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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Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

A Ganassi spokesman said the team hopes to run its second entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans but only its WEC team is confirmed (an AOC invitation would be required for the IMSA team). The team also is exploring options but currently plans to have the WEC’s team base of operations in Indianapolis.

Ganassi is the first American-based prototype team to confirm its entry in the 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s expected that Team Penske, which raced this year’s Le Mans with a full-time WEC entry in LMP2, also will race Le Mans with Porsche’s new LMDh car that is set for IMSA, but the manufacturer has yet to confirm its driver and team lineup.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.