JR Motorsports, Key Executive Mutually Part Ways

JR Motorsports

Getty Ryan Pemberton (right) is no longer the director of competition for JR Motorsports.

A change is taking place at the JR Motorsports facility. The NASCAR Xfinity Series team and Director of Competition Ryan Pemberton have announced that they have mutually parted ways.

JR Motorsports issued a press release on August 24 and provided more information. First off, the release noted that they had “amicably” parted ways. JR Motorsports also announced that director of motorsports LW Miller will serve as the interim director of competition for the remainder of the 2022 season.

“There are so many talented people at JR Motorsports and I’m fortunate to have been part of it,” Pemberton said in a press release. “We won a lot of races and a few championships, but more importantly we had fun doing it.

“I’m grateful to Dale [Earnhardt Jr.], Kelley [Earnhardt Miller], and LW for everything and so very proud of what we were able to accomplish together. I’m looking forward to spending some much-needed time with my family while I decide what the next chapter holds.”

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Pemberton Played a Key Role in JR Motorsports’ Success

JR Motorsports

GettyRegan Smith (front) finished second in the 2014 standings.

Pemberton has been a key part of JR Motorsports since the 2012 season while filling multiple roles. He has overseen car research and development and he has managed competition and personnel for the four-car team.

JRM achieved a considerable amount of success during Pemberton’s tenure. The team registered 58 of its 67 career Xfinity Series wins while winning three championships. Chase Elliott delivered the first in 2014, William Byron added another in 2017, and then Tyler Reddick delivered the third in 2018.

Along with overseeing the competition, Pemberton also took on another role during the 2014 season. He served as the crew chief for Regan Smith and the No. 7 team. They kicked off the year by celebrating in Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway and then went on to post 26 top-10 finishes in 33 races. Smith ended the season second in the championship standings behind Elliott.

“Ryan has been essential to JRM’s success over the past decade,” Miller said in the press release. “We asked a lot of him when he came here in 2012, and he not only embraced the challenge, but he helped us right the ship. In the process, he laid the groundwork for a winning culture. Ryan’s given this organization a tremendous amount and I can’t thank him enough.”

Pemberton Spent Several Races Atop the Pit Box

Ryan Pemberton

GettyRyan Pemberton (right) worked with several drivers in the Cup and Xfinity Series.

While Pemberton played a significant role in JRM’s success, he also spent several years atop the pit box in both the Cup Series and Xfinity Series. He served as a crew chief for 561 races at the top level of NASCAR spread across 16 seasons.

This run includes two wins. He first celebrated in Victory Lane with Joe Nemechek at Kansas Speedway in 2004 after the veteran started from the pole. He then celebrated with Brian Vickers at Michigan International Speedway in 2009 after the driver of the No. 83 won the pole.

Pemberton also sat atop the pit box for 76 Xfinity Series races from 1995 to 2018. He achieved some success considering that he celebrated two wins with Larry Pearson in 1995 and one with Regan Smith in 2014. Pemberton also guided five drivers to a total of 18 top-five finishes.

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Karen Douglas
Karen Douglas
5 months ago

Personally, I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. It may take a year or 6 months, whatever, but there is more to this story. I hope it’s good news and not ugly news, but there is more. He did not just announce his retirement. This is something else. They are right, too. He is KEY…….we’ll see….

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