Many people in the NASCAR community look forward to this weekend’s season-ending Ford Championship weekend as there will be some much-needed down time before Speedweeks at Daytona ushers in a new season.
But Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion driven by Trevor Bayne, isn’t among those awaiting the end of the 2011 campaign. He’d just as soon see the good times continue to roll.
The 2011 season has seen his family team return to its winning ways in grand fashion, with a victory in the Daytona 500. His father and team founder Glen Wood has been elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the No. 21 Motorcraft/ Quick Lane Ford Fusion has been consistently fast throughout the season. Despite being out of the top 35 in car owner points for much of the season and therefore not assured of starting spots for races, the Woods have qualified for all 17 races the team has entered.
The Woods’ popular Daytona 500 victory came in Bayne’s second career Sprint Cup start and was the fifth for the team, the first coming in 1963 with Tiny Lund driving. It also was the 98th for the 61-year-old team, which got its first Cup triumph at Bowman Gray Stadium on April 18, 1960, with Glen Wood driving a 1958 Ford. He went on to win two more Cup races that season at the Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., then put Speedy Thompson behind the wheel for the 400 miler at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where Thompson gave the Woods their first superspeedway victory.
The Woods spent much of this season using special paint schemes to honor both Glen Wood and the team’s most successful driver, David Pearson, in the year he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
“I’m kind of not looking forward to the season being over,” Eddie Wood said. “It’s been such a good year, with winning the 500, running really well every time out, and Daddy getting inducted into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s more than you can ask for in a single year.”
Wood is anxious to get to Homestead, but for a different reason. The Sprint Cup championship is coming down to a classic battle, and he’s proud that Bayne and his Donnie Wingo-led crew, get to be a part of it all.
“The Ford Championship weekend is coming down to Carl Edwards versus Tony Stewart, and Ford versus Chevy,” he said. “That’s what NASCAR is all about, and that’s the way it should be.
“It’s exciting to be a part of that race.”
Qualifying for the Ford 400 is set for Saturday at 2:40 p.m., and the race is scheduled to begin just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.