Greg Zipadelli, Tony Stewart Reunite At Stewart-Haas Racing; Jason Ratcliff Named Joey Logano Crew Chief

In a pair of coordinated announcements on Friday morning, Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing announced Greg Zipadelli will leave JGR reunite with Tony Stewart at SHR as the team's new competition director.

JGR said Jason Ratcliff will move up from its Nationwide Series team to become Joey Logano's crew chief on the No. 20 Sprint Cup Series team.

Stewart and Zipadelli have a long history together and won two championships during their driver/crew chief relationship at JGR last decade.

But when Stewart left to own his own Sprint Cup Series team, he was not allowed to take any key JGR employees with him. So Zipadelli stayed behind and mentored Logano, though that combination never quite found much magic.

Stewart won this year's Sprint Cup Series championship without a competition director after firing Bobby Hutchens in June, but the role still needed to be filled. Zipadelli was apparently able to get out of his deal with Gibbs and gain permission to join SHR.

"We took our time in searching for a competition director because it's an important role with a lot of responsibility," Stewart said. "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."

The move will probably be better for all parties involved – though Gibbs certainly wouldn't want to part ways with "Zippy's" talent, Ratcliff will be a more appropriate fit for the young Logano.

"(Zipadelli) has been a big part of our success, but we felt the timing was right to make this transition for our race team," Joe Gibbs said.

Stewart, meanwhile, has formed a JGR retro team: His crew chief is former JGR crew chief Steve Addington, and now he adds Zipadelli to the mix.

We'll have more to come on these stories with some teleconferences today.

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