By Jerry Bonkowski, For AutoRacingDaily.com
It’s been one month exactly since Lance McGrew replaced Tony Eury Jr. as crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
McGrew’s first race atop Earnhardt’s pit box was May 31 at Dover; today is June 30. In that period of time, the duo has worked together in five races, with finishes of 12th (Dover), 27th (Pocono), 14th (Michigan), 26th (Sonoma) and 13th this past Sunday at New Hampshire.
That’s somewhat of an improvement over the previous six races that preceded Eury’s removal as crew chief and reassignment within Hendrick Motorsports: 20th (Texas), 31st (Phoenix), 2nd (Talladega), 27th (Richmond and Darlington) and 40th at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600 before the big change was made.
While they still haven’t come close to winning a race yet, and Junior has not led even one lap in a race since his runner-up finish at Talladega back in April – a span of eight races – I’m starting to see some positive signs coming from the Earnhardt-McGrew marriage.
While consistency is an issue with their up one week, down the next finishes, the fact that Earnhardt has three top-15 finishes in five starts with McGrew would seem to bode well for the rest of the season.
But we have to temper that performance with reality. ....
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