Ratcliff will lead Logano team in ’12

Jason Ratcliff is moving into the role of NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief for the 2012 season.

Ratcliff will take over as crew chief for the Joe Gibbs Racing team of Joey Logano. Former crew chief Greg Zipadelli is leaving the team to join Stewart-Haas Racing.

“We appreciate everything Greg has done for us here at Joe Gibbs Racing. He has been a big part of our success, but we felt the timing was right to make this transition for our race team which allows Greg the opportunity to pursue a director of competition position with Tony (Stewart),” team owner Joe Gibbs said. “We also felt that the timing was right to bring Jason to our Cup operation. He is a proven leader with a tremendous track record in our Nationwide program and we think he and Joey will work well together.”

Ratcliff spent the previous seven seasons as crew chief for the organization’s No. 18 Nationwide Series team. The team won two consecutive owner’s championships, in 2009 and 2010, and finished second in 2011.

Over the past three seasons, the organization has won 30 races with 85 top-10 finishes, 68 of them top fives. They have led 6,124 laps over that time.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join our Cup operation and work with Joey and everyone on the (No.) 20 team,” Ratcliff said. “There is a great history with this program and we have two of the best sponsors in the sport with The Home Depot and Dollar General. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Joey a few times now on the Nationwide side so there is a familiarity there, but I’m looking forward to getting started full time and working alongside (fellow crew chiefs) Dave (Rogers) and Darian (Grubb).”

Zipadelli has been the crew chief for JGR’s No. 20 program since the team was formed in 1999.