Tony Stewart's former crew chief Greg Zipadelli has been appointed as competition director at Stewart-Haas Racing.
Zipadelli joins Stewart's team from Joe Gibbs Racing, where he stayed after his driver left to set up his own outfit for the 2009 season. In his new role, Zipadelli will oversee the cars of Stewart and Ryan Newman, as well as building up a third crew for Danica Patrick's part-time NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule.
"We're very proud to have Greg Zipadelli join Stewart-Haas Racing," said Stewart. "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.
"We took our time in searching for a competition director because it's an important role with a lot of responsibility. 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 not take up his previous role of working directly on Stewart's car, as the crew chief role previously held by Darian Grubb has been filled by Steve Addington from Penske.
"We won a lot together at Joe Gibbs Racing, and it was a sad day when Tony left," Zipadelli added. "But Tony had an unbelievable opportunity and he's obviously made the most of it. 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."
Joe Gibbs Racing has replaced Zipadelli with Jason Ratcliff as crew chief for its No. 20 Sprint Cup entry, driven by Joey Logano. Ratcliff spent the previous seven years as crew chief for JGR's No. 18 Nationwide Series team.
"We appreciate everything Greg has done for us here at Joe Gibbs Racing. He has been a big part of our success, but we felt the timing was right to make this transition for our race team which allows Greg the opportunity to pursue a director of competition position with Tony [Stewart]," said Joe Gibbs. "We also felt that the timing was right to bring Jason [Ratcliff] to our Cup operation. He is a proven leader with a tremendous track record in our Nationwide program and we think he and Joey will work well together."