When Eddie and Len Wood haven’t been on the road racing their No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, they’ve become museum curators, converting the team’s shop in Stuart, Va., into a shrine honoring the Wood Brothers and their 61 years in NASCAR racing.
On Friday, race fans in the area for the races at nearby Martinsville Speedway will have a chance to see the brothers’ work and meet the 2011 Daytona 500-winning duo of driver Trevor Bayne and crew chief Donnie Wingo as well as the original Wood Brothers – Glen, Leonard, Delano and Ray Lee.
The museum will hold open house from 9am-7pm on Friday, and Bayne, Wingo and the original Wood Brothers will hold an autograph session from 5pm to 7pm Friday evening. As always, admission is free.
Since the team’s most recent open house back in April, the Woods have been assembling memorabilia and displaying it in the areas where the No. 21 Fords were once prepared. Many of the tools from the team’s history – a drill press, lathe, band saw and even an old wooden desk and filing cabinet – have been hunted down, cleaned up and put on display just as they were used decades ago in their original shop. Behind each piece is a photo of the same tool being used back in the day.
There’s also a collection of carburetors, starting with one from a Model T Ford and continuing up to one off the 2011 Ford Fusion that Bayne’s been driving, as well as shocks and tools from an earlier era.
There are pit boards from the days before two-way radios and large photos of Glen’s 1950s – 1960s race cars and as well as photos of the original Wood Brothers, including the late Clay Wood.
“We were hanging pictures until one o’clock in the morning,” Eddie Wood said early Thursday morning as he prepared to resume his museum work.
But for Eddie Wood and the younger generations of Wood Brothers, the most important part of the open house is giving their fans and friends a chance to see Bayne and Wingo, as well as the original Wood Brothers. Although team founder Glen, who has been elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, and Leonard, the team’s long time crew chief and chief mechanic, are frequently seen around the race tracks, appearances by brothers Delano and Ray Lee are rare.
Ray Lee, who retired from changing tires in 1965, hasn’t been to a race since, although he did participate in an open house at Stuart back in April. Delano, who jacked the No. 21 Ford for 77 Sprint Cup victories before retiring in 1983, has been to just one race since then, at Charlotte last month when the team honored Glen with a paint scheme based on the car he drove to his final Cup victory as a driver.
The Wood Brothers shop and museum is located at 21 Performance Drive in Stuart, Va. For more information, visit www.woodbrothersracing.com