Tony Eury Jr., the crew chief who guided Danica Patrick's entry into NASCAR stock-car racing, has left her JR Motorsports team that races in NASCAR's second-tier Nationwide Series.
"Unfortunately, Tony Jr. is no longer with the company," Dale Earnhardt Jr., the popular NASCAR driver who co-owns JR Motorsports, said in a statement.
Earnhardt said that "as we've discussed the direction of JR Motorsports moving forward, it is clear our differences in ideas were too vast to overcome." He did not elaborate on those differences.
Eury also is Earnhardt's cousin and a co-owner of JR Motorsports.
"I love him like a brother, and you'll never hear me say a bad thing about him," Earnhardt said of Eury, adding that a decision on Eury's successor to lead Patrick's No. 7 Nationwide car had not yet been made.