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Jason Leffler on crew chief move: 'We needed something to kinda change'

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By Lee Montgomery

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Jason Leffler has a new crew chief this weekend at Darlington Raceway, as Trip Bruce has taken over on an interim basis for Scott Zipadelli on the Braun Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series team.

But what happened to Zipadelli?

"I don’t know that," Leffler said. "I really don’t. You’d have to ask Todd Braun."

Braun was asked about the crew chief situation but didn’t want to comment. Apparently Zipadelli is no longer with the team, though no one would confirm or deny that.

"It’s part of the business," Leffler said of the crew chief switch. "I’ve been through it before. And you just take it as it goes. We had a great year last year, and that’s the puzzling part. You shake your head. Everything went so good. We just haven’t been able to do that. At Braun, we have a pretty good template of how to race this current car and we have some really good teammates. Now we’re starting a little closer to them, and that seems to help."

Leffler finished fourth in the 2009 Nationwide standings in his first year with Zipadelli, posting eight top-five and 20 top-10 finishes. But he’s only 15th this year, with one top-10.

"Trip’s done a great job today," Leffler said. "We just haven’t had the year we wanted. We needed something to kinda change. I’ve been at Braun for a long time, and I’ve always put faith in what (co-owners) Todd Braun and Doug Stringer have done. This is another decision they made, and I think it’ll turn out to be good. It’s what we needed."