hendrick breaks up the band

Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard/AMP Energy Chevrolet, started Monday's rescheduled 600-mile event at Lowe's Motor Speedway in 27th and finished 40th. (Courtesy Hendrick Motorsports)Tony Eury Jr. is out as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief. Is there anyone out there that didn’t see that coming?

Now, I know the thing to do right now is to speculate on something that is entirely impossible to speculate on. Will this help Dale or will it hurt him? All I know is that I don’t think it could get worse. He’s not in the top 12 in points, and he’s only won one race in the past hundred or something races.

All we can do is shut up and watch what happens. This does put the focus totally on Dale because if a year goes by and nothing’s changed then people are really going to think he’s not so talented. That’s not a fun thing to think about. I personally don’t think that’ll happen. I know Dale is a talented driver and I know that he has it in him to be right up there with his Hendrick Motorsports teammates.

I wish the No. 88 team all of the best, and I can’t say that any more emphatically. I want them to do their absolute best, just like I want everyone to do their best (even Kyle Busch *cringe*). That’s what competition is all about. Everybody should be bringin’ it every single week.

It saddens me that it wasn’t better with Tony and Dale. They’re cousins, they’re family, and they’re close. That’s a super tough situation, something I don’t think people can really understand unless they’re in that same scenario themselves. Breaking up with your cousin can’t be fun or easy. I think loyalty matters to Dale and this decision has to weigh heavy on his heart. If it was easy, I think he would have initiated it himself a long, long time ago.

Oh there I go, speculating again. :)

1 Comment

  1. May 29, 2009 at 7:33 AM ·

    Hi Valli — Someone’s head always has to roll in these situations, but everyone knows that winning drivers have winning teams and winning organizations. The 88 team may have been built wrong from the start after Dale Jr. made his move from DEI. Or they’re just ill-starred. Lady Luck trumps any garage, any engine, any pit crew. This is a team that has slipped further and further to the back of the pack — I think they just need to accept this season is screwed, try out all sorts of things and come out of the gate next year in leading fashion. Like Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman have managed to do this year.