Now it’s on to Daytona’s sister track, Talladega Superspeedway, for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499.
This weekend, the famed No. 21 Ford Fusion will be carrying the red and yellow colors of the Good Sam Club, and the car number will have a different look too. The curvy style of numbers chosen by Good Sam’s Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis is the same that Wood Brothers team founder Glen Wood ran on his Fords in the late 1950s. The paint scheme is similar too, choices that pleased the younger generations of the Wood family.
“I really like that number,” team co-owner Len Wood said.
The actual car itself is new too, since the Daytona 500 winner is on display at Daytona until next February. But Wood said this week’s car should be equally fast.
“It’s the car we used at the tire test at Daytona last December,” Wood said. “And it was pretty fast there.”
From all indications, Sunday’s race at Talladega will see the return of the two-car tandem drafts that Bayne adapted to so quickly at Daytona.
“The race will be something similar to Daytona, especially since the surface at Talladega is so smooth now,” Wood said.
Daytona was repaved last year, and Talladega’s pavement is just five years old.
One factor that should be different is Bayne’s ability to line up drafting partners, at least early on.
At Daytona, no one wanted to take a chance on the rookie in the early practice sessions of Speedweeks.
Bayne did the same thing, earning himself the reputation of a reliable pusher. That allowed him to be in position to win in the final laps.
Len Wood, whose family team has five wins and six poles at Talladega but hasn’t raced there since 2008, said this Sunday’s race has the potential to have just as dramatic an ending as the Daytona 500.
“It should be an interesting race,” he said.
Qualifying for the Aaron’s 499 is set for Saturday at11:35 a.m. [Eastern Time] and the race should get the green flag just after 1 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.