The Wood Brothers crew has retooled its best intermediate-track Ford Fusion from last year into a 2013 model as part of NASCAR’s conversion to Generation-6 race cars for the Sprint Cup Series. The first true test of the Gen-6 cars on one of the intermediate-length tracks that comprise the bulk of the Wood Brothers’ limited schedule will come in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400. First and foremost, there are two practice sessions on Thursday, and Donnie Wingo; crew chief of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, is hoping to use those to gather as much data as possible.
“We’re actually going to run the back-up car in the test, because that will allow us more time on the track,” Wingo said, explaining that if the team ran its primary car in the test, valuable time would be lost getting the test equipment removed before race practice begins on Friday.
He said the two cars are so much alike that anything learned with one can be applied to the other.
“They both blew about the same numbers in the wind tunnel,” he said. “We’ll try some different things and figure out what works the best for us and for Trevor.”
Wingo said that any time there’s a change to a new vehicle, there will be a learning curve, and this weekend will offer one of the big lessons.
“Like anything new, it’ll take a little time to figure it all out.”
Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he’s anxious to see his 2013 Ford Fusion in competition, especially in light of Carl Edwards’ win in a Roush Fenway Racing Fusion last weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. He’s proud to once again have his team’s Ford Fusion painted in a more traditional Motorcraft/Quick Lane scheme.
“We ran a special paint scheme at Daytona to honor Tiny Lund’s win in the 1963 Daytona 500 and my uncle Leonard’s induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame,” Wood said. “Now we’re back to one based on the cars driven by Cale Yarborough and David Pearson.”
Qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 400 is set for Friday at 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is set to get the green flag just after 2:30 p.m. Eastern with TV coverage on FOX.