Category Archives: 2008

Bill Elliott to Start 39th at Texas Motor Speedway

Bill Elliott to Start 39th at Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, TX (October 31, 2008)-Bill Elliott in the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 Little Debbie/Motorcraft Ford Fusion will start 39th on Sunday, November 2nd in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The track started out very fast during practice and the 21 team finished the final session of the day in 24th with a lap time of 29.219 seconds.Since Elliott is locked in the field with a past champions provisional, the team focused on race setup rather than qualifying during that practice. As the day went on and qualifying progressed, the track seemed to get tighter,the later cars went out to make their run. Since the no. 21 is outside of the top 35 in owners point standings, Elliott went out onto the track 38th out of 48 cars to make his first lap, which was clocked at 29.251.He decided to take the second lap and try to improve on that; however the time didn’t improve as it was 29.421 seconds.

Elliott commented on the run, “It was just so tight all the way around. I don’t really understand it. We really felt good after that practice and, I guess we just went a little too far with our adjustments.”

Watch Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott in the no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion on Sunday, November 2nd in the Dickies 500 live on ABC at 3:00pm ET.

*Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography

Jon Wood Qualified Sixth at Texas Motor Speedway

Jon Wood Qualified Sixth at Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Tx (October 31, 2008)-Jon Wood in the no. 21 Wood Brothers U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 qualified for tonight’s Chevy Silverado 350k in the 6th position.

Wood was the third fastest Ford, behind pole sitter Rick Crawford in the no. 14 and Travis Kvapil in fourth, driving the no. 09. Wood commented on his top 10 position that he accomplished with one fast lap that clocked a time of 30.373 seconds. “The one thing I like is now I can make a suggestion or something that I can improve on and it actually gets done. I noticed in practice that, for instance, if you left pit road really hard, spinning tires and everything for your qualifying run, you could get up to speed or be up to speed by the time you crossed the start-finish line to take lap one.  You can’t run two timed laps with your grill completely blocked off, which produces the most downforce, so I felt like blocking it all the way off, running one lap would be sufficient enough.  I had sufficient distance and time to get up to speed.  And the risk versus reward running full tape was worth doing,” said Wood.

Jon Wood and the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing can be seen in the Chevy Silverado 350k, Friday, October 31st at 8:30pm ET on SPEED and 9:00pm ET on MRN Radio.

Wood Brothers Racing Anticipates More Progress Heading into Texas

Wood Brothers Racing Anticipates More Progress Heading into Texas

Harrisburg,NC ( October 30,2008)-Bill Elliott in the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion will head to Texas for the Dickies 500 on Sunday, November 2nd with the confidence that the team has progressed in the last half of the season.

Within the past five races, crew chief David Hyder has experienced tremendous improvements on and off the race track. The team looks forward to bringing a brand new race car to the 1.5 mile quad-oval.  “The guys have been working super hard in the shop and giving us the right equipment to go to the racetrack. I think we’ve shown improvement over the last five or six weeks. We haven’t gotten to qualify, but all in all, we’ve been competitive and we’re right where we need to be,” said Hyder.

At the track, he commented on the road crew and their advancements, “Unfortunately the way we had that problem in Atlanta wrecking, we didn’t get the chance we needed. The guys working on road crew have been working hard at giving us what we need with changes in the car and I can’t say enough about the team and how much they’ve progressed for the last month and a half,” said Hyder.

Because Atlanta and Texas are similar, Hyder plans on taking what the team learned in Atlanta and building on that for this weekend in Texas. “We learned a lot of new things at Atlanta and because the loads are about the same at Texas as Atlanta, we should be able to use close to the same set up.” He added that the key to running well in Texas is to tackle the banking issue in turn two. “The transition off  the banking off  [turn] two falls out from under the car; where at Atlanta and Charlotte, the banking stays progressive off the corner so, you just have to watch out and not get too tight off  two. You need to be able to get in to [turn] three pretty hard and roll the middle in [turns] three and four. We’ll be looking for that change off two and we’ll be making changes toward that but, still being able to get in the center of three and four.”

During the last three weeks, qualifying has been cancelled due to inclement weather which has placed the no. 21 in the 37th starting spot for those races. With no threat of rain for this weekend in Texas, Hyder is looking forward to qualifying and the opportunity to improve on the starting position. “It would be great if we had a top 20 after qualifying but, I look for even something better than that.” He added, “I’m just real happy where we were in Atlanta for race set up. Springs wise, it shows to be better for qualifying so, I hope it doesn’t rain, now that we’ve had 10 weekends of rained out qualifying. I hope we definitely get to qualify and improve our starting position.”

Overall, the team is excited about heading to Texas with hopes to have the opportunity to show the improvements during qualifying, practice and have a top run during the race.

*Photo By Dorsey Patrick Photography

Jon Wood Headed To Texas with New Crew Chief On Board

Jon Wood Headed To Texas with New Crew Chief On Board

Harrisburg, NC (October 29, 2008)-Jon Wood in the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 will head to Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season with a fresh outlook along with recently hired crew chief Gere Kennon.

Kennon, a veteran crew chief of NASCAR’s top tier Sprint Cup and Nationwide series is now being welcomed back to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with the no. 21 team.  He’s had two Nationwide Series Championships and currently holds the record for the most wins in a single season in that series.

He’s also been the car chief for successful drivers such as Mark Martin, Bill Elliott, Ted Musgrave, Michael Waltrip and Ron Hornaday. Most recently, he was crew chief in the Arca/Remax Series with Spraker Racing and driver Dexter Bean finishing out the ’08 season.  He’s looking forward to working with Jon Wood and Wood Brothers Racing. Kennon commented on working for the legendary Wood Brothers. “I’ve known Eddie, Len and Leonard for so long when I worked at Roush’s and at Junior Johnson’s. It’s an honor that they asked me to do it,” said Kennon.

Kennon welcomes the challenge of starting late in the season and has jumped full force in getting up to speed with the team. “Jon’s been in the shop both days that I’ve been here. I’ve just been talking to him and trying to get to know him a little bit. We’re trying to get back to basics and see where we are at and where we’re going. I’m excited about going to Texas.” He added, “We need to run as good as we can, qualify well and make the truck as comfortable for Jon as we can get it. When it gets down to the end, maybe we’ll have a shot at winning. We’re using a lot of the data from the previous race at Texas, it’s a different truck but, we’re using the same set up just to get a base line. We’ve got another direction to go in if we need to. With [David] Hyder’s [crew chief of the 21 Sprint Cup team] support, I’m hoping we’ll have a good weekend.”

Wood is also looking forward to the weekend and working with a new crew chief, “I’m pretty pumped about going to Texas because we unloaded in Atlanta with our Texas setup and we ended up eighth or so in practice, which was not bad at all. Now we’ve got  Gere Kennon as our new crew chief,” said Wood.  Wood qualified fourth and finished 10th in the spring race, he said, “I think we’ll be fine. We ran well there in the spring and it’s another night race. I’m looking forward to it.”

Watch Wood Brothers Racing and Jon Wood in the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 in the Chevy Silverado 350K on Friday, October 31st with coverage beginning at 8:30pm ET on SPEED.

Wood Brothers Racing Atlanta II NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Recap

Wood Brothers Racing Atlanta II NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race Recap
Bill Elliott Finished 38th in the Pep Boys Auto 500

Hampton, Ga. (October 26, 2008)-Bill Elliott in the no. 21 Wood Brothers Racing U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion was looking forward to a very promising race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday after a productive Happy Hour final practice session on Saturday afternoon where the no. 21 was scored 11th quickest. However,the team got off to a discouraging start of the Pep Boys Auto 500 when two laps after taking the green flag in 37th, another race car hit Elliott from behind and turned the no.21 around. The spin caused him to slide into the interior wall of the racetrack that resulted in left side damage. The 21 team would work through the adversity and take the checkered flag in 38th.

With some significant damage to the 21, Elliott was able to drive the race car back to pit road where the pit crew changed four tires since the right front had blown during the incident. They also fixed the right fender and sent him back to the track. Crew chief David Hyder called him to immediately come back to pit road to fix the alignment that was off.The team took their time to fix the issue; the race restarted on lap six. As three laps passed, the 21 team sent Elliott back to the track in order to prevent losing more laps. They decided to make the rest of the adjustments on the next scheduled pit stop under caution.
On lap 22, Elliott reported a tight condition and Hyder responded, “Just do what you can, we’ll loosen you up next time you pit.”

As Elliott ran laps, his times were clocked as fast as the leaders. The caution flag flew on lap 34, and Elliott pitted for four tires and fuel. The team didn’t have time to make the adjustments that they had planned on doing to the alignment but,Elliott claimed the car was drivable. Bill said,” It’s really not that bad.” Hyder decided to keep the no. 21 out on the track and wait for the next caution to fix the outstanding issues; Elliott restarted 42nd on lap 39.

The caution flag flew on lap 109 and Hyder called Elliott down pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to combat the tight condition. He was sent back to the track in 42nd when the race restarted on lap 114.

When the yellow flag flew on lap 131, Elliott explained that the adjustments made on the previous stop didn’t help the car, so Hyder chose to partially reverse the adjustments and put an additional chassis adjustment on the left rear. Bill restarted in 42nd on lap 135.

While the green flag laps continued, Elliott did all that he could to keep the ill handling race car on the track yet, on lap 140 he made contact with the wall. The occurrence didn’t cause a caution, nor did he need to make an unscheduled pit stop but, he communicated that he felt the splitter hitting the ground. On lap 180, Elliott informed the team that the car had an extreme tight handling condition. Hyder called for a scheduled green flag pit stop on lap 183 for four tires and fuel. Bill went back to the track in 42nd.

Caution flag flew again on lap 209, Hyder brought the no. 21 down pit road to make adjustments that would help with the tight handling race car. They also put on four tires and fuel; Elliott restarted the race in 42nd on lap 215. Hyder radioed to Bill, ”There are 110 laps to go, we just need to get what we can out of it.”

Within the five cautions over the next 100 laps, the 21 team worked hard on making adjustments to the car and Elliott continued to run lap times as fast as the leaders. Unfortunately, with the damage from the incident on lap two and lost laps, there was nothing more the team could do; Elliott would cross the finish line in 38th.

Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott driving the no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion will travel to Texas Motor Speedway for the Dickies 500 on Sunday, November 2nd.

Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography

Atlanta II NCTS Post Race

Atlanta II NCTS Post Race
Jon Wood Finished 21st in the E-Z-GO 200

Hampton,Ga (October 25, 2008)-Jon Wood in the no. 21 Aquasun Motorsports Ford F-150 started 24th in E-Z-GO 200 and within the first 10 laps reported a very loose handling race truck. The team battled the condition for most of the afternoon and worked hard to make adjustments to the truck. In the end, they made some ground and Wood finished the short 130 lap event in 21st.

A competition caution was planned for lap 25, due to a rained out practice and qualifying on Friday and NASCAR wanted to ensure that the tires were functioning optimally. Yet, on lap 15, caution flew when a single truck spun in the grass on the front stretch. Acting crew chief Mike Smith decided to pit for adjustments and since they still had to pit on lap 25, they opted not to take tires. The 21 pit crew made the adjustments and added fuel. Jon restarted in 23rd on lap 19.

When the competition caution flew on lap 25, Wood reported that the truck was darting in turn 3. He had a difficult time keeping the truck straight. The 21 came down pit road and the pit crew put on four tires, made more adjustments and fuel. Wood went back to the track and restarted on lap 29 in 23rd. By lap 35 Jon said, “It’s a lot better but we’re only halfway there.”

When the next caution flag flew the team took the opportunity to pit and go further with the adjustments. On the restart, Jon was scored one lap down from the leaders in 21st. He took the green double-wide in the front of the field on lap 62. Immediately he felt an improvement with the condition of the truck, Jon said, “It’s fixed. Wait until you see this lap time.” As he came around turn four and crossed the line, his time was as fast the leaders.

By lap 86, Wood reported a tight condition. Smith replied calmly, “Hold tight, we’ll fix it when we come in.” Caution occurred again three laps later and Smith called the no. 21 down pit road for four tires, fuel and more adjustments. The race resumed on lap 94. The rest of the laps ran under the green flag; Wood took the checkered in 21st on lap 130.

Wood Brothers Racing and Jon Wood in the no. 21 U.S. Air Force F-150 will head to Texas for the “Chevy Silverado 350K” on Friday, October 31st.

Jon Wood to Start 24th in E-Z-GO 200 after NASCAR Cancels Qualifying

Jon Wood to Start 24th in E-Z-GO 200 after NASCAR Cancels Qualifying

Hampton, Ga(October 24, 2008)-Jon Wood in the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 Aquasun Motorsports Ford F-150 will start 24th after NASCAR cancelled all activity at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon due to rain and lined up the 36 truck field according to the rule book and owners point standings.

Wood and the no. 21 team will prepare the truck for the race and will have a one hour and twenty minute practice session on Saturday afternoon.

Watch Wood Brothers Racing and the no. 21 Aquasun Motorsports Ford F-150 in the E-Z-GO 200 on Saturday October, 25th with coverage starting at 1:00pm ET on SPEED.

Photo by Rhonda Greer

Bill Elliott to Start 37th in the Pep Boys Auto 500 after NASCAR Cancels Qualifying

Bill Elliott to Start 37th in the Pep Boys Auto 500 after NASCAR Cancels Qualifying

Hampton, Ga (October 24, 2008)-Bill Elliott in the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion with start 37th for the third consecutive week, after Nascar, once again, lined up the 43 car field in Atlanta according to the rule book and owners points.

It was a laborious day of trying to dry the 1.5 mile track due to a rain storm that passed through the Atlanta area Friday morning. By early evening, NASCAR adjusted the schedule to allow for Sprint Cup Series practice however, as soon as the cars hit the track, a consistent, heavy drizzle began to fall. NASCAR cancelled the remaining practice and qualifying for the evening.

The no. 21 team will prepare the car for the race on Sunday and will have two scheduled practices on Saturday afternoon. Watch Wood Brothers Racing and Bill Elliott in the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion on Sunday, October 26th in the Pep Boys Auto 500 with coverage beginning at 1:00pm ET on ABC.

Elliott Looking Forward To Being Home in Atlanta

Elliott Looking Forward To Being Home in Atlanta

Harrisburg, NC (October 23, 2008)-Bill Elliott is heading to his home track in Atlanta behind the wheel of the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion for the running of the Pep Boys 500 on Sunday, October 26th. His history at Atlanta Motor Speedway is among the richest in NASCAR and will be commemorated this weekend during pre-race ceremonies.

Elliott will make his 59th start at the 1.5 mile oval and holds six wins, of which, he is tied for third with the most wins among NASCAR’s finest, Richard Petty and Bobby Labonte. He also has five pole position starts,14 top five finishes and is ranked fifth of all time with the most laps led. He’s looking forward to going home and has a busy weekend of events. “Racing at my home track in Atlanta is well, like being at home; the fans have always been a big part of making it special to me. I have many fond memories here and hope to make many more,” said Elliott.

There has been question as to whether this may be Elliott’s last run at the track where he’s known as a local hero, but looking back at the progress that he and Wood Brothers have made this season, he is leaving his options open for the future. Elliott commented, “I’m looking at what Eddie and Len have worked to build and I’m trying to help them out. Whatever I end up doing, it’s going to be a short skirt.”

Elliott came to the Wood Brothers Racing organization late 2007 with the focus of assisting them in getting the program up in owners point standings. He feels that the team has really made progress since then and looks forward to experiencing what’s ahead. “I see some things going in a positive direction with David Hyder coming in [as crew chief] and Hoyt [Overbagh], the engineer coming back there. Another guy, Dean [Johnson], who’s the shock guy and you’ve got Dwayne [Doucette] and all of the other guys who are the car chiefs and who have been with The Wood’s. They’re just a great bunch of guys,” Elliott said.

Coming off of a positive weekend with a 16th place finish at Martinsville, Elliott is starting to see some of the benefits of the dialogue that he and Hyder are building. He said,” At Martinsville on Sunday, we kept working on the car and getting it better during the race. That’s the key thing that we’ve got to do as far as the Wood Brothers organization and what they need to do is keep picking at it and getting a little better as time goes on.”

Atlanta Motor Speedway will be honoring the 20th anniversary of his 1988 NASCAR Championship team during pre-race activities. 27 of the original team members will attend the festivities on Sunday. Elliott commented on the reunion, “I think it will be pretty neat.” He added, “I mean, it’s been a long time and I haven’t seen a lot of the team in the last number of years. I really look forward to being back at Atlanta with them again.”

To add to a very busy weekend, Elliott will host the Bill Elliott 50 Red Dirt Dash along with other NASCAR stars for charity Saturday, October 25th at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, Ga. The event will include driving personalities such as Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne , Ken Schrader and others. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Bill spoke about the objective for the event, “We’re trying to help Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta which was Eggelston. They’ve gone into where they’re non-profit and where everything they do, they have to raise money through donations. That’s a fantastic facility and we’re just trying to help them along, have some fun, get the people out on Saturday night and just go play.”

Elliott and the celebrity drivers will be signing autographs at Dixie in a private session starting at 6:00 pm. Autograph session vouchers are available at the gate starting at 3:00 pm for $30 with proceeds also benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Grandstand and pit gates open at 3:00 pm and event starts at 7:30 pm. Advance tickets for the Bill Elliott 50 can be purchased for $30 adult and $15 children ages 7-17 by calling the track ticket office at 770.926.5315. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Adult tickets at the gate are $35 and pit passes are $40 adult and $20 children 11 and under.

Dixie Speedway is located just north of Atlanta along Hwy 92 at 150 Dixie Drive, Woodstock, Georgia 30189. For more information on the Bill Elliott 50 at Dixie Speedway fans can visit www.dixiespeedway.com or call the track’s office at 770.926.5315.

Jon Wood in Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 U.S. Air Force F-150 Looking Forward To Atlanta

Jon Wood in Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 U.S. Air Force F-150 Looking Forward To Atlanta

Harrisburg, NC (October 22, 2008)-Jon Wood and the Wood Brothers Racing no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford F-150 head to Atlanta for the E-Z-GO 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 25th.

Along with celebrating his 27th birthday this Saturday, Jon Wood is looking forward to getting back to the fast 1.5 mile oval.  Wood finished 10th in the spring night race and the team is bringing the chassis that qualified fourth in Texas.

Wood commented on the track and the short 130 mile race. “It’s a short race and these mile-and-a-half racetracks seem best suited for 250 miles and this one being 200, that 50 miles doesn’t sound like a lot, but for some reason it make that race go by so much faster.” He notes that pit strategy is key to track position due to the short duration of the race. He said, “You don’t have enough laps to make it back to the front. If you’re the lead guy, the caution comes out and you opt to stay out and everyone behind you comes in to pit. They may not have been better than you prior to the pit stop, but they’ve got brand new tires and you’re a sitting duck.”

Since this event takes place on Saturday afternoon as opposed to the spring race, the team will have a different setup than the last time and will work off of data from the previous year.  Jon mentioned that the team will put forth effort into qualifying and that it’s key to have a top starting spot to finish well. Wood said, “It’s not going to be what we do to make the weekend good. It’s what we need not to do.”

Watch Wood Brothers Racing and Jon Wood in the U.S. Air Force F-150 in the E-Z-GO 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday, October 25th with coverage beginning at 1:00pm ET on Speed.