the NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet crew chief for the remainder of this season.