Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated Racing announced today that Tony Eury, Jr. would rejoin the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet team effective immediately. Eury, Jr. worked with Earnhardt from 1998 through the end of 2004 before being swapped out to the No. 15...
Dale Earnhardt, Incorporated Racing announced today that Tony Eury, Jr. would rejoin the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet team effective immediately. Eury, Jr. worked with Earnhardt from 1998 through the end of 2004 before being swapped out to the No. 15 team of Michael Waltrip at the end of last season.
Clearly, the combination did not work. Earnhardt has only one win this season and missed the 'Chase for the championship' field.
"After evaluating our programs for next season, we went back and looked at all the resources at our disposal," said Richie Gilmore, DEI's Vice President of Motor Sports. "By putting Tony Jr. back with Dale Jr. now, it enables us to start working towards our goals for next season. Those two can start finding their rhythm for next year, while Steve Hmiel (No. 8's interim crew chief) can return his full focus on the technical aspect of our programs."
Michael Waltrip announced earlier this year that he would not be returning to the No. 15 Chevy next season. He also failed to make the 'Chase' cut- off.
"This is the best plan for us as a company," Eury Jr. said. "We 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."
After a miserable season, Earnhardt had hinted the last several weeks that a change back was imminent, "If me and Tony Jr. are going to work together next year, that'd be a good idea to begin work this season on that relationship. With the few races left, use it to work on team chemistry. It'd be good to get on track with Tony if that's what we're going to do next year."
DEI plans on running two Cup entries in 2006, the Bud Chevy of Earnhardt in addition to the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops ride of Martin Truex, Jr. - who will go Cup racing full-time next season. Waltrip is said to be going to the No. 23 Dodge at Bill Davis Racing with sponsor Napa Auto Parts.
Tony Gibson, the current No. 15 car chief, will serve as crew chief for the rest of the season.