Phoenix Truck Post Race
Avondale AZ (November 8, 2008)-The Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, was quick and action packed from the very start. On lap one, an incident occurred that Jon Wood, driver of the U.S. Air Force F-150 was able to avoid and finished his season’s final event in 23rd.
Jon Wood took the green flag in 31st after qualifying a tight handling race truck. As the field made their way around the track on the first lap, the two lead cars brought out the caution. The 21 was not involved and Wood made his way through the wreckage with no contact. However, he ran over some debris and felt it was necessary to put on new tires. On lap 9, NASCAR opened pit road and the 21 truck made its way down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. He went back to the track and restarted in 31st on lap 10.
By lap 16, Wood reported an extremely tight condition and was scored in 25th. Caution on lap 28 gave the team the opportunity to pit and make some adjustments to ease the condition.Wood drove down pit road and the 21 pit crew made several adjustments, put on four tires and fuel. Wood returned to the track in 25th where he restarted the race on lap 33.
Five laps later, Wood reported that the race truck felt a little more free but not by much.
The next opportunity to pit and make adjustments was on lap 62 when the caution flag flew again. Wood commented on the condition of the truck, “I am going as hard as I can, the harder I go, the tighter it gets”. The team made more adjustments and put on two tires and fuel. Wood restarted on lap 68 in 26th.
After the leaders passed the no. 21 to put Wood down one lap, the caution came out on lap 77 which allowed him to win back the lap with the “Lucky Dog” award. After making more adjustments and topping off with fuel, Wood restarted at the tail end of the longest line in 25th on lap 85.
With another caution two laps later, Wood commented that he could feel a beneficial difference but wondered if there was anything more that could be done to help it turn. He came down pit road and the 21 pit crew made an adjustment then sent him back to the track to restart in 22nd on lap94.
Wood stopped to pit one last time when caution occurred on lap 129, the team made more adjustments and put on four tires and topped off with fuel. The race restarted on lap 133 in 24th.
On lap 137, Wood reported that the final adjustments fixed the issue that he was having with the handling all night.
With less than 10 laps to go, Wood ran as fast as he could to get the best lap times possible and ran as fast as the top 10 trucks, however, the laps ran out and he finished 23rd on lap 150.
Wood commented on the run, “The guys really did make the truck better. It’s been tough since we made some changes within the team so late in the game. With three races to go, three dissimilar race tracks and three dissimilar race trucks, there was no time for preparation. What we did learn from Texas and Atlanta we couldn’t apply because the truck was already here in Phoenix, our hands were tied. The guys really worked hard and the trend has been to always make it better, there just wasn’t enough time.”
Wood Brothers Racing will make its final appearance of the 2008 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Keven Wood back behind the wheel of the no. 21 Aquasun Ford F-150 for the Ford 200 on Friday, November 14th.
*Photo by Ronda Greer