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jr to take over 25 team


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Mears to No. 5, Eury to Hendrick Motorsports

By JIM UTTER / The Charlotte Observer

As part of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s move to Hendrick Motorsports next season, team officials announced on Tuesday driver Casey Mears will move to Hendrick's No. 5 Chevrolet in 2008 to replace Kyle Busch.


Mears, who drives the No. 25 for Hendrick this season, will also pick up the services of Busch's current crew chief, Alan Gustafson. Darian Grubb, who has worked as Mears' crew chief this season on the No. 25, will move into a senior competition role with the organization next season.


In addition, Earnhardt Jr.'s current crew chief at Dale Earnhardt Inc., Tony Eury Jr., will join him at Hendrick next season after signing a multi-year contract with the organization.


"Tony Jr. and Dale have a successful history working together," team owner Rick Hendrick said. "They have trust in each other, which is the biggest part of the relationship between driver and crew chief. We have the utmost confidence in their ability to win races and compete for titles at Hendrick Motorsports."


In his first season with Hendrick, Mears has one victory, a pole, four top-five and six top-10 finishes through 25 races. The Bakersfield, Calif., native will complete the season in the No. 25.


"My goal is to meet the high standard the drivers before me helped established with the No. 5 Chevrolet, both on and off the track," said the 29-year-old Mears. "I'm looking forward to working with Alan and the team to continue the winning tradition.


Eury Jr. said he was excited to remain with Earnhardt Jr.


"With the resources we'll have at Hendrick Motorsports, it's an opportunity to consistently run up front and be in title contention every year. The goals are winning races and winning championships," he said.


Hendrick is evaluating numbers for the Earnhardt Jr. team, which currently uses the No. 25. A timetable for that announcement has not been set.


hopefully jr wont be getting the bottom of the barrel equipment.

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