NASCAR Nuts and Bolts: Is Tony Eury Jr. Out at Hendrick Motorsports?

David YeazellSenior Analyst IMay 26, 2009

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 06:  Dale Earnhardt Jr. driver of the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet talks with crew chief Tony Eury Jr. during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 6, 2009 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Sports Illustrated is reporting that an inside source at Hendrick Motorsports has said Tony Eury Jr. will not be crew chief of the No. 88 Amp Energy car at Dover this week.

Earnhardt Jr's struggles this year have been well publicized week after week. His end of the line finish at the Coca-Cola 600 might have been the final straw.

Rick Hendrick has been very patient with the 88 team and their below average performance. Except for Jr., the rest of Hendrick's stable, including the teams at Stewart/Haas, have all shown championship caliber results this year.

In an earlier post, this reporter brought to light the heated discussion taking place in the garage between the two Jr's, that ended with Earnhardt Jr. grabbing race tires from the ground and stacking them at the rear of his car.   

A replacement for Eury Jr. has not been made public yet, but Alan Gustafson, crew chief for Mark Martin, is certainly the front runner.

Gustafson and Martin have made it clear they would not be happy with a change at this point, but Martin did say in an earlier interview he would honor what ever decision Rick Hendrick made.

Calls to Hendrick Motorsports have been directed to their public relations department, who at this time are not answering, or returning, phone calls. 

More on this developing story as information comes in.