Lance McGrew Is Named Full-Time Crew Chief For Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Sal Sigala Jr.Senior Analyst IOctober 30, 2009

LOUDON, NH - SEPTEMBER 20:  Dale Earnhardt Jr. (R) and crew chief Lance McGrew (L) stand beside the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, 2009 in Loudon, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jason Smith/Getty Images

There were rumors running around the Hendrick Motorsports camp earlier in the season, that either Tony Eury Jr or Alan Gustafson could possibly take over the role of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s crew chief position after the season ended.

When Lance McGrew was brought in to replace Tony Eury Jr. on May 28 of this year, it was only on an interim basis, and the job was still up in the air with Mr. Hendrick not saying a word as to who would be on top of Earnhardt’s box next season.

It was announced by Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, that Lance McGrew will stay on board as the full-time crew chief of the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolets driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

"I have total faith in Lance and what he's capable of accomplishing with Dale Jr.," Hendrick said. "There was a lot of pressure with how he came into this deal, and the way he's handled it has been extremely impressive,” added Hendrick.

“Lance is confident in himself and in his decisions, and all the outside distractions aren't going to faze him. He's a strong-willed guy who will keep his eye on the ball and not settle."

Earnhardt, also mentioned at Auto Club Speedway, that the No.88 AMP Energy/National Guard race car will also undergo a complete face-lift with all new paint schemes for the 2010 season.

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Earnhardt who  is riding out his worst nightmare since coming into the series 10 years ago, is very confident that with these changes will put him back in victory lane.

"Lance has been part of the solution, not the problem," said Earnhardt, an 18-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series.

"He's tough, which is what I need, and we've really clicked in a short period of time.”

Earnhardt also added that, “The communication has gotten better every practice and every race, and I know that's going to keep improving. Having this decision behind us is really important, and now we can focus on the future instead of the past."

McGrew who earned the 2003 Nationwide Series championship with driver Brian Vickers and has posted victories in all three of NASCAR's national touring series. In addition to Vickers, he has won races with drivers Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Ricky Hendrick, Mark Martin and Tony Stewart.

"The communication between Dale Jr. and I continues to improve every single week. Both of us are 110-percent committed to the success of this team, and we're going to do everything necessary to get the job done for Hendrick Motorsports, our sponsors and Dale's fans."