Greg Zipadelli should become the crew chief of the 18 team, and Dave Rogers should become the crew chief of the 20.
Greg Zipadelli has been considered, for the last ten years, as one of the best crew chiefs in the NASCAR Sprint cup series. The combo of himself and Tony Stewart was considered the best driver ?crew chief combination in NASCAR, until obviously Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus started their complete domination of the sport.
With this being said, I believe that Zipadelli?s time with the 20 team is done. The 20 team is a totally different team than it was a few years ago, and Zipadelli is could be better utilized as the crew chief of the 18.
One of the reasons why the Zipadelli ? Stewart combo worked so well, was because their personalities were polar opposites. When Stewart was getting started in the cup series, Stewart would often get all fired up from either having a bad car, or having someone get in his way. Zipadelli served as a great counter to Stewart?s personality by calming Stewart down and showing him the reality of each situation.
With this being said, Kyle Busch is currently one of the most ?hot headed? drivers in NASCAR. There are many parallels to him and Stewart?s start in the cup series back in 1999. Both are very talented but often times inconsistent. Zipadelli was able to fix Stewart?s inconsistency and make him a strong force at every track week in and week out right from the start. So in saying this, Zipadelli should be able to fix Busch?s inconsistency and turn the 18 team into one of the favorites to knock the 48 team off their throne. I could see a combo of Zippy ? Busch pulling off a 10 win season, and dominating the sport just like Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus.
How will Rogers benefit the 20 team?
It was JGR?s original thought that paring Zipadelli with Logano would be a great combo as it is a match between a veteran crew chief and a young racing prodigy. If you look under the surface, you would find that this combination is actually not as great as some might think. We know that Zipadelli can be a little quiet and reserved at times, and from what we know of Logano?s personality, he is kind of also the same. Logano does not need someone like Zippy telling him to lay low, stay cool, and not to retaliate.
Logano has dominated the Nationwide series the last two years with crew chief Dave Rogers, so those two have not only worked together, but have been very successful together. Yes the COT is different from the nationwide car, but Rogers knows Logano?s driving style and exactly what Logano wants in a race car.
You could say that Zipadelli has already worked with Logano for a whole season, and they have had some early success in 2010, but the season just started. They are still going to struggle at tracks like Atlanta (as we just saw) along with Pocono, Phoenix and Homestead if not others, and Rogers has been Logano?s crew chief for more NASCAR races than Zipadelli.
Some might think that Rogers would be a worse match for Logano as he has very limited experience as a full time crew chief in the cup series. The last time he was in the cup series as a crew chief, was with Jason Leffler in 2005 with the new FedEx 11 team. But a lot of times, the best crew chief ? driver combos come from very little experience. Look at Tony Stewart and Zipadelli back in 1999, a rookie driver and a rookie crew chief, start on the front row of the Daytona 500, win three races in the season, and finish in the top five in points. It is the same story with Johnson and Knaus, or even Gordon and Evernham. Logano and Rogers could become the next great driver crew chief combination from scratch.
So in conclusion, I believe that if Zippy and Rogers should swap teams, and in result, both teams would perform at a higher level. Logano could very well make the chase, and Kyle Busch should finally fulfill his potential and win his first NASCAR Sprint cup championship.
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