Steve Hmiel and Tony Eury Jr. are getting the band back together at Swan Racing — kind of.
While the former Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammates still need a support crew of car chief, team engineer and shock specialist for driver David Stremme, Eury, who started at the Mooresville, N.C.-based operation as crew chief on Monday, hopes “to get the ball rolling” on the No. 30 Toyota. Hmiel was previously announced as the team's director of competition.
“I had a bunch of conversations with a bunch of different people,” Eury said. “Then David called and I spoke with him. Then Steve called. And I have a lot of respect for Steve since we worked together in the past.
“I don’t think we can fix it overnight but I think there are some good things that are on the horizon.”
Stremme, 35, qualified for 28 of 36 races last season with the start-and-park team that completed just five races in 2012. Brandon Davis assumed ownership of the No. 30 team in October. Stremme’s best finish was 24th at his hometown track of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"The team has transformed itself virtually overnight,” Stremme said via press release. “It's hard to believe just how different this team is in such a short period of time. This is how you build success from the ground up; you hire quality people, put their experience to work and execute on race day. Let’s go racing."
Mark your calendars now and get ready to "reach up and pull those belts down tight one more time!" The Daytona 500 on FOX is set for Feb. 24, 2013.
Eury says the team doesn’t have an offseason test schedule as of yet. However, Swan Racing intends on remaining with Toyota for the time being and will use Triad engines.
“From a small team perspective at Chevrolet we’d be 16th or 17th in line,” Eury said. “At Toyota, we only have Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing ahead of us. We’re hoping we can get some support from Toyota down the road. We’ll be in good shape.”
Eury, who turns 40 on Jan. 3, began working at DEI in 1991. He most recently worked at JR Motorsports, where he was crew chief for Danica Patrick until September when Eury was replaced by Ryan Pemberton. Eury remains a partner in JRM and says his relationship with his cousin and fellow team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. is fine.
“I’m still an owner over there,” Eury said. “Part of the agreement is that I could work wherever I wanted to and still be an owner. We’re down the road there. There are no hard feelings.”