Pit boss heads to Red Horse Racing to run the No. 11 team Red Horse Racing announced Friday afternoon that Scott Zipadelli will be crew chief for the No. 11 Toyota to be driven by Ben Kennedy next season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Since 2007, Zipadelli has had a recurring role as a crew chief in what is now the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The Red Horse job will mark his first venture into the truck circuit. "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 release provided by the Tom DeLoach-owned team. "Ben (Kennedy) is a talented driver and I have high expectations for him and the No. 11 team. He 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." Zipadelli has posted three XFINITY Series wins in his career -- two last season with Kyle Larson at the wheel, and one with Boris Said on the Montreal road course in 2010. His brother, Greg, is a 34-time winner as a crew chief in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and is currently the vice president of competition for Stewart-Haas Racing . Last month, Red Horse announced that Kennedy -- the Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the NCWTS in 2014 -- would join its driver lineup and that the field of crew chief candidates had been whittled to a short list. The hiring of Zipadelli fills the lone vacancy in its driver-crew chief pairings for 2015. "Scott Zipadelli has great experience on top of the pit box and brings a lot to the program," Kennedy said in the team's release. "I am really looking forward to working with him and can't wait to unload our No. 11 Toyota Tundra at Daytona in February." The 23-year-old Kennedy netted seven top-10 finishes for Turner Scott Motorsports in his rookie truck season, highlighted by having the number one starting spot for the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway . In making the switch, he'll take on the role of teammate to Timothy Peters and crew chief Marcus Richmond in the organization's No. 17 Toyota. The Camping World Truck Series' 23-race schedule opens Feb. 20 with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 (7:30 p.m., FOX Sports 1) at Daytona. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Boris Said doesn't mince words about Greg Biffle after they had on-track incidents and a skirmish in the garage area.
Sprint Cup Series drivers joke around during Garagecam at Watkins Glen.
Sanctioning body will bring teams down pit road for manipulation RELATED: NASCAR announces 2015 rule changes NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams will no longer be allowed to alter their car's side skirts during an event, a practice that became widespread during the 2014 season. At the NASCAR State of the Sport to kick off the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom, Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said the sanctioning body will bring cars back down pit road if officials see that the side skirts have been manipulated during a pit stop in the race. O'Donnell said it would police flared skirts "by any means possible," including use of the new pit road technology that will make its debut during Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway . Robin Pemberton, vice president of competition and racing development said the practice was allowed to continue last season because officials "didn't want to change how we were policing things in the middle of the Chase. "We knew at the end of the year there was work to do on our part in how we policed it in 2015," he said . "We'll do that with our pit road cameras, we'll do that with our video replay system and we'll do that with our officials on pit road." For 2015, NASCAR will police pit road through the use of 45 cameras (located on the grandstand side of the track) that will feed video back to a central location. Software written into the system will alert officials to any potential violations. There will also be 10 officials roaming pit road to monitor pit stops. If it is determined that a team has altered the side skirt, Pemberton said the team will be required to correct the issue at that time. "If we somebody physically pulling it out, or doing something to make it come out, we'll react. We'll make them fix it (during the race)," he said . The pieces, officially known as vertical rocker panel extensions, are located along the bottom of the car's body between the front and rear tires. They help seal the area between the bottom of the car's chassis and the track surface, limiting airflow underneath the vehicle. Unlike the thin sheet metal that covers most of the car, the pieces are made of hard plastic, which limits damage when they come into contact with the surface of the track. However, one short section of the right-side piece, located between the exhaust area and the rear tire, is constructed of metal to withstand heat from the car's exhaust. And it's that piece that drew the interest of officials as teams began to pull out or "flare" the metal portion in an attempt to improve downforce as the car traveled through the turns. The greater the pressure generated, the better the car moves through the corner, allowing the driver to maintain speed. Not all teams were flaring the pieces last season, but those that did typically would make the adjustment during an early pit stop. NASCAR allowed the practice to continue as the season progressed, but said on several occasions it was something that would be addressed after the completion of the 2014 season. Teams haven't said how much is gained from such an adjustment. There has, however, been talk about possible problems the move creates for other drivers. Flat tires following contact sidelined at least two Chase contenders late in the year, and both were asked if the flared side skirts were at least partly to blame. "I would assume it was something like that," Team Penske driver Joey Logano said of contact at Texas between his Ford and that of Richard Petty Motorsports driver Marcos Ambrose . "Obviously, the consequences of that (flaring) is that is you touch each other … you can get a flat tire, but that's part of it. We all know it. We can see it. "We know if we touch each other we'll have an issue because of everyone being so aggressive in that department. But that's the name of the game right now." In the same race, contact between Logano's teammate, Brad Keselowski , and Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon resulted in a flat tire on the No. 24 Chevrolet. It also set the stage for post-race fireworks involving Gordon, Keselowski and various crewmen. Gordon said whether his flat tire was caused by Keselowski's flared side skirt or something else was "certainly debatable." "You don't know. The … tailpipes stick out, too," Gordon said , "and as hard as the impact was, it's possible that the tailpipes may have done it." Still, he said , such body alterations aren't helping the situation in such instances. "It is definitely getting a little bit out of control," he said . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Looking back at the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee's career MORE: NASCAR Hall of Fame profile of Rex White " NASCAR Hall of Fame by class (Note: This release is part of a series in advance of the 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Jan. 30, broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, Motor Racing Network Radio and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Joe Weatherly and Rex White are the five 2015 inductees.) DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.– Over the years, NASCAR premier series champions have come in all shapes and sizes – tall, short, muscular and lean. The single constant? It’s impossible to judge a book by its cover. Based upon first impressions, Rex White – at 5 feet 4 inches, weighing just 135 pounds and with his right leg withered by childhood polio – might have seemed the unlikeliest championship contender of all. White, however, was tough as nails fearing neither competitor nor track conditions. He won the 1960 premier series title and posted 28 victories over five seasons, finishing among the top five in nearly half of his 233 starts. "He looked more like a jockey than a race car driver," fellow competitor Buddy Baker told the Gaston Gazette, "but he lived large once they started the race. On short tracks, he was very aggressive. He didn't mind going in the turn with (NASCAR Hall of Famer and three-time premier series champion) Lee Petty and saying, 'I'm inside and if you come down we’re not going to agree on stuff.' "He raced hard." NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, the 1983 premier series champion, said , "I admired Rex as a race driver because he was a little guy. I started out small. Seeing him winning encouraged me to chase my dream." What might have been a handicap to many only served as motivation to White, born Aug. 17, 1929 in Taylorsville, N.C. "Most of the lessons I have learned (from childhood illness) have stayed with me all my life," said White in his autobiography "Gold Thunder," written with Dr. Anne B. Jones. "The biggest one was how to conquer fear." White learned to drive at age six, driving a neighbor's truck in surrounding fields. Two years later he was working on his family's Ford Model T. “I was unaware the car on which I labored represented hope to people around me (and) frustration to those trying to stop illegal moonshine," said White. "I saw automobiles as transportation, not the symbol of an upcoming billion-dollar sport." White dropped out of school, moving to the Washington D.C., area where he found employment as a cook and, after marriage, a service station job. A poster advertising stock car races took White to Lanham (Maryland) Speedway where he caught on as an unpaid crew member for 1952 NASCAR Modified champion Frankie Schneider. A year later, White returned to the track with a 1937 Ford purchased for $600 lettered "X." He won his heat race, the semi-main and the feature. "I'd never won a trophy at anything," said White. White made his premier series debut in 1956 on Daytona's beach/road course. In 1958, he teamed with crew chief Louis Clements in an "off the books" program by GM's Chevrolet Division. They won twice in 1958 and five times the following year. The 1959 season also saw the debut of White's iconic No. 4 gold and white Chevrolet. The 1960 season was the first in which White ran a full schedule, going to the post only after he and Clement built a car for a competitor, the sale of which netted $2,000 for their own Chevrolet. White won six times finishing 35 of 40 races among the top 10. White's ninth-place finish at Birmingham, Alabama on Aug. 3 was his worst performance in the year's final 15 races. The championship was a runaway, White beating NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty by nearly 4,000 points. "The thing about Rex is he thinks," said Clements in a 1960 interview with Sports Illustrated. "When he's out on the track, he's planning and figuring out which cars he has to race to stay ahead." Car owner and engine builder Smokey Yunick, quoted in the same article, said , "Rex is not a cautious driver but he know when to use caution." White didn't disagree. "I couldn't run quite as fast as some of those other guys," he said . "So long as I was smart and kept running; if any of those other guys had trouble, I had a chance." White nearly defended his title in 1961 winning seven times but finished second to NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett. He added two more top-10 championship finishes before retiring at the conclusion of the 1964 season. Between 1959 and the 1963 seasons, White won more races than any other driver. He won 36 premier series poles – at least one in eight consecutive seasons – and finished second in NASCAR's Short Track late model championship in 1959. In retirement, White has owned an automobile dealership and for 25 years a trucking company, both in the Atlanta area where at age 85 he continues to reside. Named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, White holds membership in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.
SHR driver discusses upcoming season CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch says he's had no problem focusing on preparations for the upcoming racing season in spite of an on-going case involving domestic assault that continues to hang over the 2004 premier series champion. "I feel great," Busch, 36, said Tuesday during the annual Charlotte Motor Speedway media tour. "It's easy to be here and stand on truth and have all the people and support from behind the scenes this offseason." Ex-girlfriend Patricia Driscoll submitted a request for a no-contact order late last year, accusing Busch of physical harm during a race weekend in Dover, Del., last September. No decision has been made concerning the protective order request and the Delaware state attorney general's office has yet to rule on the alleged altercation. Until action is taken on those two issues, Busch will continue to prepare for the upcoming season, his second with Stewart-Haas Racing . "I'm a racer. I love to go race … that's the easy part and that's where the focus stays," Busch said . "When you have things going on in the offseason, that's the best time for different things to happen in your life and to make those changes. It's good to start moving forward and get a resolution to that." A recent Goodyear tire test at Las Vegas Motor Speedway , he said , was a good way to not only get the new season started, but to turn the attention away from the on-going controversy. "To put the helmet on, belt in and go out there and go 200 mph, that's the best feeling in the world,' he said . "It seems quieter out there (on the track); it's an amazing feeling. When you put the helmet on it all seems quiet and you're the only one out there." Team co-owner Gene Haas has continued to stand behind his driver, but admitted he has considered the possibility of an unfavorable ruling against Busch. "I've run that around in my mind a million times," Haas said , "and I don't know. I think we have to wait and see. "The authorities are going to have an opinion about what they're going to do, and I have a feeling it's going to be something that no one expects, you know what I'm saying? … We have to kind of see what they come back with before we can respond." To do otherwise, he said , would be a waste of time. "We just don't want to speculate and add more fuel to the ol' fire," he said . FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Michael Waltrip Racing turns to 22-year-old in relief role CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Brett Moffitt , who made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in 2014, will drive the No. 55 Aaron's Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 1 as Brian Vickers recuperates from offseason heart surgery. Owner Michael Waltrip made the announcement Tuesday during his team's stop on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour. "He was the driver that everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing wanted to be in that car at Atlanta," Waltrip said . "They believe in him." Moffitt said he learned of his appointment to the No. 55 Toyota two weeks ago, making it exceedingly difficult to keep his fill-in role a secret. "It was a stressful wait to find out that I was going to be in the car, that's for sure," Moffitt said . "I obviously wanted this opportunity really bad and I'm thankful for it." In seven Sprint Cup starts last season, the best start and finish for the 22-year-old native of Grimes, Iowa and former NASCAR Next driver and K&N Pro Series East race winner came in his debut on June 1 at Dover International Speedway when he began the race in 18th and finished 22nd. Though he said he has been enjoying his time as a developmental driver in the MWR system, Moffitt said he was continuing to explore options -- in any of NASCAR's three national series -- that would allow him to race on a more consistent basis. "I'm very happy with MWR. They're very supportive of me -- have been since 2011," Moffitt said . "They gave me the first opportunity to test a Cup car, they gave me the first opportunity to race one, so they've been huge supporters of my career and I wouldn't be where I am without them, that's for sure. But at the same time, I need to be in a race car more often and they've been willing to work with me on that, and they said hey, if you find an opportunity, we're not going to hold you back from it." Waltrip agreed: "We'll let Brett do anything he wants to do in order to get laps so that he can continue to mature as a race car driver. We believe in Brett, he's our guy, but if we can loan him out and he can race somewhere else that would make me happy." Waltrip will drive the No. 55 Toyota in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 22 (1 p.m. ET, FOX) as he attempts to win his third Great American Race. Despite missing the first two races of the season, Vickers received NASCAR's blessing to run for the Sprint Cup Series championship provided he meets all other requirements for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs. He will return to his ride at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the third race of the year on March 8. Last month, doctors discovered Vickers' body rejected a patch that was placed over a hole in his heart. They alleviated the problem and gave him clearance to race just three months after the corrective heart surgery. "They took my heart out and replaced it with a lion heart," Vickers joked on Tuesday. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
There appears to be room for improvement between Toyota teams CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Clint Bowyer disagreed with Kyle Busch 's style of delivery, but when Busch said the Toyota teams of Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing were "idiots" for not working as closely together as other alliances, Bowyer couldn't deny the importance of that type of collaboration in today's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing. The success of teams like Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing working together has provided a strong example to follow, with drivers from each of those four-car super teams claiming the past two championships and three of the past four. And like it or not, that could be putting more pressure on others to follow suit. "I wish we could go back to no simulation, no testing, show up with a group of guys and get the most out of a weekend," Bowyer said Tuesday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Media Tour presented by Technocom. "Unfortunately, those days are over. ... The success, I'm afraid from here on out, is going to be in numbers." Those numbers grew when Joe Gibbs Racing expanded to four Cup cars for the 2015 season, adding veteran driver Carl Edwards to a team of Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth . Between JGR's four Toyotas and Michael Waltrip Racing 's two full-time cars, the teams appear to be better positioned to work together. But that's not what's happening, according to Busch. "I'm very vocal about it because I feel like we're idiots by not continuing to work in the right direction in order to put our companies together and do the right things for Toyota and for all of us collectively," Busch said Monday. "Nothing has happened where Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing are going to collectively work together as in-depthly as Stewart-Haas Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are." Bowyer admitted HMS and SHR are setting the benchmark for team alliances, because, as he says, you're racing against eight cars and their collective information when you take on those teams on a weekly basis. So what is it that MWR and JGR can do better? "No doubt, more data points would be potentially more helpful," MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman said . "That's something that if we can work with our fellow Toyota teams to collaborate in that regard, we'd certainly like to do that. It's really a three-legged stool between MWR, JGR and Toyota TRD as they call themselves. That's kind of how we're organized amongst ourselves as we look at all of those three points and what can you do to raise the level of those three together." Michael Waltrip agreed with Kauffman that more could be done between the two teams. "Could we collaborate on more? Yes, and I think that's ultimately the goal," Waltrip said . "I think everyone sees the success that organizations have by working together." But Waltrip pointed out that the super-team approach isn't the only way to reach success in Sprint Cup . "Well, then you look at Roger's (Penske) two cars and they do pretty good and there's only two of them," Waltrip said . "We feel like that there's going to be some advantages by collaborating with Gibbs more and we continue to work toward that." Of course Bowyer, in his own tongue-in-cheek way, had a suggestion for better cooperation between the teams. "If we could get Kyle to work better with us, I think it would be beneficial for sure," Bowyer said with a laugh. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule