NASCAR »

Zipadelli leaves JGR to rejoin Tony Stewart

Veteran crew chief Greg Zipadelli is to leave Joe Gibbs Racing with immediate effect to take up the role of director of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing.
Greg Zipadelli, crew chief of the #20 Home Depot car since it was set up in 1999, is to leave Joe Gibbs Racing with immediate effect in order to take up the position of director of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Zipadelli still had a year to run on his contract at JGR, but was growing increasingly unhappy with the team and with the performance of his young driver, Joey Logano, with the two exchanging sharp comments over the team radio during the previous season and Zipadelli reportedly keen to end his time as one of NASCAR's longest-serving crew chiefs.

"We're very proud to have Greg Zipadelli join Stewart-Haas Racing," said driver and team co-owner Tony Stewart, who won his third Sprint Cup championship last month. "Greg and I have a long and successful history together. I know him and he knows me, and we both know what it takes to build race teams."

"Tony had an unbelievable opportunity with Stewart-Haas Racing, and he's obviously made the most of it," said Zipadelli. "To become a part of what he's already built, but to do it in a new role with a new set of responsibilities, was a challenge I wanted."

Zipadelli's move reunites one of modern NASCAR's most formidable partnerships, with 'Zippy' and Stewart having won 33 races and two NASCAR Sprint Cup championships in 2002 and 2005 over the course of ten years together, before Stewart opted to leave JGR where he had been for his entire NASCAR career up to that time in order to set up his own team in 2009.

Zipadelli would likely have followed his close friend to the new team if he had not been signed to a long-term contract at JGR through 2012. JGR finally agreed this week to an early release for Zipadelli, presumably after reaching a mutual agreement and/or a financial arrangement with SHR: "I really appreciate Joe and JD Gibbs for all that that they've given me over the years and for allowing me to seize this opportunity," said Zipadelli after the today's news.

Zipadelli is replacing Bobby Hutchens, who was released by SHR during the summer. In that role, Zipadelli will oversee car crew chiefs and making or approving key hirings. "We took our time in searching for a competition director because it's an important role with a lot of responsibility," explained Stewart. "Greg knows all that goes into the job, understands the importance of teamwork and communication across all levels of the organization, and is ultimately someone I have a great deal of trust in."

Zipadelli will also oversee the setting up of a third car team for Danica Patrick for her 10 Cup appearances with the team in 2012. No crew chief has been announced for the #10 car, and it's likely that Zipadelli himself could fill the role if no one more suitable is identified in the meantime.

Zipadelli's move to SHR had been heavily rumoured for some days, ever since he tweeted a picture of himself in a bar with Stewart's new SHR crew chief Steve Addington with the caption, "Looking forward to a great year..."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli during Practice at Bristol in March 2007 [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Greg Zipadelli and Joey Logano on the grid at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June 2009. [Photo credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli in the garage at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June 2009. [Photo credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Greg Zipadelli during a media visit with Joey Logano to The Hall at Patriot Place celebrating the NFL New England Patriots` Super Bowl wins. [Photo Credit: Lesley Ann Miller 2011]
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS, qualified seventh Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Menard is 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Harvick is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, captured the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan NASCAR Sprint Cup 400 race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates capturing the pole position Friday, August 15, 2014 for Sunday`s Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. The was Gordon`s second pole position this season. He set a new track record in the final round of qualifying with a lap of 206.558 mph. Gordon is second in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 15, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.