Why Was Kevin Harvick’s Crew Chief Suspended?

Published 09/29/2021, 11:39 AM EDT
Sep 26, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports


Following the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick got into a spot of trouble. Apparently, post-race inspection revealed that there were two lug nuts missing from the car’s wheels. As a result, crew chief Rodney Childers has been handed a one-race suspension. In addition to that, the Stewart-Haas Racing team also copped a $20,000 fine.

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With Childers away from the action, the team has roped in Greg Zipadelli in his stead. According to further reports, SHR’s Tony Gibson will assume the role of competition director for the weekend. Admittedly, Harvick will miss having Childers in his box, considering that this is a crucial stage in the Playoffs.

Who is Greg Zipadelli, the man who will link up with Kevin Harvick?

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Greg Zipadelli has enjoyed a fairly fruitful career as a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief. Among other accolades, he has led his team and driver to 34 career Cup Series victories and two championships. Most of his success came from the hands of three-time Cup Series champion Tony Stewart.

The last time he took the crew chief stand was when he took over for Johnny Klausmeier in 2020. At the time, Klausmeier was the crew chief of #14 driver Clint Bowyer. Together, Zipadelli and Bowyer recorded 19th and 10th place finishes. Additionally, he worked with Chase Briscoe in four Xfinity races in the 2020 season.

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Sep 26, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

What do Harvick’s prospects look like for Vegas?

Last time out at Vegas, Kevin Harvick finished ninth and currently sits 10th in the standings. The bad news is that he is seven points adrift of the elimination line. On the bright side, if he manages to achieve decent results at Talladega and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, he could make it. It also helps that he has one career victory in the 2010 season at Talladega.

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The 2014 champion has been enduring a difficult season, with no wins under his belt. This is a far cry from the 2020 season where he enjoyed obtaining nine victories and a championship challenge. Luckily for him, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has registered top-10 finishes in four straight races ahead of Talladega.

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Dhruv George

12114 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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