Ford Motor Company, Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company and Toyota Motor Corporation today received the 2013 NASCAR Buddy Shuman Award from Federal-Mogul’s Champion Spark Plug brand. The three automakers received the award in recognition of their joint development of the Generation 6 car now used in Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series competition.
Presented annually by the iconic Champion brand, the Shuman award recognizes individuals and organizations that have played vital roles in the continued growth of professional stock car racing. It was created in 1957 in memory of early Grand National Series driver and technical inspector Louis Grier “Buddy” Shuman, who perished in a hotel fire in 1955.
The Shuman Award Committee selected the three automakers in recognition of their close collaboration in designing and testing NASCAR’s Gen-6 car, which debuted in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February. Nearly two years in the making, the new platform re-established NASCAR’s tradition of racing near-stock-appearing car bodies while incorporating a variety of safety and performance enhancements. With the exception of the carbon fiber hoods and rear deck lids, all Gen-6 body panels are now produced by the three vehicle manufacturers, further strengthening the sport’s ties to the passenger car market.
“The Gen-6 car has been a resounding success on all levels – safety, raceability and consumer engagement,” said Jay Burkhart, senior vice president, global marketing, Federal-Mogul Vehicle Components segment. “This is both a significant technical achievement and an inspiring example of cooperation for the greater good by three world-class organizations that are also fierce competitors. Their leadership reminds us that NASCAR is, above all, a community of competitors, enthusiasts and friends.”
Past winners of the Buddy Shuman Award include NASCAR co-founder Bill France Sr., Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, Rick Hendrick, Robert Yates, Richard Childress, and, in 2012, Ken Squier. Among the companies and brands that have received the award are Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Motor Racing Network, Union Oil, and Federal-Mogul’s Moog Steering and Suspension brand.