The 2013 NASCAR Ford Fusion is still nine months away from its official debut in the Daytona 500, but the race to get it from concept to competition is progressing right on schedule.

With brand identity being the cornerstone of NASCAR’s newest stock car, Ford decided to incorporate its Design Center into the development process for the first time in decades. That proved to be a beneficial component as the communication between the Design Center staff and Ford Racing played a key role in enabling Ford to be the first manufacturer to unveil its 2013 model when it took to the track at Charlotte Motor Speedway in January.