(WOMR file photo)
It has just been confirmed by Joe Gibbs Racing that they have given Greg Zipadelli his unconditional release! Those rumors had been flowing throughout the garage area in the final races of the Chase this year. The release from Joe Gibbs Racing paves the way for Zippy to be hired, and announced later today at Stewart-Haas Racing, as the new director of competition. This reprises the very successful relationship that Tony and Greg had for ten years at Joe Gibbs Racing, where they combined for two Sprint Cup championships. Granted, Zippy will not be in the capacity of crew chief for Stewart, nevertheless, Zipadelli will actually have a greater influence company-wide in his capacity of the director of competition for SHR.
Additionally, the garage word is that Zipadelli will be Danica Patrick’s crew chief, at least for the 2012 Daytona 500!
In the wake of this monumental shake-up at Joe Gibbs Racing, it is reported that Jason Ratcliff, the crew chief on the JGR #18 Nationwide team, will be announced later today as the replacement for Zipadelli, as the new crew chief on the JGR #20 Home Depot Toyota driven by Joey Logano.
To the average race fan, these transactions could almost resemble a multi team, multi-player trade in the NFL, MLB, or the NBA. Now check this idea out!
Darian Grubb is terminated from SHR and lands a job at JGR as Denny Hamlin’s crew chief. Greg Zipadelli works to secure a release from his contract so that he can take the job of SHR director of competition. All the while, Steve Addington had his fill of Kurt Busch and his vile rants, resigns from Penske Racing, and gains employment at SHR as Stewart’s new crew chief on the #14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevy.
With these two “new hires”, Addington and Zipadelli, is Stewart-Haas Racing now the new Joe Gibbs Racing?
So far it has worked out for everyone except Kurt Busch. It seems that KuBu is still working with a sports psychologist, trying to harness his anger and direct it towards more positive results, and all the while desperately looking for some kind of gainful employment for the 2012 race season! There are rumors of a possible hook-up with Richard Petty Motorsports for Kurt.
This off-season is anything but OFF!
Stay tuned for more of “the silly season”!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!