Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Greg Zipadelli talks about working with Joey Logano

Greg Zipadelli was Tony Stewart's crew chief at Joe Gibbs Racing for two NASCAR Cup championships. Zipadelli will work with Joey Logano in 2009. The latest youngster to join Joe Gibbs Racing will be racing at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale this weekend in the All-Star Showdown. He won the NASCAR Camping World Series portion of the Showdown last year and is one of a handful of high-profile drivers in this year's version of the race.
After the Showdown, Logano will head to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the season-opening Daytona 500 next month. Zipadelli was asked about what he can expect from Logano after working so long with Stewart, one of the more talented and volatile drivers in NASCAR.
“I don't know, we'll find out," Zipadelli said. "I've got three children at home. Ten years ago when we started with Tony there were a lot of up and down days and I think it’s going to be a lot of this. I hope that I stay a little bit even keeled knowing what’s on the other side of the rainbow."
Zipadelli said Logano is very mature for his age. With Kyle Busch, who has a bit of wild side, and Denny Hamlin, a more conservative driver by nature, Zipadelli said Logano will have two drivers with different personalities to learn from.
"So, for us we’re not sure exactly where we fit in – we’re somewhere in the middle," Zipadelli said. "He can go and speak to two different drivers who do different things, which to me is the greatest. Hopefully all the stuff you don’t want to deal with, yeah, I’ll probably have to spend more time with him on that part of it."
Zipadelli hasn't had to be much of a teacher with Stewart behind the wheel of his cars. But Zipadelli did have to be a moderator and a diplomat at times. He might have to rely on those skills with Logano.
"He wants to do this," Zipadelli said. "Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t see a lot of the bull. We’re all going to have bad days and his biggest struggle is going to be figuring out why he didn’t run good. Was it him, was it him not being able to tell us, was it me not being able to figure out what he was saying, did we just do the wrong things? That’s where our bad days are going to
come from. Part of that is just time and he doesn’t have a lot of time in these cars. We don’t have any time working together. We haven’t been able to go to race tracks, like I said before, with the right tire at the race tracks we’re going to run at. And, kind of have to compete against guys at the test to just see where you stack up."

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