Zipadelli’s most serious task is pulling SHR together and keeping the focus on getting Ryan Newman in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
It was just two weeks ago that Newman won at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to move into position to earn a wild-card berth into the 12-driver field, and Stewart left Pocono Raceway on Sunday ranked 11th in the standings holding the first wild-card position. It had SHR in position after a poor first-half of the season to get two of its three drivers in the Chase.
Now Stewart’s chances are over, but Newman has a very real opportunity to get into the field.
“Obviously it’s a huge letdown to everybody at Stewart-Haas, knowing that we were making some great strides,” Zipadelli said. “I think we’ve had some drastic improvements in the performance on the race track. I felt like we were peaking at the right time with two race cars having an opportunity. It’s a huge disappointment. But we’ll try to do our best to take that disappointment and turn it into a positive push for (Newman).”