Former Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Tony Eury Jr. joins new driver development group

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Full-service driver development programs are one of the growth industries in the racing community.

And that’s what one of the most respected companies in the chassis-building business is moving into.

LFR Chassis of Mooresville, N.C., announced Friday that it has formed a driver development program that features several big names in the racing world, including former Dale Earnhardt Jr. crew chief Tony Eury Jr.

Known as the LFR Driver Development Group, the firm will provide coaching and training in state-of-the-art race cars for primarily late-model and modified racing, according to a media release.

The four principles of LFR Driver Development have earned, according to the media release, more than 700 race wins and over three dozen series championships.

They are:

* Rob Fuller, owner of LFR Chassis, who has served as a driver, engineer, and pit crew member for teams including Penske Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc.

* Competition director Tony Eury Jr., former crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr., and who spent more than 20 years as a NASCAR crew chief, car chief and mechanic for teams such as Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports.

* Veteran driver, crew chief and car builder Jeff Fultz, who has won 10 championships and more than 250 race wins. He’s a three-time champion and all-time wins leader in the NASCAR All Pro Series.

* Veteran NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour championship-winning crew chief, driver and car chief Ryan Stone.

“With the experience level of our coaches and quality of equipment, we are taking a huge variable out of the developmental stages of a driver’s progression,” Fuller said. “We have all wished at some point of our career to have the best equipment and most knowledgeable crew so we can test our driving ability, and all that is under one roof.

“We have worked closely with the NASCAR community throughout our 20 plus year careers, and know what it takes to succeed in this ultra-competitive sport.”

Added Fultz, “What will be great about our program is that we will have entry level to pro level classes available. Some drivers might only drive a few races while others will continue through a few seasons. All this depends on the talent level shown throughout the year. We expect this to be a high-profile driver development program within the industry in a short amount of time.”

The group will also offer marketing, communications and public relations support, as well as social media, interview skills training, media coaching and sponsorship services led by veteran NASCAR public relations professional Nealie Stufflet.

“We created this group to help those looking for the right place to find a combination of unparalleled experience in NASCAR and top level equipment for drivers looking to take their careers to the next level,” said Fuller. “We have two drivers signed up as of today and will announce the full team when all seats are occupied.”

For more information, contact Fuller at Rob@LFRChassis.com.

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Report: Spencer Pigot out at Ed Carpenter Racing

Joe Skibinski / IndyCar
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Spencer Pigot will not return to Ed Carpenter Racing in 2020, according to a story Thursday by RACER.com.

The 26-year-old Floridian, who won the 2015 Indy Lights championship, is expected to be replaced in the No. 21 Chevrolet by 2019 Indy Lights runner-up Rinus VeeKay.

“I’m appreciative of the opportunity ECR gave me,” Pigot told RACER.com. “I understand the reasons they had to go in a different direction, and wish them all the best.”

In 56 NTT IndyCar Series starts, Pigot has 15 top 10 finishes, with a best finish of second at Iowa in 2018. He finished 14th in the 2019 point standings.

VeeKay, who tested in an Indy car twice for ECR in 2019, has six wins in 18 Indy Lights starts, including a weekend sweep of the final two rounds of the season at Laguna Seca in September.

A representative from ECR told NBC Sports Thursday that the team currently could not comment on any driver rumors as the team currently does not have any drivers under contract for the 2020 season, although it is presumed that owner/driver Carpenter will return to the No. 20 entry for the oval rounds.

NBC Sports will provide updates on the story once more information becomes available.