Stewart-Haas Racing restructured its leadership department of the NASCAR team to replace President Brett Freud, who was announced Tuesday as commissioner of the National Lacrosse League.
Frode has been with SHR since Tony Stewart co-owned the organization in 2009. He will still remain the executive advisor to SHR as well as the chairman of the board 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-chair Joe Custer will continue in his role, and the entire executive team has trusted oversight for SHR co-owners Stewart and Gene Haas.
The biggest step is the departure of Freud, whom Stewart recruited 18 years ago upon Freud’s graduation from Harvard Business School. But he came from the world of lacrosse and led Brown as team captain to Ivy League titles in 1994 and 1995, also progressing to the 1994 NCAA Final Four.
“Brett is the type of person who puts 100% effort into any project,” Stewart said. “No job is too big, but there’s no work under it. They negotiated multimillion-dollar contracts and then the next day stood in the mud at Eldora Speedway to hang the sponsor banner.
“I’m lucky to have him and SHR is in a great position because of him. Being commissioner of the National Lacrosse League is a dream job for him. One of the most dependable, detail-oriented people I’ve ever met.”
Fraud called his 14 years at SHR “some of the most satisfying of my professional career”, but could not turn down NLL.
“Becoming commissioner of the National Lacrosse League is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I appreciate the support everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing has provided me as I begin this new chapter,” Freud he said.
Frode will assist with the transition of McKinley, who joined the organization in 2020 and has secured several business partnerships for SHR. He was previously co-head of global partnerships at Feld Entertainment, where he managed partner activations across seven live touring properties worth more than $40 million.
Stewart said, “Brian McKinley joined SHR two years ago and has already made a huge impact in his short time here. He has helped secure new partnerships and built strong bonds with partners who are involved in the development of the community.” 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 two won the 2002 and 2005 championships for Joe Gibbs Racing before Stewart left for an ownership stake in Haas’ team prior to the 2009 season.
When the team expanded to three cars in 2012, Stewart selected Zipadelli to head SHR’s competition department.
“Obviously, I love Greg Zipadelli a lot. He brought the same determination that made us so successful together at Stewart-Haas Racing’s racetrack,” Stewart said.