CONCORD, N.C. – Charlotte Motor Speedway officials presented veteran crew chief Tony Eury Sr. with the speedway’s Smokey Yunick Award on Sunday morning, in advance of the Bank of America 500.
Eury – a long-time crew chief of Dale Earnhardt Jr. – guided Earnhardt to two NASCAR XFINITY Series championships and 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victories between 1998 and 2004.
His total history in the sport includes a career resume of 29 XFINITY Series wins. Drivers he guided to victory in NASCAR’s second-tier series included both Earnhardt and his father, Dale Sr., as well as Brad Keselowski and Jamie McMurray.
Presented since 1997 to honor famed mechanic Henry ‘Smokey’ Yunick, the award recognizes an individual who rose from humble beginnings to make a major impact on the motorsports industry.
“Coming from a mill town, I never really realized what I was getting myself into when I started,” Eury said. “The list of names to have won this is pretty incredible. Being in a class with Leonard Wood, Junior Johnson, Ray Evernham and those guys is an honor. It’s a real honor.”
A native of Kannapolis, N.C., Eury was the crew chief when Earnhardt Jr. won the Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race (then called the Winston) as a rookie in 2000 at Charlotte.
Eury’s son, Tony Eury Jr., was Earnhardt’s crew chief from 2005 through 2009.
Past recipients of the Smokey Yunick Award include the Wood brothers; legendary radio and TV announcer Ken Squier; drivers-turned-car owners Junior Johnson and Cotton Owens; and champion crew chief Ray Evernham, all of whom have been chosen as inductees to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
CREDIT: Charlotte Motor Speedway