Tony Eury Jr. to help head up new driver development program
Tony Eury Jr., the cousin of and former crew chief for driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has joined the driver development program of LFR Chassis of Mooresville, N.C.
The company made the announcement on Friday that it has formed a driver development program, touting in a media release that Eury Jr. and the three others who will form the core of the program have earned in their careers a combined 700 race wins and over three dozen series championships.
In addition to Eury Jr., Rob Fuller, owner of LFR Chassis, will help build the program along with veteran driver, crew chief and car builder Jeff Fultz and veteran NASCAR Whelen Modified champion Ryan Stone.
Fuller has served in the past as a driver, engineer and pit-crew member for many teams, including NASCAR’s Team Penske and Dale Earnhardt, Inc.
Fultz has a total of more than 250 race wins and 10 championships in various series in his career. He’s a three-time champion and the all-time wins leader in the NASCAR All Pro Series.
Stone is a championship-winning crew chief, driver and car chief on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Eury Jr. will serve as competition director for the new LFR Chassis driver development program. He spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR crew chief, car chief and mechanic for teams such as Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports.
In addition to working with his famous cousin, Eury Jr. also served as Danica Patrick’s crew chief in the then-Nationwide Series when Patrick first made the switch from IndyCars to stock cars and drove for JR Motorsports. Eury Jr. once owned a piece of JR Motorsports along with Earnhardt Jr. and Earnhardt Jr.’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller.
"With the experience level of our coaches and quality of equipment, we are taking a huge variable out of the developmental stages of a driver’s progression," Fuller said in a statement. "We have all wished at some point of our career to have the best equipment and most knowledgeable crew so we can test our driving ability, and all that is under one roof.
"We have worked closely with the NASCAR community throughout our 20-plus-year careers, and know what it takes to succeed in this ultra-competitive sport."
Fultz also said that the plan is for the company to offer a varied array of services to aspiring drivers, with something for relative beginners as well as for others with more experience who are looking to further their careers. The plan is to identify drivers with great potential and help them maximize that potential, with the goal being to eventually help place them with established NASCAR teams on various levels over time.
"What will be great about our program is that we will have entry level to pro level classes available," Fuller said. "Some drivers might only drive a few races while others will continue through a few seasons. All this depends on the talent level shown throughout the year. We expect this to be a high-profile driver development program within the industry in a short amount of time."
The group also will offer marketing, communications and public relations support, as well as social media, interview skills training, media coaching and sponsorship services led by veteran NASCAR public relations professional Nealie Stufflet.
Fuller said that two drivers already have been signed and that the full team of development drivers will be announced shortly after the entire roster is finalized.