Greg Zipadelli expects Stewart-Haas’ driver lineup to remain unchanged

Greg Zipadelli, Stewart-Haas Racing’s vice president of competition, said Monday he anticipates keeping the organization’s four-driver roster intact for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season.

SHR currently fields cars for regular-season champion Kevin Harvick, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Cole Custer, Aric Almirola and Clint Bowyer — all of whom qualified for the 16-driver playoff field. The contracts for Almirola and Bowyer have been reported to be up after this season.

“Where we are is kind of one of those things that we kind of keep our laundry in-house, working on them,” Zipadelli said, opting not to delve into specifics about negotiations. “Yes, I do anticipate and (am) excited to hopefully have the same lineup that we do this year back. I know one is very close to done, and we’re working on the other one. I think our guys, our drivers really work well together this year and lean on each other. They’ve all helped Cole a bunch and proud of everybody for that. They’ve showed up ready to race on Sundays and that’s all we can ask.”

AND: Asked about XFINITY driver, Chase Briscoe:

WHERE DOES CHASE BRISCOE FIT INTO YOUR PLANS AND DO YOU EXPECT TO HAVE AN XFINITY TEAM NEXT YEAR?  “Yeah, hopefully he’ll be right where he is and shortly thereafter move up to the Cup Series.  We love Chase and appreciate him.  He’s a good kid and a great talent, and just a ton of fun to be around as far as his capability and how calm and cool he is, and the things he can do with a race car.”

IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU’RE ANTICIPATING CHASE IN CUP IN 2022?  IS THAT CORRECT?  “I would say he’s right at that point, whether it’s next year or the year after.  I don’t think it would hurt him to run another year of XFINITY.  I don’t know — kind of depending on how the schedules and what the races are if it helps him a bunch or not, but, right now, we’re trying to weigh out all those options.”

— Ford Performance —