JR Motorsports did not have much to celebrate after Friday night’s action from Richmond’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250. The race was only hours away when news broke that Tony Eury Sr. had been relieved of his duties at JR Motorsports.
Tony Sr. has been a key piece to the inception of JR Motorsports that goes further back than 2008 when JR Motorsports merged with Hendrick Motorsports Nationwide team after Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s decision to leave his fathers company, D.E.I. (Dale Earnhardt Inc.), after the 2007 season.
Motivation from within the company had to of been lost as both teams struggled all night long. Cole Whitt was able to turn his night around eventually finishing 14th in his #88 Hellmann’s Cheverolet.
After the race, Whitt gave his team a lot of credit by saying, “It really took a team effort to get through everything tonight. For us to have an opportunity for a top 10, says a lot about this team’s never-give-up attitude. The car was really tight around the quarter mark and Bruce called for some big changes that helped us out. Each stop we got a little better, and a little better. But the brake issues made it difficult, too. We got into some three-wide racing there toward the end. The 31 car was really aggressive and moved me a little bit. We lost some positions after that. It’s frustrating, but that’s just the way it goes with short-track racing.”
As for Danica Patrick and her night, well it did not end so well once again this season.
Danica finished the night with a dismal 29th finish after she and Brad Sweet tangled up together on lap 144 fighting for position. Heavy damage caused by hitting the wall forced Danica to take her Go-Daddy #7 Chevy to the garage for repairs and later returning to the racetrack to log laps.
“I got a little bit too close (to Sweet) up towards the wall. When I looked at the replay, I realized I was looking in my mirror and that probably is not the right thing to do when you’ve got somebody close to you. Whatever reason it was, it was my fault. I’m sorry I affected someone’s day. It was a bummer. But the guys did a good job putting the car back together.
All in all it was a tuff night for all of #JRNation and the whole JR Motorsport’s company as they have so many unknowns right now. With Danica expected to race full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season, more changes are likely to be made within the company very soon.
Chris Creighton is a member of the NASCAR media and a writer for RantSports.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @FlagofCaution for all the latest updates in the racing community.