Author Archives: Jordan Wood

Blaney Finishes A Disappointing 23rd at Phoenix

57f1ad1f8029432eb8e8d09aee53ad07-1For the first 250 laps of Sunday’s Camping World 500k at Phoenix International Raceway, Ryan Blaney and his No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford were among the race leaders.

Blaney started a Cup-career-best second and ran in the top 10 through the first two 75-lap stages of the race, earning seven championship points between the two stages.

But along the way, the adjuster that allows the driver to adjust the track bar from the driver’s seat malfunctioned, putting Blaney at a disadvantage as the laps rolled by in a green-flag run. Unable to adjust to the wearing tires and changing track conditions, he faded as the laps went by each run. And, it seemed that almost every time there was a restart, including the initial start, he was lined up on the inside lane, which was not the preferred groove.

On a caution-flag pit stop just after a lap 257 crash by Cole Whitt, Blaney was caught speeding on pit road, which dropped him from 13th to 26th in the running order and made an already difficult situation even more challenging.

He regained several positions and was working on moving into the top 20 before the race’s final caution for a crash by Joey Logano set up a two-lap overtime finish.

Blaney opted for four fresh tires during the final caution period, and the positions lost on pit road during that stop set him back once again, leading to a 23rd-place finish.

“There was a lot of craziness out there,” Blaney said in his post-race comments. “I thought our car was OK in the beginning, and we were trying to get it better.”

“About halfway through the race our track-bar [adjuster] stopped working, which was bad. That really hurt us. That really hurt from being able to adjust our car throughout the run. That is what we needed.  We take for granted those things.”

“Then I sped on pit road, and that put us in a bigger hole. We had an issue, and then I compounded the issue by speeding and you can’t have that. I made a mistake on that deal. We will just have to go on to Fontana and see what we’ve got.”

Blaney remains sixth in the Cup standings heading into this weekend’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

Blaney Qualifies A Cup-Career-High Second At Phoenix

e32d2cde1b4660fabe125d50e5b45b69-1Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team turned in another strong qualifying performance on Friday at the Phoenix International Raceway as Blaney posted a career-high second-place effort to complete an all-Ford front row for the start of Sunday’s Camping World 500k.

Just a week after qualifying third at Las Vegas, Blaney took the second spot at Phoenix, which was the best starting spot for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team since Trevor Bayne started on the outside pole at Daytona International Speedway in July, 2011.

Blaney, who was fifth fastest in practice with a best lap of 136.157 miles per hour, was among the leaders throughout all three rounds of knock-out qualifying at Phoenix.

His lap at 135.731 mph in the first round was third best, while he improved to second place in the second round with a lap at 136.731 mph.

In the third round, which determines the pole, he posted his best speed of 136.877 mph during his second and final lap to earn a spot alongside pole-sitter and Ford teammate Joey Logano.

fbda1fa1ca4716ee5f0dedff959311d2-1 In his post-qualifying comments, Blaney said he and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team worked over the winter to figure out how to be better in knock-out qualifying, and that work is now paying off.

“We sat down, my team and I, and tried to figure out what we need and what is more important, going from round to round, and what really helps our car,” he said. “The last two weekends we have shown really good speed in qualifying trim. It is nice to have fast race cars. You have seen it the past two weeks.”

He said the alliance with Team Penske and its drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano, has been a factor as well.

“Our Wood Brothers car and the Penske group have been fast in qualifying trim,” he said. “That is something to be proud of as the two organizations work well together. We just needed a little more to get there but we were close.”

Blaney said the alliance offers a chance for him to bounce ideas of off Keselowski and Logano, while others on both teams share information as well.

“The Penske group has been very open to what we need and not only on the driver’s side with Brad and Joey but on the team side as well,” he said. “Our crew chiefs are very close and sit down a lot and same with the engineers. Everyone back at the shop, they all work together.”

“I think that is what you need to have a successful team, even if it is a one-car team and you don’t have a teammate. The more you can share information, the more you are willing, the better all around it is.”

“That has always been the model at Penske since I got there and it is nice to have the Wood Brothers in the same loop as well. That has helped us out more than I could ever think it would.”

Blaney went on to say he wants to do whatever it takes to keep the good results coming to his Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.

“We want to get better every single week, be aggressive, work really hard,” he said. “It is really early in the year and you never know how mid season goes, but you always have to keep improving.”

“I feel like the fire in everyone’s belly is burning bright. They want to be competitive and show and prove to everyone that the Wood Brothers deserve to be up there, because they do.”

“They work hard enough to be up there. It is nice to start off strong, but it is all about always improving, getting better and staying up there, staying on top of your game. You can never really get relaxed because other teams and drivers are always getting better.”

“It is nice to be ahead at the beginning of the year. You never want to play catch-up. You want to be ahead and try to stay ahead.”

Sunday’s Camping World 500k is set to get the green flag just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 Eastern) on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

Blaney, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team On A Roll Heading Into Phoenix

6796_10153742430693145_1931846419425700811_n Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team head to Phoenix Raceway with the momentum that comes with having fast cars for the first three races of the 2017 season.

And Phoenix was one of Blaney’s better tracks during his rookie season as he posted finishes of eighth and 10th in his two starts there.

Crew chief Jeremy Bullins said the team is showing improvement in its sophomore season as evidenced by one top-five and two top-10 finishes in three races along with 37 laps in which the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion posted the fastest lap of any car.

“We definitely kept up our strong start to 2017 in Vegas, coming away with a solid top 10,” Bullins said. “We feel like we probably had a top-five car, but it shows the growth of our team to overcome a loose wheel and be in the top five on the last restart of the race.

“We got blocked a little on that restart and it killed our momentum or we feel like it could have been our second top-five in three races.

“That’s got everyone in a good mood as we head back out west to Phoenix this weekend.”
Bullins said based on Blaney’s performance at Phoenix last year, he expects good results again this weekend.

1a8eb6fa03a0422439c37f2772ae7c79-1 “I felt like Ryan really figured that track out quickly,” he said. “We qualified well in the fall and look forward to competing for the pole as well.”

Blaney tied his best qualifying performance of his career last weekend at Las Vegas with a third-place effort after posting the fastest overall lap during the second of three qualifying rounds.

This weekend, he has more data to work with than he did at Las Vegas or at Phoenix last year.

“We had the opportunity to test at Phoenix before the season started and feel even more prepared than we did last year,” Bullins said. “All in all, it’s shaping up to be a good week for the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.”

Qualifying for the Camping World 500k is set for 4:45 p.m. (7:45 Eastern Time on Friday, and the 312-lap race is scheduled to start just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 Eastern) on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

Blaney, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team Continue Fast Start To 2017 With Seventh-Place Finish At Las Vegas

ebc8520e70a353238214b23e9e204988-1Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team continued their strong start to the 2017 season with a trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway that saw them fast in practice, qualifying and the race. And they head to Phoenix International Raceway sixth in the points standings after a seventh-place finish in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas that netted them 43 points, including 13 earned by finishing in the top 10 in the first two stages of Sunday’s race.

Blaney’s finish, along with that of his Ford teammates Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer, gave Ford four of the top-10 finishers in Sunday’s race.

The finish also gives Blaney two finishes of seventh or better in the three races run so far this season, the other being a runner-up finish in the Daytona 500.

On Sunday, Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team had to overcome several obstacles on the way to his 13th top-10 finish  – and his eighth on an intermediate track – since joining the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.

Early in the race, he ran in the top five after starting third but had to make an unscheduled pit stop. That extra stop also meant that the team had to use one of its allotted eight sets of tires that it had planned for use later in the race. Then, on the final restart, Blaney got bogged down by the slow start of a driver in front of him.

4bb205993091b3b62610b1e2c1765c66-1 “I thought we are a little bit better than that,” Blaney said in his post-race comments. “We had to come in early in the race and that put us behind.”

Despite the extra stop, Blaney motored his way back into the lead pack and was poised to race for a top-five finish when the green flag flew for the final run to the checkered flag.

“Our car was good enough and once we got back inside the top 10 I felt that we had a shot at fourth or fifth, but that last restart didn’t go our way,” Blaney said. “Good car. Good effort overall. I can’t thank the Wood Brothers enough.”

Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team now head to Phoenix Raceway for the second of three races in NASCAR’s western swing with high hopes of building on their performance in the first three races of this season.

In two starts at Phoenix last year, Blaney had finishes of 10th and eighth.

Blaney Posts Fastest Qualifying Lap at Las Vegas, Will Start Third On Sunday

ebc8520e70a353238214b23e9e204988-1Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team put forth a strong effort on Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and wound up with the third starting position for Sunday’s Kobalt 400.

Blaney was seventh fastest in the opening practice session with a best lap at 192.356 miles per hour. Then during qualifying he was 15th in the first of three rounds with a lap at 192.280 mph, assuring that he would advance to Round Two.

After crew chief Jeremy Bullins and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team made some adjustments for the second round, Blaney ran a lap at 194.147 mph, the fastest of the 24 drivers who advanced from the first round and the fastest speed turned by any driver in the three sessions.

In the run for the pole, Blaney was third fastest with a lap at 193.410 mph, earning him the third starting spot for Sunday.

12024e89675c301f66895230ffc109b5-1It was Blaney’s best qualifying effort since a third-place start at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015, and the best qualifying run on an intermediate track by the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team since Elliott Sadler won the outside pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2002.

Blaney said in his post-qualifying comments that what pleased him most was the team’s consistent performance from the start of the day to the finish.

“I thought we made good improvements from practice and that was nice,” he said. “The first round we weren’t great. The second round we got really good.

“[The Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew] made a good adjustment on that one.”
Blaney appeared on pace to win the pole in the third qualifying round before losing a bit of speed at the end of his lap.

“The third round I thought we had it through [Turns] One and Two, and then we got held up by traffic in Three and Four,” he said. “I think we were close. We showed speed in our car. We go to work [Saturday] and see what we have in the race. Starting third isn’t bad.

“We’ll try to improve on that.”

Sunday’s race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 Eastern Time) with TV coverage on FOX.

Blaney, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team Feeling Upbeat About Vegas

12790927_10153722760668145_871815309123363552_nFord Motor Company’s NASCAR teams head into this weekend’s races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on a roll, having won the first two Cup races of the season and scoring eight other top-10 finishes.

Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are among those headed West with momentum after having fast Ford Fusions in the first two races of the season.

Blaney finished second at Daytona and was poised for another strong run at Atlanta Motor Speedway before early tire troubles left him mired deep in the field for much of the race.

Still, the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane team is focusing on the positives of the first two races of 2017.

“I guess on paper it looks like Atlanta didn’t go very good for us, but in reality our car had a lot of speed and we fought hard to overcome a lot of adversity as a group,” crew chief Jeremy Bullins said. “I was really proud of our team and how everyone responded and kept their head in the game and kept fighting.”

Even with an 18th-place finish at Atlanta, Blaney is eighth in the championship standings heading to Las Vegas, where Bullins expects the good performance to continue.

caba7090cd00851c88d08356fd2e77fe-1 “We’ve had two fast Motorcraft/ Quick Lane Ford Fusions to start the season, and I’m confident the car we are taking to Vegas is just as good,” he said, adding that the team’s chassis set-ups seem to work well on the 1.5-mile Las Vegas. “Las Vegas fits Ryan’s liking – we tend to gravitate toward the fast, intermediate tracks – and that showed last year finishing sixth.”

“It should be a good week to keep the momentum going that we’ve started the season with, and we can’t wait to get the West Coast swing of the schedule started.”

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said this weekend’s race will be another test of the new aerodynamics package, with its short rear spoiler and other tweaks that are intended to put a driver’s skills to the test.

“I’m looking forward to another opportunity to see where we are with our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion,” he said. “The new package seems to suit Ryan’s style.”

“I think we’ll be OK.”

Qualifying for Sunday’s 400-mile run is set for Friday at 4:45 p.m. (7:45 eastern), and the race is scheduled to start just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 eastern) on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

Ryan Blaney to Start 14th on Sunday

Atlanta1In his second Atlanta Motor Speedway appearance in a Monster Energy Cup car, Ryan Blaney picked up considerably from a year ago by posting the 14th best lap in Friday’s qualifying session for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

Blaney advanced out of the first of three qualifying rounds with a lap at 187.875 miles per hour. In the second round, he was again 14th, with a speed of 186.623. Last year he started 23rd.

Atlanta is a track where the Blaney family has shown great speed. Blaney’s father Dave, now retired from the Cup series, had one of his best career runs at Atlanta in the spring race of 2001, when Ryan was just seven years old.

In that race, Blaney started seventh and was dominating the race by the midpoint in Bill Davis Racing’s No. 93 Dodge.

Blaney took the lead for the second time on Lap 149 and led for 12 laps. He regained the top spot at Lap 164 and drove away from the field, leading 54 straight laps.

But his charge ended at that point when his crew left lug nuts loose on his car, and he fell out of contention.

For his career, his 91 laps led at Atlanta were more than at any other track.

Ryan Blaney said his father has talked to him about what it takes to be fast on Atlanta’s worn pavement.

“He’s helped me out on driving on slick worn-out race tracks,” Blaney said. “He was really good here at Atlanta and at Darlington.”

“That comes from him racing on dirt and being light on the throttle.”

Atlanta2Blaney said he would like to honor his father by winning a race at Atlanta – or any other track for that matter.

“It would be cool to get a win for dad here or at least have a good run,” he said.

Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew also have been hard at work figuring out how to be fast on tracks like Atlanta, where conserving tires is one of the keys to success.

“We’ve put a lot of thought over the winter into what we need to do with the race car to be successful on old tracks and with slick tires,” he said, acknowledging that the work they’ve done in that regard won’t be as helpful when the circuit returns to Atlanta next year and races on a repaved surface.

“I hate to see old pavement go,” Blaney said. “Any driver in this garage will tell you they love racing on worn pavement, but this track’s time has come.”

The Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 is set to get the green flag just after 2:30 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.

Blaney 18th In Daytona 500 Qualifying

27f00a9b364d228530328adbf72e8e5f-1Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will start Thursday’s second Can-AM Duel qualifying race from ninth position after Blaney was 18th fastest in Sunday’s pole qualifying for the Daytona 500.

Blaney’s qualifying speed of 191.746 miles per hour was a bit disappointing given his speed in Saturday’s practice session. There he was fifth fastest with a best lap at 192.980 mph.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood, after seeing several drivers who qualified just before or just after Blaney also post speeds off their practice pace, said an unfavorable headwind likely was to blame.

45b92294273c16765e8376f010743581-1 “Ryan said he really couldn’t feel anything different, but the wind was probably a factor on his lap,” Wood said. “Still, we’re really happy with the effort so far, and I’m optimistic about the Duels and the Daytona 500.”

Blaney, in his post-qualifying comments, also was a little puzzled by his lap.

“I’m not really sure where our speed went, but we’ll have to go back and figure out where that went overnight,” he said. “No matter. I think we’ll have a good handling car in the Duels, so we’ll just go racing there and see if we can start up front in the 500.”

Unlike previous seasons, Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are assured of a starting berth for the 500 after the Wood Brothers rented a charter, which brings with it guaranteed starting spots for races this season.

“Being guaranteed to start the race regardless of how things go in qualifying is a comfortable feeling,” Wood said.

The Can-AM Duel 150-mile qualifying races are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. with TV coverage on Fox Sports 1, and the Daytona 500 should get the green flag on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m., with TV coverage on FOX.

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team Ready To Build On Its Daytona History

2017_WoodBros1AThe long winter’s wait is over for the Wood Brothers and their Motorcraft/Quick Lane race team.

The iconic No. 21 Ford Fusion returns to the track this week at the Daytona International Speedway to start the 2017 Monster Energy Cup season. It’s the second-straight year that the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will be competing on a full-time basis, but the team’s history in the elite division dates back to 1953, further than any active team on the circuit.

This trip to Speedweeks marks the Wood’s 59th appearance in the February classic at the Daytona International Speedway, dating back to the inaugural event in 1959. That’s in addition to numerous trips to the old Beach/Road Course that preceded the superspeedway.

The Wood Brothers have 15 points-paying victories at Daytona International Speedway, including five in the Daytona 500.

RyanBlaney The team’s sophomore crew chief Jeremy Bullins said he and driver Ryan Blaney, also a sophomore on the elite NASCAR circuit, are anxious to get back on the track after spending the winter months preparing for the upcoming campaign.

“Daytona can’t get here fast enough,” Bullins said. “It doesn’t take long of being in the shop every day of the week to miss the race track.”

“Our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team is really excited about our second full-time season together, and we have a lot of good things going on.”

A new addition to the team, lead engineer Andrea Mueller, will be joining Bullins atop the pit box.

“She and I worked together on Team Penske’s Xfinity program and had a lot of success,” Bullins said. “I know she will bring a lot of value to our team.”

Also new this year for all teams is a change in the race format, which breaks each Cup event into three stages, with championship points paid for all three.

“There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the new race format and more opportunity to gain points by being in the top 10 at the end of those segments,” Bullins said. “There will be a lot of opportunities for us this year to get our cars up front and keep them up front, and we look forward to that challenge.”

“Anytime there’s an opportunity for a strategy call I get excited because it’s a chance for us to try to gain an advantage on our competitors.”

“Regardless, your cars will still have to have speed, and we feel like we can produce that, so it’s up to us to capitalize when we have fast cars.  I think having a year under our belt full time together we all feel more prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.”

For team co-owner Eddie Wood, this year’s trip to the Daytona 500 will be much more relaxing than in recent seasons. The No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team has rented a charter, which guarantees a starting spot in the Great American Race as well as the other races on the schedule.

“This year is the first time we’ve been guaranteed into the race since we won it in 2011,” Wood said. “And that year we had the owner points from Richard Petty Motorsports.”

Wood said it’s hard to explain just how much pressure there is on a team that is not assured of being in the starting field.

“You worry about it all year long, not just when it comes time to go to Daytona,” he said. “The worries start multiplying as soon as Homestead is over, and it never really lets up.”

“We’re fortunate this year to have rented a charter, and being guaranteed to start races is good for us, but more importantly it’s good for Motorcraft and Quick Lane and all of our other partners.”

Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is set for Sunday, Feb. 19, at 3:10 p.m. with TV coverage on FOX. The Can-AM Duel 150-mile qualifying races are scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. with TV coverage on Fox Sports 1, and the Daytona 500 should get the green flag on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2 p.m., with TV coverage on FOX.

Rookie Bayne Beat The Odds To Win 2011 Daytona 500

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500Back in February of 2011, Trevor Bayne went into Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway a decided underdog. He was just 19 years old when he arrived at Daytona to begin preparing for the Daytona 500, although he turned 20 on the day before the 500.

He had raced a Cup car just one before, at Texas Motor Speedway in the fall of 2010. Although he put on an impressive performance in his Cup debut, there still were doubts about how he’d perform in NASCAR’s biggest race.

The No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford that he would drive was another story. Even in the team’s lean years, the Woods have had fast cars at Daytona and its sister track, Talladega Superspeedway. For the 2011 race, then-crew chief Donnie Wingo and his Ford teammates at Roush Fenway Racing had worked hard all winter, as all top teams do, to prepare a car that had all the aerodynamic tweaks the rules allow.

When Bayne hit the track for practice he soon was posting speeds as fast as far more experienced drivers. He qualified third-fastest behind Daytona veterans Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.

But it wasn’t until the first race practice after qualifying that Bayne began to show signs that he might be a contender for the win in spite of his inexperience.

The 2011 Daytona 500 saw drivers pairing up, with one pushing the other and making both cars run much faster that either one alone. The phenomenon was known as “tandem drafting.”

Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford, remembers how taken aback he was at the speeds two cars in tandem could achieve.

“I saw Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon hook up and run 207 miles per hour,” Wood said. “I called my dad, who was staying in a condo over on the beach, and told him he needed to come see it.”

It turns out that Glen Wood had seen it before.

“He said he’d seen Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly do it in a couple of Ford Falcons at Daytona in 1961,” Wood said. “I went over to the NASCAR Archives that afternoon and found a picture of Turner and Weatherly running bumper to bumper.”

Among those who were excelling at tandem drafting was the youngster Bayne.

“Trevor took to it like a natural,” Wood recalled.

“Having no previous experience in a Cup car at Daytona might have been an advantage because he hadn’t learned to race in the draft any other way. He didn’t have any habit to unlearn.”

Bayne’s biggest problem was in the numbers.

Being from a single-car team, he didn’t have any natural drafting partners as did the drivers from multi-car teams. But having a fast car allowed him to build some drafting friendships.

In the last practice before Thursday’s qualifying races, Kyle Busch agreed to draft with Bayne.

Then, right before the start of the 150-mile qualifier, Jeff Gordon told Bayne he’d draft with him in the qualifier.

“They couldn’t get going good just after restarts, but after a few laps they could go from the back of the pack to the front,” Wood said of the Bayne/Gordon combo. “But it was all with Trevor doing the pushing. He was never the front guy.”

But on the last lap of the qualifier, Bayne was swept up in a multi-car melee and the No. 21 Ford was damaged on the nose and on both sides.

Despite finishing 19th in the qualifier, Bayne made the starting field for the 500 based on his qualifying time.

As Eddie and Len Wood were returning to the garage to help decide whether to fix their primary car or roll out the back-up, they came upon Doug Yates, their engine builder.

Yates answered the question by asking a question of his own: “What would Leonard Wood or Robert Yates do?”

And with that the decision was made to repair the damaged primary car.

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, DaytonaWingo, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew and a contingent from Roush Fenway Racing set about repairing the car. The team worked through the day on Friday and didn’t get back on the track until the final practice session on Saturday.

Bayne ran a handful of laps and reported that the car was as fast as it was before.

“That was good to hear, because it meant we’d made the right decision in fixing the car instead of going to a backup,” Wood said.

In the 500, Bayne ran near the front all day. He drafted some with Robby Gordon and Jeff Gordon, then hooked up with Ford teammate David Ragan.

“Back then drivers could talk on the radio to other drivers, so a lot of that time, they were on David’s channel and using his spotter,” Wood said. “It worked fine because Trevor was always pushing.”
A late-race wreck with two of 200 scheduled laps left to run set up a dramatic run to the checkered flag.

On first attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish, one that could have been the final one of the race, Ragan and Bayne started on the front row, with Ragan the leader of the race in the outside lane.

After the green flag was displayed but before the leaders reached the start finish line, Ragan shifted lanes to hook up with Bayne. That’s a rules violation, so Ragan was penalized and Bayne assumed the lead for the next restart, which followed a crash on the backstretch.

“Since he hadn’t been in the top spot all day for a restart, Trevor asked Donnie what to do,” Wood said. “Donnie told him to go as hard as he could.”

When the green flag dropped for the second attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish, Bayne had a strong restart, with some dedicated pushing help from Bobby Labonte.

“Bobby got them both out into the lead,” Wood said.

Carl Edwards and David Gilliland were hooked up and coming in a hurry, but when they got to Bayne and Labonte, Edwards bypassed Labonte and fell in behind Bayne and wound up pushing him across the finish line. Bayne led just six laps all day, but they were the final six, from Lap 203 to 208.

2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, DaytonaThe victory, the Woods’ fifth in the Daytona 500 and the 600th Cup win for Ford, was timely for the family-owned team, which had cut back to a partial schedule and was focusing on the restrictor-plate and intermediate tracks.

“Along about that time, the economy was down and it was hard to get enough sponsorship to run competitively for the full season,” Wood said. “We hadn’t won a race in a long time, so it was good to be able to show that we could still do it.”

The winning No. 21 Fusion never raced again. It spent a year on display at Daytona, covered with the spray from sugary soft drinks and brightly colored confetti.

Now it’s on display in the Henry Ford Museum, still just as it rolled out of Victory Lane at Daytona other than being signed by the Wood Brothers team and by the Ford Motor Company officials involved in the NASCAR racing effort.

“Every time I go to the Henry Ford, I climb over the ropes and check the car,” Wood said. “There was a plastic water bottle jammed under the seat during the race, and it’s still there.”