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Did DEI crew chief take verbal jab at Junior?

By admin | August 4, 2008

By Richard Allen


During the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono ESPN reporter Mike Massaro gave a report about the good working relationship that exists between the driver of car #8 Mark Martin and crew chief Tony Gibson.

Maybe it was an inadvertent disclosure, maybe it was a statement taken out of context or maybe it was a statement that showed true feelings, but whatever the case, Massaro revealed a criticism of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by his former car chief.

Massaro said that Gibson had told him of how he and Martin sat down after Saturday’s practices had been rained out and discussed possible set ups they could put under their car for Sunday’s race.

Massaro ended the report with a telling comment Gibson had made regarding the difference between the two drivers. “We sat down and he offered some suggestions about possible set ups,” Gibson had said. “We didn‘t get a lot of set up suggestions from our last driver.”

In recent weeks, rumors of DEI’s demise have been circulating. Stories claimed Teresa Earnhardt was looking for a buyer to take the organization started by her late husband. Still other reports had said the #01 team was on the verge of being shut down if a sponsor was not found soon.

And more, drivers seem to be leaving or at least wanting to leave in droves. Mark Martin has already agreed to drive for Hendrick Motorsports next year. Rumors are numerous that Martin Truex is looking for another seat. And, talk has circulated about the possibility of Paul Menard taking his lucrative sponsorship money to another team.

In a later interview Gibson adamantly defended Ms. Earnhardt and her organization.

Perhaps nerves are frayed at DEI or perhaps the verbal jab was nothing more than a statement taken out of context. Whatever the case, Junior has certainly landed on his feet, sitting 2nd in the overall standings.

And, of late DEI has been looking stronger as well.

Maybe it is just time for both of them to move on.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.

Topics: Articles |

15 Responses to “Did DEI crew chief take verbal jab at Junior?”

  1. The Old Man Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Mike explain why the performance of the 8 car went to hell in 2006 & 2007. don’t you think.

  2. Bill Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Yea gibson, it’s Junior’s fault. That’s why Jr. is 2nd in points and the DEI cars are, 17th (Truex), 28th (Menard) and 34th (Smith). I guess Jr. should give all the DEI crew chiefs suggestions on set-ups. gibson, it’s time to put down the cream filled doughnuts, and get to work!

  3. Bill Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    P.S., I did not include Mark Martin and Aric Almirola for obvious reasons. They are part time after all.

  4. Lisa Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Or maybe all of the DEI employees have been threatened with unemployment if they do not speak well of the company and owner. I wonder why Max Seigel seems to not be speaking for the company any more, could it be because he seemed to speak so highly of Jr. and Kelly?

  5. Melissa Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Gibson just told the truth!!! Jr fans just can’t handle hearing it!! Jr just never had the brains to be of any help to his team! He still doesn’t!! He has no clue about the workings of a race car. All he wants to do is drive it and only if it is perfect! If it is not all he can do is whine and cry to “fix it”. But he has no clue on what to do or say to help his crew fix the car to his liking!! He has the best stuff to drive now and STILL falls short!! Yeah I know his rabid crybaby fans will whine saying “he won this year” NO! He was GIVEN the win by NA$CAR even though they knew he cheated to win, and they let him cheat, just so they could give him the win! Then the very next week NA$CAR says that only Jr was allowed to break the rules, cheat, and pass the pace car a few times! They told the rest of the drivers that anyone elses does the same thing, they will not be allowed to! That only Jr is allowed to cheat that way!!

  6. Chad Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Well, it all sounds good to take a swipe at the previous driver and other circumstances when your not faring so well or people are writing of your companies demise. Despite their struggles, everyone keeps trying to paint a rosy picture when we all know its not as nice as we all would hope. They are loosing drivers, possibly their best 2, possibly one of their teams due to lack of sponsorship, and there have been rumors of Menards and driver going to Yates or Robby Gordon as a 2nd team.

    Dont forget what was recently revealed in the suit against former DEI crew cheiw Dog Reichert, in his contract it states ” In the confidentiality section, confidential information includes �all personal and/or non-public matters relating to Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, or their families, experiences or circumstances� gathered during his employment. Richert also was not allowed to write a book, short story, article or screenplay based on his experiences and cannot participate in any interviews relating to DEI, Teresa Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt and their families. He was allowed to do at-track interviews that focus on the car or drivers and their performance as it relates to the race.”

    Which reads to me very much like you must tow the company line and not stray from it at all, say something detrimental to the team, and your job could be in jeopardy. So with all the turmoil at DEI, why would Gibson want to say anything but nice things about the current situation, and bash the previous, after all hes got to look out for his own tail right now.

    Clearly, the comments coming out of drivers like Ryan Newman about his team would be reacted to alot quicker and more harshly at DEI than how easily Penske is letting him slide off into the sunset.

  7. Chad Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    And Melissa, cry a little more please.

    If you’ve listened to any race scanners, you hear even the best gripe and plead for crew chiefs to fix their woes on the track, that goes for Kyle and Jeff as well without offering much of a solution.

    And as for Michigan, try to spin the facts so you get the desired results apparently, yep, he coasted past the pace care twice, but not to advance his position, and stayed behind the pace car every time he crossed the start/finish line, he and the rest of the field were warned not to do it any longer, and it stopped, end of story. Nascar filled the gray area and ruled on it the following week in the drivers meeting. It would be a sad state of affairs if nascar took a win from ANY driver for something so petty, the right call was made, deal with it.

  8. tg5273 Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Maybe that’s why Mark Martin is moving to Hendrick next year he’s tired of doing the crew chiefs job.

  9. Sunny Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    Tony Eury, Jr., was Jr’s crew chief at DEI, so I would guess that Gibson was just running his mouth, and maybe talking about Almirola. I don’t think that this was a direct comment on Jr.

  10. Jamie C Says:
    August 5th, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Gibson was the Car Chief for Junior last year and I’ll bet he was talking about Junior.

    I heard Massaro’s report too and that’s the impression I got.

  11. Melissa Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 8:10 am

    LMAO at you Chad! Oh please little girl, who are you kidding! Nice pack of lies there child! NA$CAR flat out said they let Jr cheat to win!! HE CHEATED!!AND THEY LET HIM!! LIVE WITH IT!!! Please stop lying and making up stuff just to make it seem like a real win for Baby E! It is NOT A TRUE WIN! IT WAS GIVEN TO HIM SO NA$CAR COULD HELP THE BABY E FANS STOP WHINING!
    I love you Baby E fans doing everthing you can to make it seem like a real win! Watching you all cry about the truth, that is was NOT a real win is awesome! There is nothing I like better then making the baby E fans cry! Thanks for making my day and proving a point! I love laughing at you! JR FANS WILL DO ANYTHING TO MAKE JR LOOK PERFECT! News flash!! HE’S NOT!! HE’S A CHEAT!!

  12. conor Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 9:40 am

    let me add that JR should have won the title in 2004 and had an outstanding chance in 2006. But I guess it was Teresa who said “Shxt” at talladega and cut up in front of Edwards at Atlanta with 10 laps left and a guaranteed Top 5 to blow the championship hopes. After the Dega crash in 2006, he fell apart in several chase races. Again, Teresa’s fault to give him a car that could dominate for 375 of 400 laps and then go to crap. Whatever !!!!! Junior had a chance to win in 2004 and 2006 and blew both. Why should I expect him to beat a hot Jimmy Johnson and that PIA Busch in the chase ?? he won’t.

  13. conor Says:
    August 6th, 2008 at 9:42 am

    and outstanding article Mr. Allen. It’s time for both to move on and hopefully both succeed.

  14. Dale Fera Says:
    August 7th, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Let`s get their heads out of the sand. As far as I am concerned, Jr was sandbagged last year. 9 DNF, mostly by blown motors, there`s no doubt about it, Jr`s cars were, in my opinion, screwed with.

  15. Bobby McGee Says:
    August 8th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    I strongly suggest that you get your head out of Kyle Bush’s butt and smell something other than his crud.

    If Dale Jr ain’t the driver he is showing to be than clearly he should not be in 2nd spot in the points.

    Yes Dale Jr passed the pace car and Nascar told him to stop doping it, HE DID. He’s not the first to have done it and I suggest that you watch old races to see it done multiple times. He did not cheat, he took advantage of a grey area, Nascar fixed that the next week. PERIOD.

    Dale Jr is far for perfect, he does mistakes and actually admits to them…Hummmmmmmmm…Maybe that is why he is one of the most respected drivers in the garage area aswell…….

    So in the end, irt’s not about defending Dale Jr but more like pointing at the actual numbers that this kid has produced over the years and the results to show for it, that all speeks for itself really!!!

    Have a nice life Miss Melissa and remember, THIS IS THE INTERNET…..Real life is rtight outside that door, take a walk, take in some fresh air….It’ll calm your nerves.

    Peace out!