In a testament to the effective collaboration of competitors toward a common goal, the three auto makers involved in NASCAR Sprint Cup racing -- Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota --shared the Buddy Shuman Award, presented annually by the Champion brand to individuals and organizations that have played key roles in the growth and development of stock car racing.
The three automakers worked closely with NASCAR and with each other to speed the development of the Generation-6 race car introduced into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this season.
"I don't know whether or not you could get three insurance companies to come together and work together, but the fact of the matter is we're not afraid of one another," said Ed Laukes, vice president for marketing communications and motorsports for Toyota.
"We compete on the race track, we compete in the showroom, we compete in auto shows, we compete everywhere all year round. I don't know whether that could happen in any other industry. It's really special for the automotive industry."
Chevrolet Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Jim Campbell suggested a fourth recipient of the Shuman award might have been appropriate.
"I really felt like, in addition to the three manufacturers, they should have had somebody from NASCAR up there -- Robin Pemberton (vice president of competition and racing development) and his team," Campbell said. "Without that work, it would have never happened."
Tim Duerr, motorsports marketing manager at Ford, said the advent of the Gen-6 car and its heightened brand identity was helping Ford achieve its primary goal of selling cars.
"Fusion sales are at a record pace," Duerr said. "We're very proud of what the new Fusion has done from an appearance, quality and performance standpoint. To put that car out on the track every weekend in front of the 75 million NASCAR fans is just a great benefit to Ford Motor Company."
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