NASCAR

ZIPADELLI: Crusade for Kids raises $80,000 for charity

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Greg Zipadelli

 
   
 
Crew Chief Club members will provide an inside look into NASCAR's garage frequently in the Sporting News and every week at www.crewchiefclub.com.

Q: Did you find time to do anything fun during the "off-season"?

A: Oh yes, I want to say thank you to all of the race fans who supported Zippy's Crusade for Kids. We had a snowmobile ride in Old Forge, N.Y. to raise money for children's charities, including the Victory Junction Gang Camp for Kids. We had over 300 for the dinner and over 150 rode their snowmobiles. We raised about $80,000 to benefit different kids charities. Your support was greatly appreciated. You can get more information about Zippy's Crusade for Kids from my website, GregZipadelli.com. I also went to Canada and went hunting for whitetail for about a week. I've always wanted to do that, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire week. We then went to Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri at Table Rock Lake. We went there with some of our friends following Christmas and stayed through New Year's Day. It was really nice. It wasn't ridiculously cold or anything like I thought it would be. Actually the weather was kind of like it would be back home in the Charlotte area. My "off-season" was really nice, and I got to do some things that I really wanted to do.

All work, not much play in Vegas

Q: Do you have a fun story (racing or non) to tell about your time at Las Vegas?

A: Not really. I'm pretty much all work out at Vegas. I usually just grab a bite wherever and turn in. I do want to go ride the New York, New York roller coaster this time. I hear it is a really fun coaster so I'm going to make some time over the weekend to get over there and ride it. I've been told it is awesome to ride it at night so I'm going to make sure I do that.

Q: Do you take your family to Las Vegas, and if so, what do you do for fun?

A: My family is not going to Las Vegas. It's just me this week. Nan and I have a two-and-half year old baby boy, Zachary, and Nan will stay at home with him. We're not really big gamblers or anything, and we don't really want to drag the baby out to Vegas. As he gets older, maybe we'll look for things to do at this track. Now, however, I don't even go out early like a lot of people. It really is all work for me.

Q: What is your favorite restaurant/entertainment in the area?

A: I don't do much out at Las Vegas. I stay with the team at the Orleans, but I am really not much of a night owl. Mostly I like to catch up on my sleep from the time change and from Daytona. After Speedweeks, I'm a little worn-out and need to catch up on my ZZZZZZs.

Working for the off-weekend

TonyStewart.com: An off-weekend was built into the schedule before the Las Vegas race. Did that help your race team's schedule in terms of building cars? Greg Zipadelli: We'll take weekends off whenever we can get 'em. I'm sure it'll help most teams. I know it'll help us because we have a few decent cars built, but we don't have as many as we'd like to. Having this off-weekend will allow us to get a lot done in the shop before we go to Las Vegas." TonyStewart.com: Were you happy to see an off-weekend this early in the season? Greg Zipadelli: Like I said, we'll take all the off-weekends we can get. It's hard to space out those off-weekends the way we'd like them to be. If it were me, I'd just look at the schedule and space them out as evenly as I could. But I don't have to deal with race tracks and weather. So we'll take this early gift, enjoy it, and in another couple of weeks we'll have another one. We've got a few of our off-weekends early this year, so we'll take advantage of them and hopefully they'll get us rested for the fall. TonyStewart.com: Why has the new aerodynamic package delayed your car building schedule? Greg Zipadelli: They (NASCAR) changed templates, but what they did was they took a lot of downforce away from us. So we're working hard to try and get as much of that downforce back as possible. So that's why we're off to a little slower start than we'd like to be in terms of building cars, because we're not building a lot of them until we find what we think is the best solution. From there, it's easier to build what we want. Some of that information came from our test at Las Vegas back in January, but there's still more information we need from the next couple of races, Las Vegas and Atlanta being two of them, where we can use the feedback learned from those races to build a better car.

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