Tony Eury returned to the track Thursday for the first time since he was dismissed by JR Motorsports last month.
While the former competition director is enjoying time on the links and a little fishing, at 58 he’s far from ready to retire.
“I’m just over here seeing all my friends,” Eury said. “I haven’t seen them since – Sept. 4, I guess. I thought since they were here in my backyard this week, I’d come visit some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. It’s still a family sport, here. So we’re just doing a little talking and laughing.
“I’ve been playing golf a couple times a week, cleaned up my garage, working on the honey-do list, so everything is going pretty good.”
Eury led Dale Earnhardt Jr. to consecutive titles in the Nationwide Series. He led his nephew to a career-best third-place finish in the Cup standings in 2003 and a career-high six victories the following season.
When Eury was released last month, JRM’s drivers Cole Whitt and Danica Patrick were seventh and 10th, respectively, in the Nationwide Series point standings. However, the organization is winless since September 2010.
Eury remains under contract to JRM until the end of the year. Currently, he’s in labor limbo. While he’s not allowed to work, he’s not allowed to solicit jobs either. That’s a challenge for a man who has worked for the last 40 years.”
“I’m just taking some time off here,” Eury said. “Since 1972, when I graduated high school, I went to work the following Monday and have been out of work for only an hour and a half since and I’m 58 years old. When I left my trucking job, it took me 30 minutes to get to Dale’s (Earnhardt Sr.) mama’s house. I went to work that day, 30 minutes later. Then I left DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.) 20 years later and went to work at JR Motorsports.
“I’m having a hard time filling my days because I really don’t know what to do when I get up in the morning. My wife is helping me with that a little bit. I’ll just keep on doing that until the end of the year. Most people don’t do any hiring ‘til Jan. 1 anyway. A lot of people know I’m out there. If they need my services, maybe they’ll call me.”