Category Archives: 2008

Wood Brothers Racing Homestead-Miami Sprint Cup Post Race Report

Wood Brothers Racing Homestead-Miami Sprint Cup Post Race Report ; Elliott Closes Out Season with Best Finish 12th

Homestead, FL (November 16, 2008) In the last race of the 2008, Bill Elliott, behind the wheel of the no. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, closed out the year by taking the checkered flag in 12th  and along with good calls from the team, he earned his best finish of the season, respectfully, in the Wood Brothers Racing machine.

Just prior to Elliott taking the green flag in the 15th spot of the Ford 400 on Sunday November, 16th, crew chief David Hyder made a statement, “I just want to thank all of our sponsors for supporting us this year, Ford, Motorcraft and Air Force. I’d like to thank Eddie and Len for giving all of us this opportunity and Bill, it’s been a pleasure working with you and I hope we can work together in the future.”  Elliott responded, “I appreciate every one of you guys. You do one heck of a job.”

Lap 22, “It’s free off turn four,” said Elliott. Green flag laps continued under a long run when on lap 40, Hyder radioed to Elliott, “Go get that 18 car, hammer down here.”

The first pit stop was scheduled under the green flag on lap 50, the team made an air pressure adjustment, put on four tires and added fuel. He went back to the track in 18th.On lap 69, caution flag flew for the first time. Elliott reported that the car was loose into turn one and loose coming off turn four. The crew made a chassis adjustment, put on four tires and fuel. He restarted on lap 74 in 19th. As the sun was setting, Elliott radioed to the crew, “I can’t see a thing on the front straight-away.” Within five laps he fell back to the 28th spot and reported that he felt the left side tires air pressures were too low.

He held onto it and moved up to 25th until Hyder scheduled the second green flag stop on lap 124. He made the call to put on two right side tires to gain track position and it worked. When the field went through the rotation of green flag stops  and the no. 21 moved up to 20th but on lap 138, Elliott fell one lap down to the leaders and was holding on to the position directly behind the leader.

On lap 140, the caution flag flew once again and Elliott won his lost lap back with the Lucky Dog award. Hyder called him down to pit road for an air pressure adjustment on right side  to fix the low pressure issue, and added two new left tires along with fuel. The race restarted on lap 146; Elliott was scored in the 21st position.

When the caution flag flew again on lap 151, another strategy call was made by Hyder, he had Elliott stop make a pit stop for fuel only, and this moved the no. 21 up to the 16th spot where he restarted the race on lap 156. Elliott stayed around the 16th position until another caution flag flew on lap 167, keeping track position in mind, Hyder called for the 21 pit crew to put on 2 right side tires and fuel only. When the race restarted on lap 172, Elliott was scored in 12th. During the restart with 85 laps to go, Hyder radioed to Elliott, “I need all you can give me, you’re doing a good job.”

The pivotal call of the race was under caution on lap 205, when Hyder, had Elliott come down pit road and the 21 crew put on two tires and fuel, then sent him back to the track, when the Nascar officials signal one lap to go before the green flag, Hyder called the no. 21 back down pit road to completely fill the tank. From that point of the 267 lap race, they could go the distance without stopping. The race restarted on lap 210; Elliott was scored in 23rd.

On lap 247, Elliott asked Hyder, “Do we have enough fuel?” Hyder replied,”Yes, we have enough fuel, now hammer down.” With 20 laps to go, cars in front of Elliott that needed to pit for fuel, began to do so. He moved up to the 15th spot then with 10 laps left , Hyder told Elliott to start conserving and slow down. More cars began to pit and  run out of fuel. As the final laps ran down, Elliott brought home a 12th place finish.

Elliott talked about the night, “I’m proud for these guys. They did an awesome job today. We had a great car, made the right calls. Everything went well. We had a decent night, stayed out of trouble. We got a little off there once, but we kept fighting back and got it better. I mean, all in all, we had a good night.”

On Getting a Good Finish After Running Well Throughout The Race, “It’s important to these guys, especially where they’re at, fighting for sponsorship and stuff. And it goes to show you that racing can turn around, and things can get better. I’m just proud for these guys. They deserve better. We had a decent night, and we’ll take it and get out of here.”

*Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography

Wood Brothers Racing Homestead Post Race Report

Wood Brothers Racing Homestead Post Race Report
Keven Wood Finished First 1.5 Mile 29th

Homestead, Fl (November 14, 2008)-In his first race on an intermediate fast track at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Keven Wood, driving the no. 21 Aquasun Motorsports Ford F-150, faced some handling challenges late in the race, yet, he had a clean, solid run and finished the Ford 200 in 29th.

Wood took the green flag in the 28th spot after running a qualifying lap dealing with a tight handling race truck earlier Friday evening. On lap 5, the caution flag flew when one truck went spinning out of control.Wood radioed to the crew that his truck was just a bit tight. Crew chief, Gere Kennon made the decision to stay out on the track and not pit. By doing that he gained 10 spots and restarted 23rd on lap 8.

Lap 38, Kennon radioed to Wood, “You’re gaining on some trucks with the good lap times.”Caution flag flew for debris on lap 41, Wood was scored in 27th. He reported a tight condition from the center of the corner to exit. Kennon had him come down pit road for an adjustment, four tires and fuel. The 21 pit crew had a quick stop that gained four spots. Wood restarted the race in 23rd on lap 45.

On lap 75 Wood was running in the 24th spot and Kennon came over the radio telling him, “keep hitting your marks, you’re doing just fine.” The yellow flag waved again on lap 90, Wood reported, “I don’t know what happened to it, but now it’s wicked loose.”

By lap 105, Wood tried to hold on to it but it got to the point where he was feeling a vibration and couldn’t get a handle on it.  However on lap 121 he couldn’t hold on any longer.“I need to come in, there’s something really wrong,” said Wood. He came down pit road and the 21 crew changed four tires and added some fuel. As Wood drove back to the track, the caution came out on lap 124 which put the no. 21 down a lap. When the race restarted on lap 129, he was scored in 28th.

With one more caution on lap 131, Wood expressed that the vibration had dissipated. “I don’t know what we did, but it’s not driving right. I think we over adjusted,” said Wood. The race restarted on lap 135 and utilized the green, white, checkered flag scenario. Wood finished the race crossing the finish line in 28th.

Wood talked about his night, “It was an up-and-down night.  It wasn’t too bad for my first mile and a half.  I had fun tonight.  We made a mistake there on the last pit stop.  I just couldn’t drive it.  I had something loose; I’m not sure what it was.  There was a vibration and I about wrecked coming off of four. I had to pit with 15 laps to go and then a caution came out just after that.  You just never know when you can catch a break like that. It didn’t feel safe, so I brought it in.  I’m proud of my guys on the Aquasun Motorsports Ford F-150.  They did a great job this weekend getting the truck ready for me.  I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work.”

*Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography

Wood Brother Racing Ford Championship Weekend Preview

Wood Brother Racing Ford Championship Weekend Preview
Bill Elliott Behind the Wheel of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Harrisburg, NC (November 13, 2008)-Bill Elliott will make his 8th start at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford Championship Weekend behind the wheel of the no. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion.

Elliott made history in 2001 when he won the race from the pole.  In 2003, he led an exciting race for 189 laps and battled Bobby Labonte going to the checkered flag, but cut a tire and finished 8th.  “It’s an unfortunate thing, I don’t know if I’ve won one like that before, but I’ve sure lost them like that,” said Elliott in the post race interview.

Elliott is looking forward to going back to HMS as the season is winding down but, he looks back on how far Wood Brothers Racing has come this season. “We’ve come a long way, but we have a long way to go.  When I come to the race track it’s kind of enjoyable to me, where the first part of the year, there was nothing good about it. You just get to the point where the struggles you go through are not worth it,” said Elliott. “The main thing is that we can see we helped ourselves. It just seems like a few select teams have everything figured out and that sure does make it hard on everybody else.”

Crew chief David Hyder is also looking forward to the last race of the season and is bringing the same chassis that ran in Texas. “We’re bringing the same car that we had at Texas; it was a new car at Texas and we evaluated our situation and what we had there. We looked at the difference between Homestead and Texas. It’s the same tire too, and that’s going to help us a little bit going into Homestead already knowing a little about the tire.  Now we’re just catching up to where we need to be, we’ve balanced the car a little different, seeing how we had all of the problems at Texas, we got going mid-way through the race, and took what we learned there and  applying it to Homestead.”

Being a part of a Ford team in this Ford Championship Weekend, Hyder expresses his gratitude to those who have supported the team over the years. “I’ve always liked Fords, and back in my old days of racing, I always ran Fords. I respect all of the guys at Ford for what they’ve done with the sport. At the end of the day, I can say that I’m with one of the best groups in the business,” said Hyder.

Hyder continued on about how far the team has come since he started at Indianapolis. The team has made strides moving up in the points. “When you go to the last race, we don’t have anything but something to gain out of it and I’d like to get by that 45 car, as we’re only a few points behind.  When I came over here, I saw where I could help the team. It’s been a tough road the last couple of weeks and we haven’t really gotten the finishes that we deserve but, I can’t say enough about the guys who worked so hard on the car. There are little pieces of the puzzle that were not quite together. I recognized a lot of the little issues we had from week to week. I’m just looking forward to going to Homestead and putting all that behind us.”

Watch Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott drive the no. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion in the Ford 400 on Sunday, November 16th with coverage beginning at 3:30pm ET on ABC

*Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography

Keven Wood Back Behind the Wheel of the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 in Homestead

Keven Wood Back Behind the Wheel of the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 in Homestead

Harrisburg, NC (November 12, 2008)-It may be the final stop of the 2008 Nascar Craftsman Truck Series season for Wood Brothers Racing but it’s Keven Wood’s debut on a 1.5 mile track at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Wood will be behind the wheel of the no. 21 Aquasun Motorsports Ford F-150 entry on Friday night, November 14th for the running of the Ford 200.

Wood Brothers Racing has had some success in the past with the no. 21 NCTS Ford –F150, with Jon Wood winning a pole position in 2007 then finishing 13th after leading 18 laps. With fond memories of that race and being a proud Ford partner during this Ford weekend, Keven Wood talked about running on new territory at MHS and making his own memories.

“Jon went down there and sat on the pole and that was pretty cool but, I’m just looking forward to making my own memories. This will be my first mile and a half so, that will be the first memory for me.
It’s a Ford weekend and I’m running a Ford and that’s pretty special.  I just hope we put on a good show for them and just getting on a big track and I’m looking forward to it,” said Wood.

The biggest track you’ve been on up to this point was Nashville, what are the differences between there and MHS?

“It’s bigger, it will be a little bit faster and the corner speeds will be faster than Nashville but straightaway speeds will be about the same.”
How will you prepare since you’ve never been on this track?
“Like I do with any of the other tracks that I’ve been to; I’ll just go down there, try to get behind a veteran, follow them and see what happens, then start making changes for myself as they come.
I’m going with an open mind. That’s all I can do. I’ll talk to people and see what they do and how I can apply that to myself.”

Who are you planning on getting advice from?

“I’ll go talk to [Rick] Crawford, who is in a Ford, he’s always been helpful. Whoever is around me, I’ll ask them. Whoever is in the rookie meeting, I’ll talk to them some. I’ll ask them, what type of lines they run, if they try to hold it wide open all the way around and if they use the brake, drag the brake or anything. When they will change their line and start to run up higher. Anything I can think of.”

Being the last race of the season, do you feel any pressure since Jon sat on the pole last year?

“No, I don’t feel any pressure. It’s just another new track for me. I’m going to go out there and learn as much as I can.  I’d like to have another top 15 for sure and it would be great to go down there and run like we did at Nashville and have a top 10 truck.”

Even though you haven’t been behind the wheel every race this season, you’ve been working with the team every weekend, how would you sum up the season?
“I’d like to have a good finish, not only for myself but for the team. They’ve been working hard throughout the year and it seems like whenever we have a truck that doesn’t run well, we stay out there and finish the race. Then when we have a good truck and the possibilities are good for a great finish then all of our hopes are shot down and it comes home in a box or something. I’d like to give good credit for all of us as a team and hopefully all of our hard work will be rewarded.”

How do you feel about working with the new crew chief this weekend?

“This will be my first time working with Gere [Kennon] and I’m really looking forward to it. We had a good truck going into Texas and then things happened and we didn’t get to see what it could do. At Phoenix we had a bad truck and it was just a struggle. It wasn’t for lack of effort; we just couldn’t figure it out. Things just kept changing and changing and nothing was working. So, we’ll see what happens in Homestead.”

Watch Keven Wood and Wood Brothers Racing in the Ford 200 on Friday, November 14th with live qualifying beginning at 5:00pm ET on SPEED and live race coverage beginning at 7:30pm ET on SPEED.

Wood Brothers Racing Phoenix II Post Race Report

Wood Brothers Racing Phoenix II Post Race Report
Bill Elliott Finished 29th

Avondale, AZ (November 9, 2008)-It was not a typical race day at Phoenix International Raceway for Wood Brothers Racing in the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. The afternoon began with clean racing and manageable handling issues but, for Bill Elliott in the no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion, it turned out to be quite an oddity when rain fell on the desert landscaped track along with chilly 40 mile per hour winds, two red flag delays and what would have been a decent finish; ended the day 29th due to an involvement in an incident going to the checkered flag.

Elliott took the green flag in the 37th position and immediately reported a loose handling condition. The first caution occurred on lap 19 and the 21 team took the opportunity to pit in order to make adjustments and for position sake, put on two tires and added fuel.

The race restarted on lap 24 and Elliott was scored in 32nd position.
During the second caution on lap 30, Elliott commented, “the adjustments helped but, it’s not enough.” He came down pit road and crew chief David Hyder made the decision to add more adjustments, change all four tires and fuel. Elliott returned to the track where he restarted 35th on lap36. Yet, Nascar immediately called the yellow flag to wave because there were clean up trucks still on the backstretch of the track. At the same time, in an odd instance, rain began to fall over the track. As the rain continued, Nascar put out the red flag on lap 43 and parked the race cars on pit road. The race resumed under caution after the sun came out and the track was dry.The green flag waved again on lap 47 after the 23 minute delay.

By lap 63, Hyder radioed to Elliott, “Good lap times right there-fast as the top 10 cars.” However, the leader had passed to put the 21 down one lap.
Within the next 100 laps of the 312 lap event, Elliott fought changing handling conditions in the car. What was once tight, began feeling free but, tight in the center of the corner. On lap 210, Wood Brothers Racing co-owner, Eddie Wood, sat on the spotters stand for the race and called the next caution flag to Elliott for debris. Hyder decided to pit for more adjustments, four tires and fuel; Elliott was scored in 32nd where he restarted the race on lap 218.

As green flag laps continued and Elliott was able to keep the no. 21 running good lap times, a caution on lap 273 caused by an incident that involved eight cars, brought out the second red flag of the day. After the track service crews cleaned the debris from the track, the race got underway once again after the 19 minute delay. The green flag waved on lap 278, Elliott was scored in 31st, yet moved up to 27th within 10 laps.

Elliott stayed in and the around 27th position for the remainder of the race until caution on lap 306 would restart the race under the green, white checkered flag scenario. As the race resumed with three laps to go and Elliott was on his way to take the checkered flag, he was tangled in a multi-car incident that occurred coming out of turn four. The hit damaged the car so severely that it could not be driven across the finish line. Elliott was okay and walked away from the incident disappointed but unharmed.

Wood Brothers Racing will head to Miami-Homestead Speedway for the final race of the 2008 season with driver Bill Elliott behind the wheel of the no. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion for the Ford 400 on Sunday, November 16th.
*Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography

Phoenix Truck Post Race

Phoenix Truck Post Race

Avondale AZ (November 8, 2008)-The Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix International Raceway, was quick and action packed from the very start. On lap one, an incident occurred that Jon Wood, driver of the U.S. Air Force F-150 was able to avoid and finished his season’s final event in 23rd.

Jon Wood took the green flag in 31st after qualifying a tight handling race truck. As the field made their way around the track on the first lap, the two lead cars brought out the caution. The 21 was not involved and Wood made his way through the wreckage with no contact. However, he ran over some debris and felt it was necessary to put on new tires. On lap 9, NASCAR opened pit road and the 21 truck made its way down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. He went back to the track and restarted in 31st on lap 10.

By lap 16, Wood reported an extremely tight condition and was scored in 25th. Caution on lap 28 gave the team the opportunity to pit and make some adjustments to ease the condition.Wood drove down pit road and the 21 pit crew made several adjustments, put on four tires and fuel. Wood returned to the track in 25th where he restarted the race on lap 33.
Five laps later, Wood reported that the race truck felt a little more free but not by much.

The next opportunity to pit and make adjustments was on lap 62 when the caution flag flew again. Wood commented on the condition of the truck, “I am going as hard as I can, the harder I go, the tighter it gets”. The team made more adjustments and put on two tires and fuel. Wood restarted on lap 68 in 26th.

After the leaders passed the no. 21 to put Wood down one lap, the caution came out on lap 77 which allowed him to win back the lap with the “Lucky Dog” award. After making more adjustments and topping off with fuel, Wood restarted at the tail end of the longest line in 25th on lap 85.

With another caution two laps later, Wood commented that he could feel a beneficial difference but wondered if there was anything more that could be done to help it turn. He came down pit road and the 21 pit crew made an adjustment then sent him back to the track to restart in 22nd on lap94.

Wood stopped to pit one last time when caution occurred on lap 129, the team made more adjustments and put on four tires and topped off with fuel. The race restarted on lap 133 in 24th.
On lap 137, Wood reported that the final adjustments fixed the issue that he was having with the handling all night.
With less than 10 laps to go, Wood ran as fast as he could to get the best lap times possible and ran as fast as the top 10 trucks, however, the laps ran out and he finished 23rd on lap 150.

Wood commented on the run, “The guys really did make the truck better. It’s been tough since we made some changes within the team so late in the game. With three races to go, three dissimilar race tracks and three dissimilar race trucks, there was no time for preparation. What we did learn from Texas and Atlanta we couldn’t apply because the truck was already here in Phoenix, our hands were tied. The guys really worked hard and the trend has been to always make it better, there just wasn’t enough time.”

Wood Brothers Racing will make its final appearance of the 2008 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway with Keven Wood back behind the wheel of the no. 21 Aquasun Ford F-150 for the Ford 200 on Friday, November 14th.

*Photo by Ronda Greer

Wood Brothers Racing Visits “The Boneyard”

Wood Brothers Racing Visits “The Boneyard”

Phoenix, AZ (November 6, 2008)-The Phoenix area has much to offer outside of Phoenix International Raceway with its vast desert landscape and presence of the U.S. Air Force. Jon and Keven Wood, drivers of the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing U.S. Air Force F-150 and team visited the air plane Boneyard in Tucson and had an eye opening experience.

The team arrived at the Davis Monthan Air Force Base AMARC (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center) just outside Tucson, AZ in the Sonora desert to see, for the most part, the final resting place of some of the most admired and respected aircraft the United Stated has used in military history. Driving out, looking over the flat desert land surrounded by red rock mountains, acres upon acres of airplanes were in view including C-5’s, Fighters and B-52 Bombers, amongst many others.

Tour guide, TSGT Scott Fredrick reported that not all of the aircraft were there just for scrap metal and parts. The storage area has an inventory of over 42,000 and was split in half by a public road that runs through the center. One side is where planes were regenerated, cleaned up and sent back out to be flown again. They may be sold to U.S allies around the world or go back into commission in our own services including the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines. None of the aircraft are sold to the public, however, some are donated to museums for display.

The base was chosen in 1964 for the storage area due to its climate, meager rainfall and low humidity. This climate would allow for the planes to be stored there indefinitely with little corrosion. There is also a thick layer of hard clay, known as caliche, that allows the heavy planes to be stored on the desert without a concrete pad or steel for parking.

This unique experience of this trip is to hear the history behind the planes, Keven Wood described his observation. “You hear some of the history behind some of the planes, it’s really interesting. I mean, it’s not a plane just sitting there. The plane has history behind it.” He commented on the acres of B-52’s that sat in the field, “The thing that stuck out the most was the way that they leave the planes [B-52’s] out for the spy satellites to see. Just knowing that Russia is watching us and they know that we know. That was just really wild having those chopped up planes sitting there and they can’t even throw them away, I mean, they have to leave them sitting there.”

The bus stopped at a sleek F-15C jet that was sitting among other jets. It didn’t seem any more special than any other; but this one had a story that is engrained in modern American history. Tour guide, Teresa Vanden-Heuvel, explained  this particular plane was one that was first to respond and attempt to intercept the commercial airplane that flew into the World Trade Center on 9/11. However, it was too late; once it arrived, the second plane had already hit the New York City landmark.

The next stop was at the number of C-5’s that were out of commission and used for parts. The huge fuselages stood in the desert like dinosaurs.  Some with noses missing, wings cut off and tails dislodged, the team was able to climb into one that had been retired. One could only imagine the airman who once flew on a mission to Vietnam or Korea. Truck chief Dwight DuBois spoke about his thoughts on climbing into the massive plane, “I had been in a C-17 before but, going in that C-5, the thought I had when I went up the ladder was I wanted to know where it had been, what kind of combat it had been in, just the history of it. It was exciting to go up in there and look out, just imagining what those guys went through pushing stuff out and getting it to the war and the whole deal. I was really wrapped up in it and just really excited. I don’t know how to explain it but,it was just an awesome opportunity to get to do that,” said DuBois.

The value of airplanes that currently sits on the base is worth 35 billion dollars but nothing is wasted. Parts and pieces are reused and recycled. Vanden-Heuvel explained the landscape constantly changes with old moving out and new aircraft moving in. Planes that are currently used in Iraq and Afghanistan may also meet their fate and retire at this serene place in the future.

Dwight spoke for the entire 21 crew, “Coming from a military background, it was an opportunity of a lifetime to do that. The whole experience of getting out there and being able to see the different kind of planes and the history the plans have being in the war and doing different combats; I’m just thankful for those guys to take their time and do all of that for us,” DuBois spoke of  Frederick and Vanden-Heuvel.  As far as a crew member we don’t really get to do things like that.  I know everybody on the team really appreciated it and wanted to thank everyone once again.”

Watch Jon Wood and the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 U.S. Air Force F-150 will compete in the Lucas Oil 150 on Friday, November 7th at Phoenix International Raceway live on SPEED at 7:30PM ET.

Elliott Talks About Phoenix as Season Winds Down

Elliott Talks About Phoenix as Season Winds Down

Harrisburg, NC (November 6, 2008)-Bill Elliott in the no. 21 Wood Brothers Little Debbie Ford Fusion is no stranger to Phoenix International Raceway. He had a victory in 1989, two pole position starts and four top five finishes. As he looks at going to PIR in a new era, he sees the challenges it brings with the COT car, but also looks at the season winding down for the 2008 season.

The win, in 1989 came as a surprise to Elliott with a 13th place starting position. He didn’t feel all that confident when he first got behind the wheel of his Ford Thunderbird and in the original post race interview on that memorable day Elliott explained, “I’ll tell you what. At the first of the race, I thought I would be lucky to be in the top 20 by the end of the day. The guys kept working and we never gave up.”  He continued to convey how the track changed in their favor and the team worked together to adjust the car accordingly to ultimately bring home the win.

Looking forward to this weekend, he mentions some of the challenges he expects at Phoenix. “Those were the good old days. It’s not a bad place. I mean, the main thing is that it’s just so different. [Turns] one and two are so much different than three and four and it drives so much different. I mean, I really don’t have a problem with the place and I think the car we’re carrying out there will be pretty good but we’re just so far behind.  I mean, you don’t have anybody else that you can lean on and share information and I know we’ve kind of beat that horse to death but, that’s the problem that I see,” Bill said.
Elliott continued commenting on PIR, “I don’t dislike it [the track]and I don’t really like it. It’s just a racetrack that if you get your car setup right, you can run well, if not, then to me, it’s more of a struggle. It’s like some of these places, I can go run three Bristol races in a row or Martinsville or wherever and I seem like I can get a handle on what I’m doing but, then there are these other places, it seems like I can’t get what I’m looking for.”

With the 2008 season winding down and Phoenix being one of the two events left to run, Elliott expressed how the season has progressed for the Wood Brothers Racing and how he views his situation for next year. “I mean whatever I decide to do after the next two races. If I come back to run a few races, it’s going to be short lived,” said Elliott. “I like the group that we have together here. It’s the one thing that’s kind of helped me see some light. I like [crew chief David] Hyder, I like Hoyt [Overbagh] and Dean [Johnson], Dwayne [Doucette] and all of the guys that we have right here. When I come to the race track it’s kind of enjoyable to me. Now, when you look at Bristol, we qualified well, look at Martinsville, we had a decent day. We had some signs of being relatively competitive to a lot of different cars, now granted we are not a car that will win a race but, for us to be put in a place where we can keep making gains, that’s what we need to do and that’s what the team needs to do. That’s the thing that I look at, is to keep building and growing and keep that car out there.”

Elliott Finished the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in 31st

Elliott Finished the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in 31st

Fort Worth, TX(November 2, 2008)-The Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was a race that left several teams perplexed with the surface that changed throughout the day until night event. Bill Elliott in the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion, ran a clean race under the green flag that waved for most of the evening and finished 31st.

Elliott took the green flag in the 39th spot of the 334 lap race. On lap 17, Elliott radioed to the crew, “this thing is all over the place; I’m holding on.” As the green flag laps continued the 21 team scheduled a pit stop on lap 52 which allowed the team to make a quick adjustment, put on four tires and fuel. He went back to the track in 35th.

The caution flew for the first time three laps later and Elliott reported that the car was better, but was still a handful. He commented on the cars condition, “it’s fine for one lap then pushes the nose on the next.” Crew chief David Hyder made the call to stay out on the track during this caution and wait to see how the changes that were made took hold since the track was rapidly changing with the sun setting. Elliott restarted in 31st on lap 64.

On lap 81, Elliott informed the crew that the adjustment helped and gave him more grip in the rear. Even though the car was ill handling, on lap 98, Hyder called out lap times to Bill and said, “You’re running good lap times, you’re as fast as the leaders.”

As the race went on caution free for several laps, the team made another green flag scheduled pit stop on lap 111 for four tires and fuel. As Elliott entered the pits there were cars in both pit stalls in front and in back of him. With the tight squeeze, he had to come in to the 21 pit stall crooked. The pit crew made the changes and pushed him back a few feet in order to get him out to the track. It took some extra time to get this done which put him in the 38th position. Yet, by lap 120, he rallied up five spots to 33rd.

Another caution occurred on lap 143, Hyder chose to bring the no. 21 down pit road for more adjustments to assist with the tight in the center of the corner and free off condition. The 21 pit crew also put on four tires and added fuel. Elliott returned to the track in 35th when the race restarted on lap 148.

Green flag laps continued and the team made yet another pit stop for tires and fuel on lap 203. The race went on under green until the next caution on lap 240. “During that run, you were the fastest car out there,” said Hyder, commenting on the lap times. He chose to pit for four tires, fuel. They made no adjustments as Elliott wanted to leave the car as it was since the sun had set and the track was shaded. “I got into a rhythm and I want to just ride it out,” said Elliott. He returned to the track in 33rd on lap 245.

At the end of that lap, the first multi-car incident occurred and caused another caution flag to wave. The 21 stayed out on the track, the race restarted on lap 256 in 33rd. As another long green flag run ensued. Teams started making green flag stops, for the last time, the no. 21 pit on lap 326 for four tires and fuel. He reentered the track in 32nd and finished the race 31st on lap 334.

Hyder radioed to Elliott, “Man, I’ll tell you what, you had some great lap times. I’m just sorry we couldn’t get this right for you.” Elliott responded,” that’s okay, you’ll have days like that. We’ll just go on to the next one.”

Wood Brothers Racing and driver Bill Elliott in the no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion, will go to Phoenix for the Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts “500” presented by Pennzoil on Sunday, November 9th.

*Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography

Unfortunate Circumstance Takes Wood Out of Contention Early at Texas Motor Speedway

Unfortunate Circumstance Takes Wood Out of Contention Early at Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, TX (October 31, 2008)-On this Hallowed Eve at Texas Motor Speedway, Jon Wood in the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 received tricks rather than treats  as he was involved in a multi-truck incident on lap two that put him out of the race for the rest of the evening.

Wood took the green flag of the Chevy Silverado 350k in the sixth starting spot after a top qualifying performance on Thursday night. As the race got underway and the 34 truck field made their way into turn two, the spotter, Danny O’Quinn, radioed that there was a wreck occurring just ahead.  As Wood began to slow down for the caution, he was hit from behind with a blow so hard that it turned the 21 into several trucks. The damage was terminal and ultimately sent the Wood Brothers Racing team home early and would ultmately receive the 31st place finishing spot.

Wood, understandably frustrated, commented on the incident, “Until something drastically changes and races can be won on lap zero, I don’t really see the point in racing the way that a couple of other guys were racing, particularly up front. There’s no sense it in whatsoever. It’s very difficult because these other drivers cause these wrecks and they’re the ones that are still on track and we’re back here in the garage with a truck that can’t be fixed.  The people that weren’t really to blame or were at fault were the ones that fall victims to circumstance.  It’s just not good.”

Wood added, “I didn’t run into anybody.  I got run into from behind.  That’s another thing, as fast as these trucks are able to stop, there’s no excuse to run into somebody from behind.  It’s just the wrong people being up front really.”

Wood Brothers Racing and Jon Wood in the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 will travel further West to Phoenix for the Lucas Oil 150 on Friday, November 7th.