Crew-chief changes were announced by the JR Motorsports Nationwide Series team Thursday.
Bruce Cook, who had been overseeing the organization’s part-time third team, has been named crew chief for driver Cole Whitt and the No. 88 cars.
Tony Eury Sr., JR Motorsports’ competition director, will move into the crew-chief role with the No. 5 team, reuniting him with team co-owner and part-time driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Eury Sr. and Dale Jr. paired to win 15 Sprint Cup races between 2000 and 2004, in addition to two Nationwide Series championships, in 1998 and 1999.
Tony Eury Jr. will remain as crew chief for Danica Patrick and the team’s No. 7 cars.
“Our teams have a tremendous responsibility not only to perform at the standards we set for ourselves but reflect the commitment to excellence of our sponsors,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, the team’s co-owner and Dale Jr.'s sister. “Our on-track performance isn’t meeting those standards, and we felt a change was necessary.”
Whitt, a highly regarded 20-year-old from Alpine, Calif., is sixth in the Nationwide standings. He had a top finish of fourth at Daytona International Speedway in the season opener.
“Bruce’s demeanor is probably more suitable in the developmental process of young drivers, and Tony Sr. has the experience and familiarity with Dale Jr. that can help get our 5 car to victory lane,” Earnhardt Miller said.
Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for SPEED.com and has been covering motorsports for 30 years. He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.