Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick announced that Lance McGrew will remain crew chief with Dale Earnhardt Jr and the No. 88 team for the 2010 Sprint Cup season. McGrew was named interim crew chief earlier this season, replacing Tony Eury Jr.
Rick Hendrick said:
I have total faith in Lance and what he’s capable of accomplishing with Dale Jr. There was a lot of pressure with how he came into this deal, and the way he’s handled it has been extremely impressive. 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.
Dale Jr added:
Lance has been part of the solution, not the problem. He’s tough, which is what I need, and we’ve really clicked in a short period of time. 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.
Dale Jr and Eury Jr got off to a rocky start to the season — Dale Jr missed pit road during the Daytona 500, then helped trigger a multi-car accident that took out several contenders. Their struggles continued and the calls to replace Eury Jr got louder. At one point, both Dale Jr and Hendrick himself defended Eury Jr.
After the team continued to struggle, Hendrick determined that a change needed to be made. In May, Lance McGrew was named interim crew chief.
Since then, Dale Jr has two top 10s, and one top 5, with a best finish of 3rd. With Eury Jr this season, he had three top 10s, and one top 5, with a best finish of second. Granted, the two are still learning each other; but it’s safe to say there hasn’t been a huge improvement.
Still, McGrew is confident they can turn things around. He said:
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.