From Gen-6 car to cutting-edge technology, NASCAR offers glimpse into future
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France took to the podium today at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during the sanctioning body’s stop on the week-long media tour, and offered fans a robust menu of reasons why 2013 is one of the most anticipated campaigns in recent memory.
The Gen-6 race car. … Innovative technology … And, of course, the drivers – from the rising young talents to the established stars.
“This year with the new car, it adds that unbelievable excitement and anticipation,” said France. “It’s a great time. … and we’re looking forward to a spectacular 2013.”
Anticipation and competition – these were the two overriding themes from Tuesday afternoon’s NASCAR press conference as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
An industry collaboration between the auto manufacturers, race teams, drivers and NASCAR, the Gen-6 car was central among the topics discussed among today’s speakers.
“The amount of testing that NASCAR has done with the teams to get prepared with this car, and work on very specific areas to promote side-by-side racing at tracks other than the superspeedways, has been intense,” said Mike Helton, NASCAR president. “On the computer, in the wind tunnel, at the race shops, at the R&D Center and at the race tracks, there’s never been as much effort put into a car to get it ready to go racing. … For the drivers to say that we think this car is going to offer up the best racing we’ve seen, it’s got us all going in the right direction, so we expect to see that.”
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, was integral in the implementation of the Gen-6 race car. He joined France, Senior Vice President of Racing Operations Steve O’Donnell and Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood on today’s stage to preview the upcoming season.
“I really believe we’re going to see some of the most competitive, intense and exciting racing that we’ve seen in quite some time,” Pemberton said. “We’re excited about the direction we’re headed with our competition.”
France touched on a number of topics throughout his opening statements and the follow-up question-and-answer session with Helton.
Chief among them was innovation, from the new race car to a faster, more environmentally friendly means of track drying.
“We’ll be debuting … our first generation of [a new] track drying system,” France said. “We are going to do it in a much more green, carbon emission friendly way. It’s going to be a spectacular thing, and all of auto racing will benefit from this as we go down the road.”
Originally unveiled last week via Google+ Hangout, O’Donnell introduced the 2013 NASCAR Driver for Diversity class for the first time, in person. On this year’s roster: Bryan Ortiz, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico; Ryan Gifford, of Winchester, Tenn.; Daniel Suarez of Monterrey, Mexico; Mackena Bell of Carson City, Nev.; Annabeth Barnes from Hiddenite, N.C.; Jack Madrid from San Clemente, Calif.; and Devon Amos, from Rio Rancho, N.M.