Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team In Kobalt 400 Field After Intense Knockout Qualifying Session

_LVI4045The Wood Brothers and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew got their first taste of NASCAR’s new “knockout” qualifying procedure on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and it was quite an eye-opener.

“It’s very intense,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “You can just sense the pressure in the garage. I’ve got a lot of respect for this procedure and the people who have to do it.”

His own Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew had to put forth a gallant effort to make the starting field for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400. After struggling to find speed in practice, the team managed to get Trevor Bayne on the track for three qualifying runs in the opening 25-minute session of knockout qualifying. That meant the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew had to get the engine of the No. 21 Ford Fusion cooled down two different times, and in a hurry. Teams tape off the radiator for qualifying to improve the car’s aerodynamics, but the lack of air to the radiator quickly overheats the engine.

“That’ all you can ask for,” Wood said of the performance by crew chief Donnie Wingo and his crew.

As it was, Bayne’s second attempt was his quickest lap. His speed of 188.429 was just 34th fastest, but it got him inside the top 36 and thereby in the starting field for Sunday’s 400-miler.

“It wasn’t very pretty, but it got us in the show,” Wood said. “It’s a relief. The field is really close.”

With one major hurdle behind them, Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick   Lane crew now turn their attention to tuning their No. 21 Ford Fusion for Sunday’s race on a fast, bumpy Vegas track.

Two practice sessions are scheduled for Saturday. The Kobalt Tools 400 is set to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.


New Ford Fusion No Gamble For Wingo and Wood Brothers

_DYJ3444Trevor Bayne and the crew of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion are taking a brand-new Ford Fusion to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the track in the city known for gambling.

Veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo figures he’s not taking much of a chance with his new race car as it’s been meticulously prepared and tested – with good results – in the wind tunnel.

“Everything looked good when we were in the wind tunnel with it,” he said.

And to even the odds a little more, Bayne, Wingo and the Wood Brothers team will get a chance to fine tune the car in a test session on Thursday. The extra day on the track was scheduled by NASCAR since this is the first weekend the 2014 rules package will be used on a 1.5-mile track.

“It’s really just a half-day of testing, but it will give us a chance to work with this car,” Wingo said.

Another unknown makes an appearance on Friday as the Motorcraft/Quick   Lane team and the rest of the Sprint Cup field participate in the first three-session “knockout” qualifying.

Unlike previous seasons, where qualifying at most tracks saw each car run against the clock by itself, the new knockout system divides qualifying into either two or three sessions. On tracks 1.25 miles or longer, like Las Vegas, all cars will qualify in an opening 25 minute session. Then the top 24 advance to a 10-minute session, with the top 12 in that group moving on to a five-minute final round.

It’ll be especially important for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team to post a fast lap, as they’ll have to make the race on speed because their part-time status leaves them without any guarantee of a starting spot.

“We just need to make sure the first lap of qualifying is a good clean one,” Wingo said, explaining that the tire wear from the asphalt at Las   Vegas likely will see the second and third laps produce slower times than the first.

“Hopefully we’ll advance to the next round, cool the engine down and go from there,” he said.

In Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400, Wingo also looks for tire wear to be a factor.

“In the past, Las Vegas has been a place where you could take just two tires on a pit stop and maintain your position,” he said. “Now, it’s looking more like a four-tire track. It’s not as abrasive as some tracks, but the tires do wear a good bit, and lap times drop off.”

“We just need to get a good starting spot and the track position that comes with it, keep four fresh tires on the car and maintain our position.”

Qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 400 is set for Friday at 6:40 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to see the green flag fly just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

Glen Wood Continues Streak of 68 Straight Years at Daytona


  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood was in Daytona for Speedweeks for the 68th consecutive year.


  • Wood family conspired to keep the streak alive.


DAYTONA, Fla., Feb. 25, 2014 — On Thursday, Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway, Wood Brothers Racing was preparing the famed No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane NASCAR Sprint Cup car for the second of the two Budweiser Duels, but something, or more accurately someone, was missing.


“Win, lose or draw, no matter what happens in this (Duel) race, I’m going to go get daddy and bring him down here,” said Eddie Wood, current co-owner of one of the most famous teams in NASCAR, to a couple of PR types walking with him through the speedway’s bustling garage area.


Daddy, the missing element from the Wood Brothers’ contingent, is legendary Hall of Famer Glen Wood who has never missed a Daytona 500. In fact, Wood’s streak of perfect attendance covers parts of eight decades, back to 1947 when the cars ran on a course that included Highway A1A and the sand of Daytona Beach itself.


As soon as driver Trevor Bayne crossed the finish line in sixth place putting the Wood’s Ford Fusion in the 14th spot on the grid for the 56th annual Daytona 500, Eddie Wood was on a Roush-Fenway team plane heading to Concord, NC where he met his father the next morning at 9:00 a.m. Glen Wood drove his new Ford Taurus SHO to Concord from his home in Stuart, Va.


“I started driving his car from Concord and by lunch time we were in St. George (S.C.),” Eddie Wood explained. “When we came out of the restaurant, he walked to the driver’s side and said he would drive. I thought I might take a nap but we got to talking about the race on Thursday and how it unfolded and then stories about Curtis Turner and all of the sudden we were here. He drove all the way from St. George, so instead of me going and bringing him back, I went up there and he brought me back.”


According to the Woods, Glen’s attendance at this year’s Daytona 500 was questionable all along. Travel is not as easy as it once was for the 88-year-old and Virginia got hammered by winter weather in recent weeks, making the idea of getting to Florida even more daunting. But Eddie and his brother Len are determined people.


“When I called Dad and told him I was gonna fly home and pick him up, I could tell he got excited,” Eddie said. “The key thing that told me he really wanted to come was when he asked what time the plane was going to leave in the morning. He hasn’t flown in years. I knew that if he was willing to fly back down here, he really wanted to come. I told him that we were gonna drive his car and he said ‘OK.’”


All seemed right with the world once the Wood patriarch arrived in Daytona at 5:15 p.m. Friday and again both of the original Wood brothers were in the pits and holding court in front of the No. 21 team’s hauler.


And, once again, their hauler became a must-stop for some of the biggest names in racing, including A.J. Foyt, who drove a Wood Brothers-prepared Mercury to victory in the Daytona 500 in 1972.


“It just completes it,” Eddie said. “Something didn’t feel right all week. It was like a piece was missing and things weren’t going right. Then, all of a sudden, Trevor runs a great race, Dad is here and everything is complete. We went to dinner Friday night with Mr. (Edsel) Ford and it was just like everything was like it was supposed to be.”


Said the senior Wood about his 68th consecutive February trip to Daytona Speedweeks: “I think it means more to my family, or at least to Len and Eddie, because I’ve been here so many times. I told them I’m getting old and it (the streak) has to stop sometime, but they told me it wasn’t going to be this year. Eddie called up and said he had it all figured out, so how could I refuse? I knew I needed to come in a sense but when Bernice said she wasn’t gonna come, I made up my mind that I would stay home. But now I’m glad I’m here.”


One thing that has become a Daytona tradition for Glen Wood is a visit to the old beach race course, which inspired construction of the big speedway and was used for the last time in 1958.


“I have never been down here at Speed Week where I didn’t go back down to the North Turn and go all the way down to the South Turn – where the lighthouse is – and just sort of re-live what I used to do there,” Wood explained. “The first race I ran in the sand was in 1953. I took a picture of this house a year or so ago and it’s 42 Peninsula Drive. That was the office of NASCAR in 1953 and I remember it well. I went in there and Big Bill France was writing out the licenses to get you in.  So I like to go down there and remember. I guess I ran eight races there total and I won the last three sportsman races they had there, so that’s a big reason why I need to go back down there. To me, it’s hard to believe I did that back then, but I guess the record shows that I did.”


Wood, who sat on the pole for the final race in the sand, remembers everything about his amazing career in racing and enjoys telling those stories including the one about that historic pole position.


“They ran the modified cars and sportsman together,” Wood recalled. “The cars were very similar other than the fact the modifieds could run multiple carburetors and had a big Lincoln engine in it. Mine had just a little 312 engine with one carburetor on it in a little ’54 Ford, but for some reason I just beat them all.


“Leonard was in the Army at that time and I just fooled with it all winter,” he continued. “I blocked off all of the grille, except for two inches about 18 inches long across the front for the air to get through. I guess it was sort of like the air dam of today, but it didn’t show like that. They had just come out with 14-inch tubeless tires and I put them on to qualify with, which lowered it kind of like they are today, and it just beat all of the modifieds. I think that was the biggest day of my life.  The fun thing about it was my time was 139.461 or something like that, and Banjo Matthews was 139.469. It went out into the thousandths, but mine was first.”


Even though the No. 21 crashed late in the 2014 Daytona 500 putting the Wood Brothers Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion and Trevor Bayne into 33rd place, the Wood family and the NASCAR universe seemed happy to have the original Wood Brothers together again at the Great American Race.


“Daytona, from the first week of February to the third week is where we’re supposed to be,” said Eddie Wood. “Any way you cut it, that’s where we’re supposed to be.”

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Glen Wood at Daytona GlenAJ















Late-Race Wreck Ends Strong Speedweeks Performance For Bayne/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

_DYJ5035Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew spent the majority of the 2014 Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway overcoming setbacks, but their good fortune came to an end in the closing laps of the rain-delayed Daytona 500. Bayne, who had worked his way into the top 12 with less than 50 miles to run, slipped in the draft with 16 laps remaining, and the team’s Speedweeks comeback ended with a crash into the wall. He was credited with a 33rd-place finish, but to Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, the most important thing was that they were still in contention as the laps wound down in NASCAR’s showcase race.

“It’s frustrating, but we made it that far,” Bayne said. “We made it to the last 20 laps, and that’s kind of your goal at Daytona – to be around at the end for a chance to win.”

Sunday’s 500 wound up being much like the entire Speedweeks for Bayne and the Wood Brothers’ team.

_DYJ5468Just as they had to bounce back from a disappointing qualifying effort and race their way into the Great American Race with a strong run in last Thursday’s Gatorade Duel qualifying race, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team had to overcome a problem on an early-race pit stop to be in the lead draft near the end. The pit stop issue led to the team going a lap down mid-race, but crew chief Donnie Wingo opted to take the wave-around, and the caution flags fell in the team’s favor, allowing Bayne to return the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion to the lead lap.

“We kept recovering tonight,” said Bayne, who led two laps in the 500.

“We worked our way into the top 10 a few times and led some laps, but it’s not the finish we were hoping for.”

The crash that ended the race for Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team began as Bayne was running in the middle of a three-wide pack with less than 20 laps remaining.

“I thought we were really strong in the middle all night with our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, and we’d work our way from the back to the front time and time again,” he explained. “There at the end we were running the middle with [Jeff Gordon] and [Denny Hamlin] and felt really strong, and all of a sudden [Landon Cassill] shoved it four-wide down into Turn One and really squeezed everybody.”
Bayne held on through that incident but lost control about a lap later.

_DYJ4640“Our car was really free up off the corner,” he said. “We’ve seen that a lot with these cars.

“There were a few times I got loose with cars around me, and I saw other people doing it, but it finally stepped out too far. I tried to save it, but when it finally caught it hooked right into the wall like you see sometimes at mile-and-a-halves [tracks].”

“You don’t normally expect that at Daytona by yourself, but I hate it for our team.”
Even so, team co-owner Eddie Wood said that despite the team’s late-race misfortune, he’s not too disappointed.

“Any time you get to race in the Daytona 500, you’re happy to be a part of it,” he said. “And if you can make it to the last 20 or 25 laps and be in the top10 or 15 you know you have a shot.”

“The biggest thing for us was that we had a fast car. That means a lot.”
Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team return to the Sprint Cup Series in two weeks for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.