BUSCH: Greg Zipadelli Crew Chief for New Joe Gibbs Team

Zipadelli new crew chief for Home Depot team By Shawn A. Akers ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Oct. 30, 1998) After a couple months of deliberation, Joe Gibbs Racing has decided on a crew chief for its new No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix NASCAR ...

Zipadelli new crew chief for Home Depot team By Shawn A. Akers ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Oct. 30, 1998) After a couple months of deliberation, Joe Gibbs Racing has decided on a crew chief for its new No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac Grand Prix NASCAR Winston Cup team, with driver Tony Stewart. Greg Zipadelli will get his first opportunity as a NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief when the team begins racing in the series in 1999. Zipadelli has been working as a chassis expert at Roush Racing for driver Jeff Burton. "This is the opportunity of a lifetime," Zipadelli said. "The facility here at Joe Gibbs Racing is very impressive and to get to work with a driver like Tony Stewart is incredible. I know it's going to be a challenge, but I know we have the resources to make the program work." Gibbs is thrilled to have someone of Zipadelli's caliber on board at Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are very excited to have Greg sign on with us as crew chief for Tony Stewart and the No. 20 Home Depot car," Gibbs said. "We considered several, very qualified individuals and Greg was the all-around best choice for us. He is a natural for Tony. They both have 'grown up' in racing and have both experienced great success in their young careers." Stewart, the former Indy Racing League champion, will begin his inaugural season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series next season. He has driven a selected schedule in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division this season in the No. 44 Shell Oil Pontiac. Besides Roush Racing, Zipadelli has been associated with some big names in the business. His career began on the short tracks in the northeast, working for the likes of Mike Stefanik and Mike McLaughlin. Both of those drivers won championships with Zipadelli -- Stefanik the NASCAR Busch North Series title in 1986; McLaughlin, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series crown in 1988. Zipadelli's goals for the team's initial season are modest, but he said the sky is the limit. "First all, we want to qualify for every race next year," Zipadelli said. "I know that's going to be hard because I was with the fifth-place team in points last week and we had to take a provisional to get in the show. "Second, we want to run as many laps as we possibly can. The more races we finish, the stronger we'll be when we go back there a second time. I think if we can accomplish those goals, we can chase the rookie of the year title." The team, along with Gibbs' first NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac, with driver Bobby Labonte, will move into its brand new 100,000- square-foot facility in Huntersville, N.C., early next month. Zipadelli said he's looking forward to the challenge of helping to take a new team to the top in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. "I think the most pressure I'm going to feel is what I put on myself," Zipadelli said. "Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing has told us to go out and do the best we can. I want to prove that we're capable of qualifying and running competitively in the race."

Source: NASCAR Online

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