Scott Zipadelli named crew chief for Ben Kennedy in Truck series

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After eight seasons as a crew chief in the Nationwide Series (now Xfinity Series), it’s time for Scott Zipadelli to do a little truckin’.

Zipadelli was named Friday as crew chief for Ben Kennedy and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra for the 2015 Camping World Truck Series.

While it will be the first go-round for Zipadelli in the Truck series, he’s eager to get started.

“Red Horse Racing is a well-respected organization that has had a lot of success in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and I am very excited to be a part of it,” Zipadelli said in a media release. “Ben (Kennedy) is a talented driver and I have high expectations for him and the No. 11 team.

“(Kennedy) had an outstanding rookie season, and our goal this year is to win races and put ourselves in position to contend for the 2015 championship.”

Kennedy, 22, won NCWTS Rookie of the Year honors in 2014 after a season that saw him earn one top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He also finished an impressive ninth in the season standings.

He signed last month with Red Horse Racing after competing for the now-defunct Turner Scott Motorsports partnership in 2014.

Kennedy is the great grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., and son of International Speedway Corp. president Lesa France Kennedy.

“Scott Zipadelli has great experience on top of the pit box and brings a lot to the program,” Kennedy said. “I am really looking forward to working with him and can’t wait to unload our No. 11 Toyota Tundra at Daytona in February.”

Zipadelli was crew chief for 253 Nationwide Series races from 2007 through 2014, earning three wins – including two last season with Kyle Larson.

He also earned 32 top-five and 86 top-10 finishes, plus two poles.

Zipadelli’s best season atop the pit box came in 2009, when late driver Jason Leffler finished ninth, as well as 2013, when driver Justin Allgaier finished fifth.

Scott is the younger brother of Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing, and who served as crew chief for two of team co-owner Tony Stewart’s three Sprint Cup championships.

“We are very happy to have Scott Zipadelli join the Red Horse Racing family,” Red Horse owner Tom DeLoach said. “He is a great addition to our leadership here. I have set the bar high for this group in 2015, and expect great things.”

The first race of the 22-race Truck series schedule is the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 20. 

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March 29 in Motorsports History: Scott Dixon wins first race after reunification

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Reunited and it felt so good.

That’s what drivers likely thought before the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For the first time since 1995, major-league open-wheel racing in the United States was under the banner of a sole sanctioning body as Champ Car and the Indy Racing Leauge had reunified just a month prior.

Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the 2008 IndyCar opener at Homestead. Photo: Jim Hines/IndyCar.

The first race after reunification also saw a reversal of fortunes for Scott Dixon, who won the race after losing the 2007 IRL championship in crushing fashion.

In the 2007 season finale at Chicagoland Speedway, Dixon ran out of fuel while leading on the final lap of the race. The race victory – and championship – went to Dixon’s future teammate, Dario Franchitti.

But the tides turned for Dixon nearly seven months later, and the Kiwi was able to win with the help of another driver’s misfortune.

Tony Kanaan was leading with seven laps remaining when E.J. Viso spun and made contact with Kanaan’s car. Kanaan remained on track through the caution period despite suffering obvious damage to his right front suspension.

On the final restart with three laps remaining, Dixon and others cars easily passed Kanaan’s wounded car on the outside. Dixon then maintained his lead through the checkered flag to win at Homestead for the second time in his career.

“I think Marco (Andretti) and T.K. probably had a little bit better cars today, but we came through with the win, and that’s what counts,” Dixon told ESPN after his 12th career victory.

Following his victory at Homestead, Dixon continued to redeem himself through the course of the 2008 season. In May, he won the Indianapolis 500 for the first (and so far only) time. Following Indy, he went on to win four more times in 2008 and won his second series championship.

Also on this date:

1998: Mika Hakkinen won the Grand Prix of Brazil, the first of eight victories in his first championship season.

2010: Will Power won the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, which was held on a Monday morning because of rain postponing the race on Sunday.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter