One week after Tony Eury Sr. was released from JR Motorsports, his son followed him out the door on Monday.
Tony Eury Jr., who was a co-owner of the team as well as Danica Patrick's crew chief, parted ways with JRM in a move that was surprising even though his father had already left.
Eury Jr. is a cousin of co-owners Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller and was crew chief for Earnhardt Jr. at both Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Hendrick Motorsports. But as with the departure of Eury Sr., the Earnhardts are showing there's an emphasis on the "business" in "family business."
"Unfortunately, Tony Jr. is no longer with the company," Earnhardt Jr. said in a statement on Monday afternoon. "I had hoped he would be here for a long time, but as we've discussed the direction of JR Motorsports moving forward, it was clear our differences in ideas were too vast to overcome.
"I love him like a brother, and you'll never hear me say a bad thing about him. I know he'll have much success in anything he does going forward."
Eury Jr. had been surprised at his father's dismissal from the team and was clearly unhappy about it at Richmond when the news broke. When asked how he'd get the team back in the right direction, Eury Jr. said JRM needed to hire a Sprint Cup Series driver.
"That's about the bottom line," he said. "If you're going to run in the top 10 in this series over here, then you go get a Cup driver to come over here and you'll run top five all day.
"It's very seldom you'll find a Ricky Stenhouse or a Brad Keselowski. I think our company is built off the rookies and trying to do the best we can with them, but the way the economy in this sport has gone, if you're going to win races, you've got to step up to the plate and go get a Cup guy and spend the money."
Apparently, his philosophy differed from Earnhardt Jr. and Miller, who may have felt the team was not taking advantage of its technical relationship with Hendrick Motorsports. FoxSports.com reported Ryan Pemberton would take over as Patrick's crew chief, though the team did not mention it in a press release.
"They’re trying to fix the competition of the cars," Eury Jr. told FoxSports.com. "They thought they could do better without me there. They hired Ryan and Ryan’s their guy."
Earnhardt Jr. said "no decision has been made on who will crew chief that team this weekend at Kentucky Speedway."
"We will discuss our options and make a decision very soon," he said.
JR Motorsports hasn't won a race in two years and hasn't shown much this year with Patrick and rookie Cole Whitt. Of course, an argument could be made that the team's inexperienced drivers – not the cars – are a major factor in the lack of victories.