Published on June 21st, 2011 | by Michael J Smith1
Zipadelli And Stewart Back Together Again?
Jayski is reporting that Greg Zipadelli may leave Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 team and driver Joey Logano to join Stewart Haas Racing as crew chief for Tony Stewart and the No. 14 team. Zipadelli and Stewart teamed up for two Sprint Cup Series championships (2002, 2005).
Stewart’s current crew chief, Darien Grubb, could become director of competition for SHR, a role that was recently opened when Bobby Hutchens and SHR parted ways.
This could mean that if Carl Edwards moved to Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 20 next season, which has been rumored, he may bring crew chief Bob Osborne with him. This, of course, is speculation, as no official announcements have been made.
Update: Tony Stewart denied rumors that Greg Zipadelli would be joining his organization next season. He called it untrue in a Sports Illustrated article.
Update 2: Greg Zipadelli has denied rumors about reuniting with Tony Stewart, according to the Associated Press. Zipadelli admitted that he is not happy with how his no. 20 joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is running, but he denied that he would be leaving the team, noting that he had two years left on his contract.
I love Tony, he’s as close to me as my brother. But that doesn’t mean anything. I love the organization I work for, they’ve been very positive and very supportive for over 13 years. I learned a long time ago to never say never in this sport about anything.
Stewart did not speak about Zipadelli, but he said that the team was not ready to hire a competition director. The team recently released Bobby Hutchens from that position, and is looking at filling the role. Stewart said:
We haven’t got anywhere yet. We are still looking at our options. It would be nice to have a person in that position. We definitely want to get that role filled. At the same time, we want to make sure just like we did when we hired Bobby, we want to make sure we’re hiring the right person. So we’ll take our time on it.