KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has announced a new executive leadership structure that will take effect on Sept. 1.
President Brett Frood, who has been a part of SHR since its inception in 2009, is departing his day-to-day duties with the championship-winning NASCAR team to become commissioner of the National Lacrosse League (NLL). However, Frood will remain as an executive advisor to SHR and the board chairman for all Tony Stewart-related entities.
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In that role, Frood will assist in the transition of Brian McKinley from vice president of sales to chief commercial officer for SHR, as well as facilitate the expanded responsibilities of Greg Zipadelli, who becomes SHR’s chief competition officer after serving as vice president of competition since 2012. Joe Custer, currently co-president, will continue in his leadership role, and all members of the executive team will maintain its fiduciary oversight for SHR co-owners Stewart and Gene Haas.
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work for Tony and Gene, and humbled to have been in the trenches with such committed and impressive colleagues at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Frood said. “SHR is filled with individuals who are self-motivated and passionate in our collective pursuits of success. It’s why we’ve accomplished so much together. My 14 years here have been some of the most satisfying of my professional career and I’ll be forever grateful.
“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. I’ll look forward to maintaining a meaningful connection with the organization in my advisory role. Brian McKinley and Greg Zipadelli have the experience, acumen and drive to absorb the elevated responsibilities of Stewart-Haas Racing and position it for continued success in the years to come.”
Frood’s original passion is lacrosse. The Elbridge, New York, native was captain of the Brown University lacrosse team, which during his time with the Brown Bears won two Ivy League titles (1994 and 1995) and made an appearance in the 1994 NCAA Final Four. Frood has continued his involvement in the sport, where he has been a club and high school coach for more than a decade.
“Brett is the type of person that puts 100 percent effort into any project,” said Stewart, who recruited Frood 18 years ago upon his graduation from Harvard Business School. “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. He’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get dirty. That’s just how he is. I’m lucky to have him and SHR is in a great place because of him.
“I know his passion for lacrosse, and 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. And thankfully for us, we’ll still have an opportunity to leverage his expertise from a different vantage point.
“Obviously, I think a lot of Greg Zipadelli. We won two championships together and a lot of races. He brought the same determination that made us so successful together on the race track to Stewart-Haas Racing.
“Brian McKinley joined SHR two years ago and in his short time here has already made a big impact. 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 and I know that between him and Zippy, we’re well positioned for continued success.”
Zipadelli was Stewart’s crew chief in the NASCAR Cup Series for 10 years, beginning with his rookie season in 1999. It was a pairing that delivered two championships (2002 and 2005) and 33 victories, and as SHR transitioned from a two-car team to a three-car organization in 2012, Stewart hand-picked Zipadelli to lead SHR’s competition department. Today, SHR fields four cars in the NASCAR Cup Series and one in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
McKinley joined SHR in 2020 and has since secured numerous partnerships, including Mahindra Ag North America, GEARWRENCH®, Subway®, Magical Vacation Planner, PristineAuction.com and Renegade Insurance, among others. Prior to joining SHR, McKinley was the co-head of global partnerships at Feld Entertainment, managing more than $40 million worth of partner activation across seven live touring properties, including Monster Energy® AMA Supercross, Monster Jam and Disney on Ice. Before his tenure at Feld, McKinley was the vice president of sports marketing at Herbalife International. He led a global sponsorship strategy for the $4 billion health nutrition company that encompassed more than 250 partnerships across 90 countries.