Jon Wood and Wood Brothers Racing Head Home to Martinsville
Harrisburg, NC.(October 16,2008)- Wood Brothers Racing and Jon Wood are returning to their roots at Martinsville Speedway in the newly branded no. 21 Aqua Sun Motorsports Ford F-150 for the Kroger 200 on Saturday October 18th. Jon’s grandfather, Glen Wood, first laid tracks on the half-mile oval in 1953 in a Ford convertible and won four career pole positions there. Although he didn’t take a checkered flag, he came home with three top 5’s and five top 10 finishes.
Jon Wood is making his own history at the track with a win under his belt in 2003 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Jon spoke about his family history and how he’s looking forward to going home and racing.
Jon Wood on Martinsville:
What is unique about racing at Martinsville?
“It’s a tough little race track. The aerial view of it looks like a paperclip and it’s like driving on one, really. It’s awesome. I think the truck race is just long enough and there’s enough beating and banging to make the fans say that they got their money’s worth. You pretty much know when you get there that you’re going to be in at least one wreck. I’ve gone there talking myself into having the patience of Jobe. It just doesn’t work.”
How do you feel about going to your home track?
“Overall, it’s one of the race tracks I look forward going to the most. I’ve had a decent amount of success there. I get a comfortable feeling of going home, it’s a race track that I did not grow up racing at, it’s not what you would define as your typical home track for the reason of they don’t offer weekly racing there. You have to be in one of NASCAR’s premier divisions in order to step foot on the track. The other aspect that makes it all the more special is that my grandfather raced there during the grassroots racing period and the inception of the sport. When I won there, it was pretty surreal because my dad was there and my grandpa was there so, the family lineage that we have there is pretty unique.”
Crew chief John Monsam recalled the win and the importance of track position as he looks toward this weekend.
John Monsam on Martinsville:
How do you plan on improving your performance this weekend from the first race in March?
“I’m looking forward to Martinsville like I always do because I love that place. Knowing that we had an awesome truck the last time, we passed more trucks than anyone else. We came from the back three or four times. We just have to be able to qualify better. That’s going to be the key. We can race well but, we didn’t qualify well. This week, that’s going to be our focus, it has to be. Track position is extremely important and yes, you can pass, but you don’t want to have to come from deep in the field. It’s a whole lot easier when you’re up front. Having won there before, we qualified second and won the race. Our teammate qualified first and finished second. If you look at the history of Martinsville, rarely do winners come from outside the top 10.”
You have a lot of history at Martinsville, what is one of your fondest memories?
“Of course, the win in 2003 with Jon is my best memory. I remember running out onto the front stretch, jumping up and down, and hugging Jon wood. I felt like Hercules and I jumped the wall. He smashed me in the head with his helmet and the smoke hadn’t even cleared yet from the burn out.”
Since that win, do you put more pressure on yourself to get another win there?
The pressure to perform at Martinsville has always been there for me because this is the first place I came to in “big time” racing. I was in high school when I came here for the first time and I came down with a friend of mine who was a modified racer, we drove all night and snuck in the infield in the trunk of his car because that’s what you could do back then. You could park your car in the infield and watch the race. Then we had to drive all night to get back home. When I first went there as a crew man to work on a car with the no. 44 team and Reggie Ruggiero was our driver; we were in contention to win every time we came here. We were so focused on this track, it became like our Daytona. I’ve always run well there in any type of car and to win there with Jon was the coolest.”
“As usual, Jon is very good at Martinsville; I have a more experienced, better team than I had there in the first race. These guys have improved. It’s nice to have [car chief] Dwight DuBois back helping us and our pit crew has improved too. We have a lot of positives and we’re looking forward to these last five races. There’s no better place to kick it off than Martinsville.”
Watch Jon Wood and the Wood Brothers Racing crew in the no. 21 Aqua Sun Motorsports Ford F- 150 in Martinsville Speedway for the Kroger 200 on Saturday, October 18th with coverage beginning at 2:30pm on Speed.
Fans can visit the Wood Brothers Racing museum on the way to Martinsville and see original 1971 Purolator Mercury on display. The museum is open weekdays from 9:00am to noon, 1:00pm to 5:00pm. There is no admission fee, and the gift shop offers varied souvenir items. It’s located only thirty minutes from Martinsville Speedway, just off highway 58.
The museum and souvenir shop is also open this Saturday during the Martinsville Race weekend until 1pm. For more information on how to get to the Wood Brothers Racing Museum and Wood Brothers Racing please go to www.woodbrothersracing.com