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Meeting of the minds: Teamwork key during Phoenix test

As the 2012 season winds down, the on-track debut of the new 2013 car at Daytona in February looms large. And to that end, major collaborative efforts between NASCAR and its teams highlighted the October 24 Goodyear test for the redesigned race car at Phoenix International Raceway.
Over the  two days of testing, another bullet was marked off the checklist in preparation for the much-anticipated event as Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards, Kurt Busch, Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard and Brendan Gaughan participated in a Goodyear tire test for the next-generation cars at Phoenix International Raceway.
“You try to be as far ahead of this sport as you can; it’s a constantly evolving target,” said NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “Chase”  contender Keselowski. “Certainly Goodyear and NASCAR in conjunction with the teams share that goal to do what we can to improve the sport … It’s part of that commitment to evolve the sport as smoothly as possible.
“It’s important to stay in communication with NASCAR and the whole team across the board that works on these things. There are things that we know about the cars that we have access to because we work on them and drive them and do all those things every week that they might not know. And there are some things that they know that we are not going to know with the testing that they do at the tech center and so forth and with the path that they’d like to see the sport go. So, I think we have the ability to both help each other out quite a bit to make the sport better and take advantage of those capabilities.”
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, echoed Keselowski’s sentiment, saying the information gleaned from drivers has helped hasten the evolution of the 2013 car.
“When you have events that are like this – that are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – your relationships are won,” Pemberton said. “Everyone is working on a test plan and everybody basically pulls on the same end of the rope. And so, people have a tendency to drop their guard and talk more openly about the car and the testing and the results of the things that they are testing. We have great relationships with all of our teams and all of our drivers for the most part.”
This week  Goodyear  is testing the 2013 car at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR has worked closely with the three manufacturers – Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota – to develop the next generation of race cars that will make their debut during Speedweeks 2013 at Daytona International Speedway. The new race cars are designed to mirror their production counterparts in appearance.
In just two weeks  the 2012 season will conclude with the Ford Eco-Boost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Before all the championship coronations, NASCAR will race into the Miami Beach spotlight with the third-annual NASCAR Championship Drive festival featuring the Coca-Cola Racing Family Concert with performances by multi-platinum artist Daughtry and Universal Latino recording artist Frankie J.
NASCAR Championship Drive brings race fans and their families together to celebrate the finale of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the Ford EcoBoost 400. To set the stage, South Florida personality and radio host DJ Laz will help fans enjoy the perfect combination of sports, food and fun beachside with Daughtry and Frankie J on Thursday, Nov.15, along Miami Beach.
 “NASCAR Championship Drive is packed with activities that will help build excitement for what is shaping up to be one of the tightest finales in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR chief marketing officer. “Launched in 2010, NASCAR Championship Drive strives to not only thank our core fans, but also engage new fans of all ages and cultural backgrounds with a great mix of live music, driver appearances, a race hauler parade and many more activities.”  With engines grumbling and horns blaring, a parade in Miami Beach featuring race haulers from the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, plus other specialty and support vehicles will signal the unofficial start of the race weekend. The parade starts in downtown Miami and travels across the MacArthur Causeway and onto Ocean Drive before ending at Lummus Park.

You may reach Pete Barber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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