Mike Shiplett

Crew Chief, No. 00 Ford Mustang
Birth Date: May 17, 1972
Birth Place: Amherst, Ohio
Home Town: Amherst, Ohio
Residence: Denver, North Carolina
Spouse: Brooke
Bio:
NASCAR crew chief Mike Shiplett brings a wealth of experience to the No. 00 team of Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (SHR) in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The industry veteran’s 11th year as a crew chief comes in his first season at SHR where he calls the shots for 21-year-old Cole Custer.

Shiplett has enjoyed 17 victory lane celebrations with six different drivers in the Xfinity Series and has been a crew chief for more than 300 races across the Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series. Shiplett earned six Xfinity Series wins alone in 2018, guiding Kyle Larson to four victories and a win apiece for Ross Chastain and John Hunter Nemechek.

It was a standout year for Shiplett at Chip Ganassi Racing, but it ended up being short-lived when Ganassi’s Xfinity Series team was unexpectedly shut down before 2019 even began. But as the door to Ganassi shut, another opened at SHR with Custer and the No. 00 team.

In each of his two previous Xfinity Series seasons, Custer has been a championship contender. After missing out on the Championship 4 in 2017 by a scant four points, Custer secured his place in the Championship 4 in 2018 with a tenacious victory Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Custer came into the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway intent on winning the Xfinity Series title, and he nearly did, sweeping the race’s first two stages and leading a race-high 95 laps before finishing second to race winner and champion Tyler Reddick. Nonetheless, Custer ended 2018 with double the amount of top-fives (14) and seven more top-10s (26) compared to his 2017 campaign.

Custer is intent on winning that coveted series title, and it’s Shiplett who directs the third-year driver’s charge.

Shiplett has built his racing career from the ground up. The Amherst, Ohio, native was raised around short track racing with his uncle, who owned a pair of street stocks that competed at local tracks. Shiplett helped around the shop and on the road as part of his uncle’s crew. At 15, Shiplett’s uncle rewarded his effort and attention to detail by giving him a street stock to race, but a local rule kept him out of the driver’s seat until he turned 16. But once Shiplett did turn 16, he started racing his street stock throughout Ohio, eventually moving up to faster, higher-horsepower late model stock cars. When not driving and working on racecars, Shiplett attended the University of Northwestern Ohio, where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in diesel technology.

After racing street stocks and late models for seven years, Shiplett began working as a mechanic in 1995 with Liberty Racing in the American Speed Association (ASA) and stayed with team as it transitioned to the NASCAR Truck Series. At the end of the 1998 season, Shiplett moved to the heart of NASCAR in North Carolina, joining the No. 75 team of Butch Mock Motorsports in the NASCAR Cup Series. Shiplett was the car chief for the No. 75 team through the 2000 season, working with drivers Ted Musgrave (1999) and Wally Dallenbach (2000). Shiplett moved to Ultra Motorsports in 2001, serving in the same role and in the same series. He worked with a handful of drivers until earning a new opportunity with Evernham Motorsports in 2003 that helped propel his career to the next level.

Shiplett’s first stint as a crew chief began in 2007 when he oversaw Evernham Motorsports’ Xfinity Series program. Juggling eight different drivers, Shiplett scored two wins with Kasey Kahne and earned three top-five finishes and eight top-10s. As Evernham Motorsports morphed into Gillett-Evernham Motorsports and eventually Richard Petty Motorsports, Shiplett adapted to the changes, becoming a NASCAR Cup Series crew chief in 2008 and working with five different drivers through the 2011 season.

Shiplett returned to the Xfinity Series in 2012 when he joined Turner Motorsports, where he also performed crew chief duties in the NASCAR Truck Series. In fact, it was at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway on April 15, 2012 where Shiplett directed Kahne to victory in the Truck Series race, earning Turner Motorsports its first win in that division.

Shiplett came back to Richard Petty Motorsports for the 2013-2014 seasons, working within the organization’s research-and-development team. But the desire to be a crew chief beckoned, and Shiplett arrived at HScott Motorsports with Chip Ganassi in 2015. The Xfinity Series team had a technical alliance with the NASCAR Cup Series team of Chip Ganassi Racing, and it paired Shiplett with Larson. In 14 races together, the duo scored nine top-10 finishes, highlighted by a victory in the season finale at Homestead. Shiplett also worked with drivers Justin Marks and Brennan Poole.

Ganassi took full control of HScott Motorsports in 2016 and Shiplett proved his worth, winning with each of the drivers he worked with – Larson (twice) and Marks (once). Shiplett continued to deliver in 2017, as he knocked down more wins with Larson (three) and a victory each with Reddick and Alex Bowman. Shiplett’s six-win season in 2018 trumped them all, providing the perfect segue to his new home at SHR in 2019.

Shiplett resides in Denver, North Carolina, with his wife Brooke.