Mike Shiplett

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Mike Shiplett
Shiplett at Kansas Speedway in 2022
Personal information
Birth nameMichael Gene Shiplett
NationalityUnited States American
Born (1972-05-17) May 17, 1972 (age 51)
Amherst, Ohio, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Northwestern Ohio[1]
OccupationCrew chief
Years active1995–present
CountryUnited States
SportMotor racing
LeagueNASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
TeamBret Holmes Racing

Michael Gene Shiplett (born May 17, 1972)[2] is an American NASCAR crew chief who works for Bret Holmes Racing as Bret Holmes's crew chief.

Racing career[edit]

Early career[edit]

He started his racing career by working in his uncle's racing shop in Ohio, going from working on the street stock cars his uncle owned to being given the opportunity to drive them when he was 15. However, a local rule prohibited him from driving a street stock car until he was 16.[1] He moved up the ladder of racing, from street stocks to late models before going to college and graduating with a degree in diesel technology from the University of Northwestern Ohio in 1992.[3]

Shiplett earned his first job as a mechanic for Liberty Racing in 1995 as they made their transition into the brand-new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.[1] He moved to Butch Mock Motorsports in 1999, becoming the car chief for the No. 75 truck.[3] He got another opportunity to be in the same position in 2001 for Ultra Motorsports.[3] He worked for the team again in 2002 on their No. 7 car driven by Casey Atwood.[4]

2003–2008: Evernham Motorsports[edit]

2003–2006: Mechanic and car chief[edit]

Shiplett got his first big break in 2003, when he was hired by Evernham Motorsports to serve as the lead mechanic for the team's No. 19 car driven by Jeremy Mayfield.[4] In 2006, he was promoted to be the car chief (which Evernham Motorsports referred to as a "car director") of the No. 9 car driven by Kasey Kahne.[5] Kahne had one of his best seasons with Shiplett and crew chief Kenny Francis in 2006, winning a career-high 6 races en-route to an 8th-place finish in that year's Chase for the Nextel Cup.[6]

2007: Busch Series No. 9 car[edit]

Due to the success of the 2006 season, Shiplett was rewarded with his first opportunity as crew chief (which Evernham Motorsports referred to as a "team director"). He crew chiefed their No. 9 car in the Busch Series in 2007, driven by multiple drivers.[7] The No. 9 Busch Series team won 2 races in 2007, with both wins coming from Kasey Kahne.

2008: Cup Series No. 10 car[edit]

He was promoted once again in 2008 to be the crew chief for the No. 10 car driven by Patrick Carpentier.[8] Although Carpentier won a pole at New Hampshire,[9] the 2008 season was a disaster for Shiplett and Carpentier, with 5 DNQs (Did not qualify). Things came to a head at the fall race at Talladega, where Carpentier failed to qualify for the fifth time that season. Shiplett and Carpentier got into a heated argument after Shiplett blamed Carpentier for failing to qualify, which led to Carpentier's firing.[10] Carpentier was replaced by Terry Labonte, Mike Wallace, and A. J. Allmendinger. The No. 10 team finished an abysmal 37th in owners points in 2008.[11]

2009–2011: Richard Petty Motorsports (first stint)[edit]

Shiplett in 2009 talking to Reed Sorenson, who he crew chiefed that year
Shiplett (third from left) with his pit crew, his driver A. J. Allmendinger and Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force Norton A. Schwartz and his wife on pit road before the 2011 Coke Zero 400

Despite the poor performance of the No. 10 team during the 2008 season, Shiplett stayed with Gillett Evernham Motorsports as it merged with Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM).[12] The No. 10 team became the No. 43 team in 2009, with new driver Reed Sorenson behind the wheel.[13] After 22 races, the No. 43 and 44 teams switched at Michigan, with Shiplett becoming the new crew chief for A. J. Allmendinger in the 44 for the final 14 races of the season.[14] Despite the crew swap, Shiplett's teams improved in 2009, with Allmendinger finishing 24th in points and Sorenson finishing 29th.[15]

Because Shiplett had more success with Allmendinger in 2009 than Sorenson, Shiplett stayed with Allmendinger for 2010 as the No. 44 team became the No. 43 team and Richard Petty Motorsports merged with Yates Racing.[16][17] Allmendinger and Shiplett improved on their brief 2009 season with a points finish of 19th and a pole at Phoenix Raceway.[18]

Shiplett and Allmendinger were retained by Richard Petty Motorsports as they downsized from 4 to 2 teams.[19][20] After eight years at Richard Petty Motorsports and its predecessors, Shiplett was fired on July 18, 2011 after the New Hampshire race.[21] At the time of his firing, the No. 43 team was in 16th place in the points standings.[22] Shiplett was replaced by Greg Erwin for the rest of the 2011 season.[23]

2012: Turner Motorsports[edit]

After being fired from Richard Petty Motorsports, Shiplett was hired by Turner Motorsports to be the crew chief of their No. 38 entry driven by longtime Evernham Motorsports/Richard Petty Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne and World of Outlaws driver Brad Sweet for the first 23 races.[24] Shiplett was also a crew chief in the Truck Series for 1 race at Rockingham Speedway with Kahne, which they won.[25]

2013–2014: Richard Petty Motorsports (second stint)[edit]

Shiplett returned to Richard Petty Motorsports for the 2013 and 2014 seasons and joined their research and development team along with being the car chief for the No. 9 team driven by Marcos Ambrose.[1][26] He was the crew chief for one race during the 2013 season for Corey LaJoie's Nationwide Series debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway,[26] where LaJoie finished 34th.[27]

2015–2018: Chip Ganassi Racing[edit]

Before the 2015 season, Shiplett was given another opportunity to be a crew chief when he was hired by HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi to be the crew chief for their No. 42 entry driven by Kyle Larson, Brennan Poole, and Justin Marks.[28] Shiplett's drivers combined earned 1 win at Homestead–Miami Speedway[29] and finished 15th in the owner's championship.[30]

Shiplett and the entire No. 42 team except for Poole and co-owner Harry Scott[31] returned for the 2016 season, with Marks racing in 17 races and Larson in 16.[32] Shiplett's team improved on their 2015 campaign, finishing 7th in the owner's championship and scoring 3 wins, 2 by Larson and 1 by Marks.[33][34]

Shiplett and the No. 42 team returned for the 2017 season, adding new development drivers Alex Bowman and Tyler Reddick.[35] During the season under Shiplett, Larson earned 3 wins early in the season, Reddick earned his first career Xfinity win at Kentucky Speedway,[36] and Bowman earned his first career Xfinity win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.[37] With Marks, Larson, Reddick, and Bowman, Shiplett's team improved to 5th in the owner's championship.

Before the 2018 season, it was announced that Shiplett would return to Chip Ganassi Racing's Xfinity Series team in 2018 with Larson, Marks, and John Hunter Nemechek as drivers for Shiplett's No. 42 team.[38][39] After the New Hampshire race, Shiplett was suspended for one race and fined $10,000 after failing post-race inspection.[40] Ross Chastain joined the No. 42 team on August 23, 2018 for 3 races[41] and did extremely well under Shiplett, winning 1 race,[42] winning a pole,[43] and finishing second in another race.[44] Overall, Shiplett and the No. 42 team earned 6 wins (4 with Larson, 1 with Chastain, and 1 with Nemechek [45]) and finished 2nd in the owner's championship. After the season, Chip Ganassi Racing's Xfinity program folded and Shiplett was released from Chip Ganassi Racing after the team's main sponsor, DC Solar, was exposed as a Ponzi scheme and forced to shut down.[46]

2019–2022: Stewart-Haas Racing[edit]

2019: Xfinity Series No. 00 car[edit]

On February 1, 2019, it was announced that Shiplett and the former No. 42 team would join Stewart-Haas Racing and their No. 00 Xfinity Series program, working exclusively with driver Cole Custer for the full season.[47] In their first season together, Shiplett and Custer had an extremely successful season, winning 7 races. In contention for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Custer was unable to pass Tyler Reddick in the closing laps and finished second in the race and in the overall points standings.[48][49]

2020–2022: Cup Series No. 41 car[edit]

Despite the disappointing end to the 2019 season, Shiplett and Custer were promoted to the No. 41 team in the NASCAR Cup Series for the 2020 season.[50] Custer broke through when he won the 2020 Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway to clinch a playoff berth, giving Custer and Shiplett their first career Cup Series wins as driver and crew chief, respectively.[51] In Shiplett's 150th career start at Bristol, the No. 41 team was eliminated in the first round of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.[3][52] Despite the win and playoff berth, the team struggled throughout the season and finished 16th out of 16 playoff drivers in the points standings.[53]

Early in the season after the 2021 Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas, Shiplett was suspended for 1 race and fined $20,000 for failing post–race inspection.[54]

Shiplett returned as the crew chief of the No. 41 car a third straight year in 2022. He and Custer missed the playoffs again. However, their teammate Chase Briscoe did make the playoffs and during the race at the Charlotte Roval, Custer was in front of Briscoe on the last lap and intentionally slowed down and checked up heading into the "bus stop", which resulted in Briscoe gaining positions and passing cars and advancing to the next round of the playoffs. As a result, NASCAR announced on the Tuesday after the race that Custer would lose 50 driver points, the No. 41 car would lose 50 owner points, and Shiplett would be indefinitely suspended.[55] The team appealed the penalty, which allowed Shiplett to crew chief the car until the appeal date,[56] but on October 27, Stewart-Haas Racing lost the appeal against Custer's penalties.[57]

2023–present: Richard Childress Racing[edit]

On January 10, 2023, NASCAR lifted Shiplett's suspension.[58] In addition, Richard Childress Racing announced that Shiplett has assumed the role of Xfinity Series competition director.[59]

Personal life[edit]

Shiplett was born and raised in Amherst, Ohio[2] although he currently lives in Denver, North Carolina (in the Charlotte metropolitan area where most NASCAR teams are based) with his wife, Brooke.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Mike Shiplett Bio". Stewart Haas Racing. 29 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Mike Shiplett PDF" (PDF). TrueSpeedCommunication.
  3. ^ a b c d Kim, Andrew. "Shiplett to reach 150 Cup starts as crew chief at Bristol". Speedway Media.
  4. ^ a b "New duties for key Evernham Motorsports personnel". Motorsport.com. January 16, 2003. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  5. ^ "Major changes at Evernham". Crash.net. 17 November 2005.
  6. ^ "Kasey Kahne Driving Stats". Racing Reference.
  7. ^ "2007 Busch Series Team/Driver Chart". Jayski.
  8. ^ "Mike Shiplett is Pat Carpentier's crew chief". Auto123.com.
  9. ^ Voyer, Michael. "Patrick Carpentier Gets His First Career Pole at New Hampshire". Bleacher Report.
  10. ^ Crandall, Kelly. "Fightin' Words: Patrick Carpentier Released From Gillette Evernham". Bleacher Report.
  11. ^ "2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Owner Standings". TobyChristie.com.
  12. ^ Newton, Dave (January 9, 2009). "Petty, Gillett Evernham merge". ESPN.go.com. Charlotte, North Carolina: ESPN. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  13. ^ "2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Owner Standings". TobyChristie.com.
  14. ^ Buchanan, Mary Jo. "Richard Petty Motorsports Is King of the Swap". Bleacher Report.
  15. ^ "NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings for 2009". Racing Reference.
  16. ^ "2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Team/Driver Chart". Jayski.
  17. ^ Spencer, Reed (September 10, 2009). "Petty, Yates to merge, switch to Fords". Sporting News. Sporting News. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 17 April 2021.
  18. ^ Buchanan, Mary Jo. "AJ Allmendinger Scores First Ever NASCAR Cup Series Pole". Bleacher Report.
  19. ^ "2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Team/Driver Chart". Jayski.
  20. ^ Pearce, Al (24 August 2010). "NASCAR: Richard Petty Motorsports to run only two cars in 2011". Autoweek.
  21. ^ "NASCAR: AJ Allmendinger gets new crew chief". Auto123.com.
  22. ^ Pennell, Jay. "NASCAR News: Greg Erwin Replaces Mike Shiplett As No. 43 Crew Chief At Richard Petty Motorsports". SB Nation.
  23. ^ "Erwin replaces Shiplett as Allmendinger's crew chief". SportingNews.
  24. ^ "Turner Motorsports announced Mike Shiplett as crew chief for Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet". Speedway Media.
  25. ^ "Kasey Kahne surges to trucks win in Rockingham return". The Spokesman–Review.
  26. ^ a b "Son of former champ to make Nationwide debut". NASCAR.com.
  27. ^ "2013 Ford EcoBoost 300". Racing Reference.
  28. ^ "Chip Ganassi and Harry Scott Jr. team to field 1 Xfinity Series entry in 2015". StarTribune.
  29. ^ "Larson picks up first 2015 win at Homestead finale". NASCAR.com.
  30. ^ "Larson picks up first 2015 win at Homestead finale". NASCAR.com.
  31. ^ Bruce, Kenny (February 11, 2016). "Brennan Poole to drive full-time for Chip Ganassi Racing in XFINITY Series". nascar.com. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  32. ^ "Chip Ganassi Racing announces 2016 driver lineup". Speedway Digest.
  33. ^ Pantorno, Joe. "NASCAR Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio 2016: Results Winner, Standings and Reaction". Bleacher Report.
  34. ^ "NXS: Chip Ganassi Racing 2016 Review, 2017 Preview". Bleacher Report.
  35. ^ Crandall, Kelly. "Ganassi Team Cranks Up Xfinity Series Program". Racer.
  36. ^ Hatch, Charlie. "Tyler Reddick gets dominating first win at Kentucky in Xfinity Series playoff opener". USA Today.
  37. ^ Spencer, Reid (8 October 2017). "Alex Bowman scores first NASCAR victory with Xfinity win at Charlotte". Autoweek.
  38. ^ "2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Team Chart". Jayski.
  39. ^ Weaver, Matt (12 December 2017). "John Hunter Nemechek joins Chip Ganassi Racing NASCAR Xfinity team for 2018". Autoweek.
  40. ^ Vincent, Amanda (25 July 2018). "NASCAR Suspends Two Xfinity Series Crew Chiefs after New Hampshire Race". TheDrive.
  41. ^ Beaver, Dan (23 August 2018). "Ross Chastain to run three Xfinity races with Chip Ganassi Racing". NBC Sports.
  42. ^ Pockrass, Bob (16 September 2018). "Perseverance pays off as Ross Chastain earns first Xfinity win". ESPN.com.
  43. ^ "Chip Ganassi Racing Taps Ross Chastain to Drive the No. 42 Chevrolet". Speedway Digest.
  44. ^ "2018 Go Bowling 250". Racing Reference.
  45. ^ McFadin, Daniel (20 October 2018). "John Hunter Nemechek earns first Xfinity Series win". NBC Sports.
  46. ^ Roselund, Christian (May 28, 2019). "DC Solar gets liquidated". pv magazine USA. Archived from the original on December 7, 2019. Retrieved December 7, 2019.
  47. ^ Bonkowski, Jerry (February 2019). "Stewart Haas Racing names Mike Shiplett as Cole Custer's crew chief". NBC Sports.
  48. ^ "Cole Custer Second at Homestead, Second in Championship". Speedway Digest.
  49. ^ "2019 Ford EcoBoost 300". Racing Reference.
  50. ^ Albert, Zack. "Stewart-Haas Racing reveals crew chief lineup for 2020 NASCAR Cup Series teams". NASCAR.com.
  51. ^ Graves, Gary (21 April 2021). "NASCAR Cup rookie Cole Custer wins in upset at Kentucky". AP.
  52. ^ Sturniolo, Zach (20 September 2020). "William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Blaney Eliminated From Playoffs". Frontstretch.
  53. ^ Wackerlin, Jeff. "Cole Custer 2020 season in review". NASCAR.com.
  54. ^ Haas, Jared (9 March 2021). "Cole Custer's Crew Chief Mike Shiplett Suspended for 1 Race". Frontstretch.
  55. ^ "NASCAR penalizes Custer, No. 41 SHR team after Charlotte playoff race". NASCAR.com. NASCAR Digital Media, LLC. October 11, 2022. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  56. ^ "(Twitter post)". Twitter. Bob Pockrass. October 11, 2022. Retrieved October 12, 2022. Stewart-Haas Racing will appeal the penalty issued to Custer (50 points, $100K fine) and to Shiplett ($100K fine and indefinite suspension).
  57. ^ Long, Dustin (October 27, 2022). "Appeals panel upholds penalties to Cole Custer, No. 41 team". NBC Sports. Retrieved October 28, 2022.
  58. ^ "Charlotte Penalties Announced; Mike Shiplett Suspended UPDATES". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media. January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  59. ^ "Richard Childress Racing enhances Xfinity program with leadership promotions". Jayski's Silly Season Site. NASCAR Digital Media. January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 12, 2023.

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