The news that everyone knew was way past due came this week when Tony Eury Jr. was replaced as crew chief of the 88 team. If you've spent more than ten minutes watching Nascar, you know the history there. And if you didn't FOX and SPEED are sure to run at least thirty minutes of packages and vignettes over the Dover weekend events to dramatize them.
To say Junior is loyal to a fault to his family is a massive understatement. Eight times out ten that's a good quality to have, but like now when it interferes with your performance, well, sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself and your friends and family is find a soft landing spot for them, and that certainly happened with Eury Jr. as he is moving over to JR Motorsports full time now.
By the way when did Dale Junior become a Brazilian soccer star where he's just known by one name, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pele, Dida, etc., then again Brazil's affinity for nicknames might stem from the country's historically high illiteracy rate. As such, shortened spoken names are typically used more often than longer birth names, not that I'm drawing any correlation to the Nascar fan base, :rolleyes:
I don't think anyone who reads this, nor I who write it, can understand the level of pressure to perform and live up to the legend that was his father. For that alone it's understandable that Junior would place himself in a protective bubble surrounded by friends and family where he feels safe. There in may lie the problem. The Junior entourage, and no I don't know who's Turtle and Johnny Drama etc., enjoy the good life and may not want to upset that gravy train. The only person we know for sure that maybe giving Junior an unfiltered opinion is Rick Hendrick.
Hendrick has been more than patient with Junior, letting him pretty much have his way in how the team was set up, staffed and run. At the end of the day though Hendrick had to put his foot down and say enough. In a crappy economy he has sponsors who are paying him at 2005 levels and not even getting an acceptable return for that time frame, let alone 2009!
With someone new on top of the pit box and in his ear, Dale Junior will be forced to come out of his comfort zone, and that maybe just what he needs. Will it have the desired effect, no one knows for sure, but as the old saying goes, if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got."
The move to Hendrick was a "Fresh Start" and "Clean Break" from DEI and was suposed to kick off the era of Junior domination. We know how well that worked out. Lets see if this "Fresh Start" works out better.
Finally we want you to check out this interview with Junior from Thursday while he was in Detroit promoting the upcoming race at MIS. Out friend Larry Henry (twitter.com/DetroitVoice)condcucted most of the Q&A, it's pretty reveling about how hard this move hit him.