Friday, March 20, 2009

Dale Jr says: Leave Tony Jr alone.

Season isn’t even a month in and Dale Jr is already feeling the pressure. Today in the Media Center at Bristol Motor Speedway, Dale Jr told the fans to lay off his cousin. He has taken full blame for the way the 2009 season has started even though thousands of Dale Jr fans have been throwing Crew Chief, Tony Eury, Jr under the bus. Dale Jr comes into Bristol ranked 24th in the Sprint Cup standings and just one top 10 finish through the first four races. While addressing the media Dale Jr said;

“The guy that I feel bad for is Tony Jr. He gets criticized so badly. Everybody in this room, and some of you have criticized him, know how smart a guy he is and that he’s a good mechanic and a solid crew chief. He just wants to do this for a living, just like I do. I’ll take the fall. I’d rather be crucified than him. Every time I read in the paper that people are on his case I feel like I’m sending my brother to jail for a crime I committed.”

In a way he is right. Tony Jr had nothing to do with the two pit road mistakes and he wasn’t in the driver’s seat when Earnhardt’s car made contact with Brian Vickers during the Daytona 500. Plus the engine failure at California wasn’t his fault either. After the first two races, Dale Jr and the 88 were in 36th place and had fans screaming for Tony Eury Jr’s head. Even after finishing 10th at Vegas and 11th at Atlanta, it didn’t shut the critics up.

The two Junior’s have been together in some form since Dale Jr came into NASCAR in 1996. Their only time apart was when Teresa Earnhardt split them up during the 2005 season because of the bickering between Dale Jr and Tony Jr. The split was a disaster. Sure Eury was happy with Waltrip, but Earnhardt failed to earn a sport in the Chase for the championship. With 10 races to, Teresa moved Eury, Jr back to the 8 pit box. Still, the 8 car finished a career-worst 19th.

With the Jr’s back together, 2006 was another up and down season. Sure they won a race and made the Chase, but they failed to even contend for the title(finished 5th). 2007was filled with distractions for everyone associated with the #8 Budweiser Chevy. Dale Jr was announcing he was leaving DEI for HMS. Eury, Jr promised to stay with Dale Jr no matter what.

When asked about working with Dale Jr, Tony Eury, Jr said that he didn’t care what he did as long as he worked along side with his cousin. He just wanted to be a part of Dale Jr’s adventure at Hendrick Motorsports.

Everyone at HMS still believes that Tony Eury, Jr is the best man for the pit box. “It’s unanimous still to this day that Tony Eury Jr. is the guy for Junior and possibly the only guy for Junior,” teammate Jeff Gordon said. “Their relationship and how they communicate is second-to-none. We all know that it’s easy to get through the good days. On the tough days, although those guys scream and yell, at the end of the day they still smile and joke about it and seem to only get closer.”


Genna said...

Seriously peeps, listen to the boy and LAY OFF TJ, its not his fault! That's like blaming Alan for Mark's issues- DUMB!. *Rolls eyes*

Kristin said...

HAHA! Some of Dale Jr's fans are very "special". They worship the boy and swear they know what is best for him. It's sickening. They are Sunday afternoon Crew Chiefs who sit on their couches, and make the "right" calls for the car. They've never seen a race in person but they know better than Jr and Rick Hendrick. *rolls eyes*

Genna said...

For one thing, blaming Tony for Jr's problems is like blaming my mom for my car's problems just because she bought it. Its stupid.

For another thing- damn armchair crew chiefs are NOT racing experts! I mean I've driven a race car but that doesn't make me an expert! I doubt most of those guys out there would listen to what a fan has to say.

It just reminds me of that NEXTEL commercial. "I'm gunna need it again". Hello people! They are the drivers, we are the fans! Lets stick with our jobs and let them do theirs.