Race Weekend Central

New Year: New Faces, New Team, New Challanges for Stewart-Haas Racing

After winning the closest title battle in NASCAR, Stewart-Haas Racing is back and ready to start 2012. The team has somewhat of a new look this year. Ryan Newman and Tony Gibson return to the No. 39. Tony Stewart has a new crew chief in Steve Addington, who joins the organization after serving as head wrench for Kurt Busch at Penske Racing last year. SHR is also expanding to a third car with Danica Patrick in the new No. 10 GoDaddy.com-sponsored Chevrolet. Greg Zipadelli, who worked with Stewart during Stewart’s entire tenure at Joe Gibbs Racing, rejoins Stewart’s team as Competition Director, and will also serve as Patrick’s crew chief this year. Patrick will run a limited schedule, including the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600. She will not attempt to run the Indianapolis 500 this year.

The team also announced additional sponsorship for 2012 from Aspen Dental. Stewart calls 2012 “our best year” as far as sponsorship goes, though he noted ther are still races to sell, adding that while there is pressure to repeat as champion, from the sponsor side of the coin, that’s a very good thing as the sponsors are squarely in the spotlight. Stewart will run the season-opening Nationwide Series race in 2012 in the No. 33 for Richard Childress Racing.

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