Pemberton Joins NASCAR

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing announced an executive reorganization that includes the appointment of longtime premier series crew chief Robin Pemberton to the position of Vice President of Competition.

Pemberton most recently was field manager for Ford Racing. He is renowned, however, for his work as a crew chief in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, where he fielded cars for Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Kyle Petty. In 17 years as a crew chief in NASCAR's premier series, Pemberton's drivers won 23 races, posting 250 top-10 finishes.

Pemberton will serve as a liaison between NASCAR and the sanctioning body's three national series - NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, NASCAR Busch and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The directors of those series will report to Pemberton.

In two other moves:

Gary Nelson, who oversees the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C., has been named Vice President of Research and Development.

Steve O'Donnell, formerly Director of Business Operations, has been named Managing Director of Events and Operations. "These decisions demonstrate our commitment to our competitors and fans," NASCAR Chairman/CEO Brian France said. "The addition of Robin Pemberton gives us an important new level of leadership in the garage that we think teams will embrace. As for Gary Nelson's promotion, it is well-deserved. He has led our safety initiative efforts and been vital to the establishment of our Research and Development Center.

"Steve O'Donnell is one of NASCAR's 'up-and-comers' and is representative of the depth of talented young people at NASCAR working to make our sport better every day."

Pemberton, 48, began his career as a mechanic/fabricator with Petty Enterprises in 1979. A crew chief since 1984, he helped start Roush Racing in 1987, and served as Martin's crew chief until 1991. He was Petty's crew chief from 1992-94 with SABCO Racing, and also served as Wallace's crew chief at Penske Racing South from 1995-2001. Pemberton returned to Petty Enterprises as general manager for the 2002 season. In 2003, he became Ford Racing's field manager.

"Robin certainly understands the dynamics of the garage," said NASCAR President Mike Helton. "He's well-respected by the drivers, teams and crew chiefs, and having someone who can relate to both the competitors and the sanctioning body is invaluable."

"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Pemberton said. "I'm optimistic I can contribute on both sides of the fence - with the teams on competition, and with the rules on NASCAR's side."

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