NASCAR’s longest race was just that for Bill Elliott and the crew of the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion. Elliott started the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway from 25th place, but he and the team fought handling issues throughout the race before winding up 27th behind race winner Kurt Busch.
“We were too tight at first, and we got it freed up, but then it didn’t have good drive-off off the corners,” Elliott said. Still, the No. 21 hung onto the lead lap for much of the race before dropping behind in the second half. Elliott was able to capitalize once on the “wave-around” rule that allows drivers ahead of the race leader after pit stops to circle around the track and stay on the lead lap.
But Lady Luck let Elliott and his team down later in the race as the timing of the caution flags worked against them. “We were just a lap or two away from getting a lap back two more times,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “We just didn’t have any breaks go our way.” But Wood was proud of the way his crew kept working on the No. 21 on a long, disappointing night.
“We chased the race track all night,” he said, explaining that track conditions at Charlotte change dramatically over the course of a race that starts in the hot afternoon sun and runs until several hours past sunset. “As the race track changed, we chased it the best we could.”
Elliott and the Wood Brothers return to Sprint Cup action on June 11-13 at Michigan International Speedway, where the familiar red-and-white Motorcraft/Quick Lane paint scheme will be replaced by the blue-and-white colors of FordParts.com.
FordParts.com allows repair shops, body shops, fleets, and do-it-yourselfers to shop online, order and receive Genuine Ford and Motorcraft parts through one site for Ford, Lincoln or Mercury vehicles. Once a part is ordered, consumers can choose in-store pick-up or have the parts delivered to their home or shop.