Friday, December 16, 2011

Greg Zipadelli Named Competition Director for Stewart-Haas Racing

Greg Zipadelli, winner of two championships and 34 victories as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been named competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR). He will work with Vice President of Competition Matt Borland and oversee the Nos. 14 and 39 teams, while also building the No. 10 team for which Danica Patrick will run a 10-race Sprint Cup schedule with in 2012.

Zipadelli comes to SHR from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) where he served as crew chief for the No. 20 team since 1999. It’s where the 44-year-old from Berlin, Conn., began a 10-year tenure with Tony Stewart, the co-owner of SHR along with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation.

From 1999 through 2008, Zipadelli was Stewart’s crew chief, with the duo winning Sprint Cup titles in 2002 and 2005 while claiming 33 victories and 10 poles. When Stewart left JGR following the 2008 season to form SHR, Zipadelli stayed and spent three years as the crew chief for Joey Logano, where he helped deliver Logano’s first career Sprint Cup victory on June 28, 2009 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.

The addition of Zipadelli to the SHR family is a reunion on two fronts – Stewart, of course, but also with Steve Addington, who spent 2004-2008 at JGR and is now Stewart’s crew chief at SHR with the No. 14 team. Tony Gibson serves as crew chief for the No. 39 team and driver Ryan Newman.

Zipadelli told reporters Friday he expects to be Danica Patrick's crew chief for the Daytona 500 and perhaps all of the former IndyCar driver's 10-race Sprint Cup schedule in the upcoming season. Zipadelli has yet to speak with Danica Patrick, but believes he can help build her #10 Cup team this season until he hires a permanent crew chief.

Zipadelli said it could take "until the end of the year" to find someone and said "We'll take as much time as we need." His goal is to find a crew chief who fits in with the rest of the organization, and he wants someone who can work with Patrick on a long-term basis.

Zipadelli's remarks indicated he may be atop the pit box for Patrick's entire first Cup season, which is scheduled to consist of 10 races.

- Stewart Haas Racing 

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