Tony Stewart and Greg Zipadelli won 33 races and two NASCAR championships together over a successful decade together.
They split after the 2008 season when Stewart left to become co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing. He's entering this season with his third crew chief in six years, evidence he's struggled to find the same chemistry he had with Zipadelli all those years.
So Zipadelli told The Associated Press he offered last year to return to the pit box with Stewart — an idea the driver did not entertain.
Zipadelli is currently the vice president of competition at SHR. He manages all four of SHR's Sprint Cup teams in that role, and says Stewart didn't want him to move.
But he admits he misses the adrenaline of being a crew chief.