Stewart-Haas Racing restructured its leadership department of the NASCAR team to replace president Brett Frood, who was announced as commissioner of the National Lacrosse League on Tuesday.
Frood has been with SHR since Tony Stewart became co-owner of the organization in 2009. He’ll still be an an executive advisor to SHR, as well as the board chairman for all Stewart-related entities.
Brian McKinley will move from vice president of sales to chief commercial officer for SHR, while Greg Zipadelli, who guided Stewart to two of his three Cup championships, was named chief competition officer. Current team co-president Joe Custer will continue his role, and the entire executive team has fiduciary oversight for SHR co-owners Stewart and Gene Haas.
The biggest move is the departure of Frood, who was recruited by Stewart 18 years ago upon Frood’s graduation from Harvard Business School. But he came from the lacrosse world and led Brown to Ivy League titles in 1994 and 1995 as captain of the team that also advanced to the 1994 NCAA Final Four.
”Brett is the type of person that puts 100% effort into any project,” Stewart said. ”No job is too big, but no job is beneath him, either. He’s negotiated multi-million dollar contracts and then the next day has stood in the mud at Eldora Speedway to hang sponsor banners.
”I’m lucky to have him and SHR is in a great place because of him. Being commissioner of the National Lacrosse League is a dream job for him. They’re getting one of the most trustworthy, detail-oriented people I’ve ever met.”
Frood called his 14 years at SHR ”some of the most satisfying of my professional career” but couldn’t turn down the NLL.
”Becoming commissioner of the National Lacrosse League is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I appreciate the support everyone has provided me at Stewart-Haas Racing as I embark on this new chapter,” Frood said.
Frood will assist with the transition of McKinley, who joined the organization in 2020 and has secured several commercial partnerships for SHR. He previously was the co-head of global partnerships at Feld Entertainment, where he managed more than $40 million worth of partner activation across seven live touring properties.
”Brian McKinley joined SHR two years ago and in his short time here has already made a big impact,” Stewart said. ”He’s helped secure new partnerships and made strong bonds with partners who have been a part of our race team for years. Brian has earned this opportunity.”
Zipadelli was Stewart’s crew chief for 10 years, beginning with Stewart’s rookie 1999 season. The duo won the 2002 and 2005 championships for Joe Gibbs Racing before Stewart left for an ownership stake in Haas’ team ahead of the 2009 season.
Stewart hand-picked Zipadelli to lead SHR’s competition department when the team expanded to three cars in 2012.
”Obviously, I think a lot of Greg Zipadelli,” Stewart said. ”He brought the same determination that made us so successful together on the racetrack to Stewart-Haas Racing.”
More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/hub/auto-racing and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports