Las Vegas NCTS Post Race Report
Jon Wood and the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 Finished 13th
Las Vegas (September 21, 2008)-Jon Wood in the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing U.S. Air Force F-150 ran a decent race in the Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350. He was able to move from a 23rd starting point up to 9th where on the last lap was involved in an incident beyond his control while crossing the finish line where he took the checkered flag in the 13th spot.
The one day show started off Saturday morning phenomenally as the no. 21 unloaded and Jon was scored in the top spot on the scoreboard for most of the first practice; he ended the session with a 12th place standing with a lap time 32.070 seconds and a 20th place spot in the final practice session with a lap time of 32.360. With the first practice fairly early, the team made some adjustments in the second practice to anticipate qualifying in the evening on Saturday. The team made some adjustments to the truck that would accommodate for the track temperature change. Jon qualified 23rd but was working with a loose handling race truck. Because of the impound rules, they were unable to make any changes after qualifying. Crew Chief John Monsam put a plan into place to make changes during the first caution of the 147 lap event.
Jon Wood took the green flag in the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing U.S. Air Force Ford F-150. He was immediately battling a loose handling race truck that persisted from qualifying. With the first caution on lap four, the team decided not to pit as Jon was able to move to the 18th spot. However, by lap 24 when the second caution occurred, the team took the opportunity to pit and make some major adjustments that were previously planned to assist with the loose condition. Jon returned to the race track where he restarted in the 23rd spot on lap 29.
As the number of cautions seemed to climb, the 21 team continued to work hard and make adjustments to the truck. By the halfway point of the race the team was not making much progress with the condition and when on lap 77, Crew Chief John Monsam discovered that the right front shock was possibly broken and created a plan to fix it on the next caution. On lap 100, the caution flag flew and the team was able to implement the plan and fix the shock. Unfortunately, it took longer than expected and the no. 21 went down one lap to the leaders; Jon would restart the race in 22nd.
With the shock issue fixed, it seemed to remove the loose condition. Jon was able to move into position where he would win the “lucky dog” and get his lap back. On lap 120 he was in the 20th spot. In the remaining laps, Jon moved to the 13th spot and with 12 laps to go, the caution came out. The 21 team did not pit and the race restarted on lap 137. Jon was able to move up to the 9th position when he was going to take the checkered flag, the no. 6 truck spun and moved up the race track on the back stretch, Jon had nowhere to go and slid into the wall as he crossed the finish line. He would take the checkered flag in 13th. Even though the truck was heavily damaged, the team brought home a solid place finish.
Crew Chief John Monsam commented on the day’s performance, “Our weekend started out real well, we unloaded the truck and went right to the top of the sheet in the first practice. I was really happy with the truck.”, he said.
“We made some adjustments in the second practice that, in hindsight, weren’t exactly what the truck needed for the race track changes and we should have left the truck where it was after the first practice. All of the changes that we made in the second practice contributed to the loose condition in the race that took us until lap 110 to get out of the truck. There were some changes that we made that we could not change back before the race due to the time constraints. Once we fixed the shock, Jon said that it drove excellent. I was really pleased with that. Then it was unfortunate that we got in a wreck on the last lap, right there at the finish line. Jon did a good job hanging in there with us and the guys worked really hard on the truck all night with the adjustments. We’ll just work on getting this truck fixed and look forward to Talladega.”
Wood Brothers Racing and Jon Wood in the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 will head to Talladega Superspeedway for the Mountain Dew 250 on Saturday, October 4th.