Scott Zipadelli named crew chief for Ben Kennedy in Truck series

Leave a comment

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. 

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Simon Pagenaud’s engineer relives 2019 Indy 500 victory on Twitter

Leave a comment

The Team Penske engineer for last year’s Indianapolis 500 winner is reliving Simon Pagenaud’s day by tweeting about what he was doing each moment a year later.

Starting with an observation that he awoke in his Indianapolis hotel room at 4:30 a.m., Ben Bretzman (@benbretzman) sent nearly two dozen tweets by 11 a.m. ET about how the morning before the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 unfolded.

Bretzman was through the infield tunnel and in Gasoline Alley by 6 a.m. By 7:30 a.m., he was wondering if his driver was awake yet, but he had heard for the first time from Pagenaud 45 minutes later.

‘BACK HOME AGAIN’Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, NBC

FIERCE FRIENDSHIPPagenaud, Rossi recall epic battle of 2019 Indy 500

Among other highlights: The team’s last strategy meeting was at 8:30 a.m.; final check of the weather was at 9:30 a.m. and Bretzman gave the No. 22 Dallara-Chevrolet a once-over at 10:35 a.m. before it was pushed to the grid.

Follow @BenBretzman to watch the day unfold from the pit box and tune into “Back Home Again at 2 p.m. ET on NBC as Pageanud and Alexander Rossi, who are good friends off the track, recap their epic duel with host Mike Tirico.

Simon Pagenaud and engineer Ben Bretzman debrief at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IndyCar photo by Joe Skibinski).