|ESPN.com: Nationwide Series||[Print without images]|
|JR Motorsports parted ways with Danica Patrick's Nationwide crew chief Tony Eury Jr. on Monday.|
Eury Jr. made sampling Krispy Kreme donuts one of Patrick's first rites of NASCAR passage. He also called her "D" and "babe" over team radio -- which Patrick found amusing -- as they developed a mutually respectful and cordial working relationship that continued through their last start together. This spring Patrick called Eury Jr. "a great person for the job," adding "I get along with him extremely well. I feel like he can tell my passion for wanting to do well and I can definitely sense his." Both were admittedly distressed over a spate of wrecks over the summer. Eury Jr. was audibly upset after Patrick wrecked with Reed Sorenson while attempting an aggressive pass at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But he told espnW.com in August: "After Indy, we sat down and talked about it and kind of went back into chill mode there and reassessed where we were at and what we could do to be better." With his candor -- asserting that Patrick needed another full season of Nationwide before proceeding to Sprint Cup full-time in 2013 with Stewart-Haas Racing or prodding her for better performance -- came dogged support. Eury Jr. bristled various times this season when he felt Patrick was the victim of devious tactics by more experienced drivers. He confronted Jacques Villeneuve on pit road at Road America after he wrecked Patrick, who was fifth, on the final lap. Eury Jr. said being part of a possibly historic effort was a main motivation, telling espnW.com in June: "When I took this job, I told (Eury Sr.), I can't wait because what's cool about this is when has a woman come into this sport and somebody given her 100 percent? That's why I did it. I thought it was a challenge. I thought it was something cool nobody else has ever done. If you can win a race with her, you'd be the first person to win it in this series. That's something to shoot for." Information from Brant James of espnW, David Newton of ESPN.com and The Associated Press was used in this report.