Zipadelli comments regarding car release

Zipadelli comments regarding NASCAR's release of the ...

Zipadelli comments regarding NASCAR's release of the #20 car impounded from Texas

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C., (June 10, 2003) - The #20 Chevrolet Monte Carlo of Joe Gibbs Racing impounded by NASCAR officials on March 28 prior to practice for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway was released in part to Joe Gibbs Racing on Tuesday.

Team members were allowed to retrieve the chassis and the engine of the #20 entry from NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., but NASCAR retained the body since it did not conform to the specifications of the 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo body submitted to NASCAR by General Motors.

The impounded chassis - designated as Chassis No. 54 within Joe Gibbs Racing - was a new car in 2001, debuting at Fontana, Calif. In 12 career starts it led a total of 356 laps and won one race at Atlanta in the spring of 2002, while also scoring six top-fives and eight top-10s.

Below are comments from crew chief Greg Zipadelli regarding the release of Chassis No. 54.

Q: Is Chassis No. 54 still usable?

"Yes, it's a good chassis. It's one of the cars we used to run last year at Atlanta and Charlotte (N.C.), so it's good to have it back. We'll obviously put a whole new body on it, and that's certainly better than having to replace an entire chassis."

Q: Will you race Chassis No. 54 again?

"I'm sure we will. We're pretty busy right now with cars that are already scheduled to race, so it won't race for at least a couple of months. Once we get the car back, we'll have to strip it down and start over and treat it like a new car. There will have to be a lot more time invested in it before we can get it up and running again."

Q: Did the tests that NASCAR performed on Chassis No. 54 show you anything you didn't already know?

"I don't know because that information hasn't been shared with us. I know what they looked at, but I don't know who looked at it or how much time they spent with it."

Q: Were there any procedural changes at the shop to ensure that an event like this doesn't happen again?

"Once the car is built on the chassis plate, the measurement that was in question is a measurement that doesn't change, or shouldn't change. It's a fixed number. But it was something that got missed when the car was finished on the plate, and then it went off to the body shop. Now, a car will get checked for that measurement on the chassis plate, at the body shop, and on the surface plate before it gets loaded into the trailer."

Q: Are you glad to have this situation behind you?

"Anytime you have a little bit of a distraction like that it kind of gets to you. And that's just what it was - a little bit of a distraction. Now we've got the car back and we can get it into our rotation again. We plan to move on now, and that's a good thing."

-jgr/hdr-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing