Late Wreck Leaves Bayne 39th At Texas

SM_TE61206Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway played out with just one caution flag in the first 176 laps then saw 12 more in the second half of the race, and both the long green-flag run and the caution-filled final laps were factors in a disappointing outcome for Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.

Bayne started 25th, and the lack of caution periods at the beginning of the scheduled 500-mile run offered few opportunities for the Motorcraft/Quick   Lane team to zero in on the correct chassis adjustments for the No. 21 Ford Fusion.

Team co-owner Eddie said the car was both tight and loose in the early going. “We just never could find the middle,” he said.

SM_TE61442Bayne fell three laps behind the leaders at one point, but between the crew improving the car’s handling and two timely decisions to take the wave-around, he was able to get back to just one lap down. Although he was still running just outside the top 25; as the number of caution periods began to add up, so did the opportunities for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team to work on their car.

“We kept adjusting it, and got to running competitive times,” Wood said. “We were starting to go forward.”
With just 14 laps remaining in the scheduled distance, the No. 21 Fusion was collected in a crash when Kasey Kahne lost control of his car and ran into the side of Bayne, relegating him to a 39th-place finish.

“We didn’t get the finish we wanted, but it was good to see the three Ford drivers in the Chase all finish in the top 12 despite all that went on in the closing laps,” Wood said. “Hopefully all of them will still be in the running for the championship when we get to Homestead.”

The Motorcraft/Quick   Lane team returns to the track in two weeks for the season-ending Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 14-16.

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Bayne Feels He’s Got A Fast Ford Fusion for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500

_TE60487Changing track conditions at Texas Motor Speedway played a little Halloween evening trick on Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team but the team still came away with the 25th starting position for Sunday’s AAA Texas 500.

 Bayne had the No. 21 Ford Fusion high on the leader board throughout the opening practice round at Texas on Friday, ending the session ninth fastest. Then in qualifying, the track got looser, when normally it gets tighter, throwing the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team and several others a condition they didn’t expect.

  “It was super fast in the first practice, and we were top of the board a little while and ended up top-10,” Bayne said. “I thought for sure we would make it to the last round [of knockout qualifying] like the spring.

 “It was just too loose. It freed up too much with the sun going down. The jump it made before Cup qualifying was more than we predicted.”
 Bayne got extremely loose in Turns One and Two on his first qualifying lap, then ran faster on his second attempt, which is unusual given the speed advantage that comes with running new tires on the first lap.

 “I finished my [first] lap – probably should have shut down and saved my tires – but I finished that lap, and we picked up on our second run which you should never have at Texas,” he said.

  Despite the disadvantage of running on tires with one lap already on them, he came within two thousandths of a second per lap of advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying. And with new tires generally worth three tenths of a second per lap, Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team were left to wonder “what if?”

  What’s not in doubt is the speed of the car, and the prospects for a strong run in the 500.

 “I think we have a good Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford for Sunday,” Bayne said.

The race is set to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.

A Weekend with the Woods – Birthday Style

IMG_4767First of all – I apologize for my lack of blog post and Facebook updates this week. I have been at home with a fussy little sickling, who managed to pass her cold onto me.  If there is a cold going around, we seem to get it no matter what! Not to mention we are headed to Texas tomorrow, which will be little miss Giselle’s first time flying. I apologize in advance if you are on our flight tomorrow ha! Anyway, I will hopefully have more updates for you as we head to Texas this weekend but for now a good ole’ birthday post is all I have.

This past Saturday was my brother, Jon’s, 33rd birthday. So in true Wood fashion, we all packed our bags and headed to Stuart for the weekend to celebrate. How to celebrate a 33rd birthday? I am not sure about the rest of you parents but since our children were born, our (the parents) birthday celebrations have declined. None the less, we still wanted to have a mini celebration. We spent the afternoon at the local park, had the traditional “Wood” family cookout and ended the night with a parent’s night out.

The park probably was not on the top of Jon’s “Birthday To-Do List” but Riley was literally climbing the walls at the house, so it was necessary to take him to an actual play set to release some energy. Adults, have you tried to climb the monkey bars lately? My gosh! I jumped on the bars, ready to show my husband my acrobat skills and then immediately jumped/fell back to the ground. Either the monkey bars get tougher with age or I am really out of shape. The park was successful, Jon and my husband, Michael, had a “friendly” competition of who could swing the highest and who could kick the soccer ball the furthest, I guess some things never change, and then we headed to the house for a birthday cookout.

IMG_4764On off weekends, the Wood family usually gathers at my mom and dad’s house for a family cookout. Kim brings the hamburger meat and chili, Pa (Glen) brings his fresh veggies from his garden, Nannie brings the most delicious Macaroni salad ever to be created and “Bananaless Pudding” (Yes, we like banana pudding without bananas), Jon mixes up Velveeta cheese/salsa dip, Len takes our food orders and Eddie grills the hamburgers and hotdogs. That’s how the traditional Friday/Saturday night “grilling out” goes at the Wood house and Jon opted to stick with the tradition for his Birthday meal Saturday night. We mixed things up a bit and surprised him with a birthday cake, of which Riley insisted on blowing out the birthday candles (see video below).

IMG_4881After dinner, my mom and dad forced us to have a “parent’s night out”, so we ended up at the local bowling alley in Stuart, Tin Pin Alley. We had a blast! If you are ever in the area, stop by and show off your bowling skills. It wasn’t really crowded and it was a perfect place to just hang out, chit chat and have a little competitive game of bowling. Jon claims he has not been bowling since my wedding nearly 2 years ago but I beg to differ. He actually “bowled a turkey”?? I had never heard of this, clearly as you can see my less than impressive score in this picture but apparently it means you are good. I guess it got to his head because he has now signed up for bowling lessons and purchased his own bowling ball and shoes, go figure!

On a little side note, check out Pa in his tractor this weekend! I took this Sunday afternoon, he was moving a pot that my brother made for my mom. Pa’s energy level amazes me everyday!

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Glen Wood Has Seen Major Changes In NASCAR Championships During His Long Career

_TXK1174When Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway, team founder Glen Wood will have one eye on the No. 21 Ford Fusion and the other on the three Ford drivers among the eight in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Additionally, Wood likely will be paying more attention to how Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards fare in the championship battle that he did to his own team back in 1963 when it won the owner’s championship in the series now known as Sprint Cup.

Joe Weatherly, who drove for the Woods early in his career, won the driving title in ’63, but he did it by driving for nine different car owners throughout the season, so none of them accumulated a significant number of owner points. Wood’s team ran 24 of the 55 races that season with five different drivers behind the wheel of their No. 21 Ford. Fred Lorenzen, Tiny Lund, Dave MacDonald, Marvin Panch and Wood himself all spent time behind the wheel, and the team won three races and had 17 top-five finishes. Lund scored the biggest victory, winning the Daytona 500. Panch, who was burned in a sports car crash prior to the 500 and was unable to compete in the Great American Race, returned to the No. 21 later in the season and won at North Wilkesboro, while Wood himself took the victory at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

But in that era of the sport, championships didn’t carry the significance or pay the amount of money they do today.

“We didn’t even know we were in that category until the season was over,” Wood said. “It wasn’t like today when there’s a big fuss over it. It wasn’t until Winston came along and sponsored the series that championships became so important.”

IMG_7824The Woods’ championship trophy actually bears the name of another Wood Brother – Ray Lee Wood, a crewmember and tire changer in the team’s early years.

Glen Wood said he listed his brother as car owner back in the day as a cost-saving move.

“Times were hard back then, and I probably saved $10 or $15 by listing Ray Lee as the car owner,” he said. “I had to buy a driver’s license for myself, and if I listed myself as the car owner, I’d have to have two licenses. So it saved one license by putting Ray Lee as the owner.”

Despite running a limited schedule for most of their NASCAR careers, the Woods have had several strong finishes in the championship battle. In 1974, with David Pearson at the wheel, the Woods ran just 19 of the 30 races that year but still finished third behind champion Richard Petty and runner-up Cale Yarborough on the strength of seven wins and 15 top-five finishes, five of which were second-place.

“Some of those years, all we would have had to do to win the championship was run a few more races,” Wood said, adding that if his team were to get the sponsorship needed to run all the races each year he’d relish the chance to compete for another championship.

Wood said the new format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup has brought much more publicity to the sport, especially in the final weeks of the season, but it also makes for some nerve-wracking times for the participants.

“There’s been a lot of ink about the Chase,” he said. “But the way it is now, even the best teams can get knocked out by an accident that’s no fault of theirs.”

“No matter how it goes, somebody will be the champion when it’s over.”

Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 is set for Friday at 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.