NASCAR Media Tour: Ford unveils 2013 Ford Fusion - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

NASCAR Media Tour: Ford unveils 2013 Ford Fusion

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NASCAR Media Tour: Ford unveils 2013 Ford Fusion
Ford on Tuesday became first manufacturer in NASCAR to unveil its 2013 car.

The 2013 Ford Fusion mirrors its production car. It is the third time Ford simultaneously launched production and NASCAR versions of a new model.

The first dual launch came in 1968 with the Torino. The second was in 2006 with the newly introduced Fusion.

The 2013 Fusion has a redesigned silhouette and an identifiable front end grill. The overall proportion of the race car now reflects proportions of the showroom Fusion, and the race car has brand and design cues in the side of the vehicle.

Chevrolet, Dodge and Toyota have not said when they will unveil their 2013 cars.

NASCAR allowed the four automakers to remodel their race cars to make them more brand identifiable.

Ganassi hopes to bounce back
Chip Ganassi says his NASCAR organization was "just pathetic" last season, and that led to sweeping personnel changes to his teams.

The owner of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing spent the offseason shaking up his organization after Juan Pablo Montoya finished 21st in the final Sprint Cup standings and Jamie McMurray finished 27th.

Ganassi was one of the most aggressive team owners this winter.

He let go three top executives, made widespread personnel changes and nabbed a crew chief for Montoya from Hendrick Motorsports.

The NASCAR struggles are a far cry from Ganassi's other teams: Dario Franchitti gave Ganassi his fourth straight IndyCar title last season, and his Grand-Am teams have won the last two championships.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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