Category Archives: 2009

Interview w/ Chuck Fountain – ‘We Race. You Win Sweepstakes’ Winner

Chuck Fountain, of Plymouth, Minn., won a brand-new 2010 Ford Fusion as Ford Racing’s “We Race. You Win” grand prize winner during Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 22. Fountain and his wife, Ruthie, had never been to a NASCAR race before winning the all-expenses paid trip in Ford Racing’s season-long sweepstakes.

CHUCK FOUNTAIN – ‘We Race. You Win Sweepstakes’ Winner

HOW DID IT FEEL TO WIN THE GRAND PRIZE FORD FUSION?

“It was a marvelous feeling and I think the guy who was taking the still photographs probably captured watery eyes on my part. I’ve never had a feeling like that before, really, but it was really great.”

OTHER THAN WINNING THE FUSION, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF FORD CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND?

“Well, it was the first race that I had attended. I had been to the track at Daytona before but not for a race. I was amazed by the loudness of the sounds as the race cars went around the track. The most memorable thing was probably the actual races themselves. For the first two races we were in one of the garage suites above the garage area; it’s like a flat roof with the garage behind the pits and then above it there is like an awning across, so at least that was out of the hot sun. It was interesting to watch all of the preparation that goes together, all that the pit crew deals with getting the tires ready, and gluing on the lug nuts and gluing down the weights, making sure they have got enough gas cans from the Sunoco gas station behind the garage area. Just seeing it all, was just absolutely amazing.”

YOU MET MATT KENSETH IN MARCH WHEN HE VISITED YOU IN MINNESOTA TO GIVE YOU A TEST DRIVE IN THE FORD FUSION. WERE YOU ABLE TO RECONNECT WITH HIM DURING THE WEEKEND?

“Yes. I met Greg Biffle, he was on the stage when I won the Ford Fusion, and he went with me down to the car out in front of the stage when they handed me the keys. We went to the car and I got in and started it up, and he got in the other side and shook my hand and said, ‘How great is this?’ so I got to meet him. When he was finished, Matt Kenseth was going to come on stage and do a Q & A with the audience, and they were about to whisk us off to the hospitality suite, and I said, ‘If you don’t mind, I would like to wait just to say hello to Matt.’ They were willing to let me do that, so we all waited and Matt showed up and they took a couple of pictures of him between Ruthie and I. He congratulated us on winning the car and everything, so it was good to see him again. I asked him how his wife and new daughter were doing and he thanked me for asking and keeping them in our thoughts. It was a good meeting. He’s a gentleman, and he’s my idol, he really is when it comes to race-car drivers.”

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE ‘WE RACE YOU WIN SWEEPSTAKES?’

“I’m not really sure, and I still don’t recall how I actually entered it. I was doing some research on a Ford vehicle, back towards the end of 2008, or in early January or February in 2009. I don’t remember specifically signing up for it, that whole part is pretty foggy because most of the time when you sign up for a contest you never expect to win anyway, you just put your name in the bucket and that’s the end of it. You never hear anything else, but it worked a little different this time. I’m glad that it did.”

HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING NASCAR FOR A WHILE?

“I’ve watched it off and on for a number of years.”

AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE HAS IT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST MORE?

“Oh sure. I’ve watched almost every race this year, or most of every race. I expect I probably will next year too, now that Matt has a new Crown Royal Ford Fusion.”<

HOW DID IT FEEL TO WIN THE GRAND PRIZE FORD FUSION?

“It was a marvelous feeling and I think the guy who was taking the still photographs probably captured watery eyes on my part. I’ve never had a feeling like that before, really, but it was really great.”

OTHER THAN WINNING THE FUSION, WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF FORD CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND?

“Well, it was the first race that I had attended. I had been to the track at Daytona before but not for a race. I was amazed by the loudness of the sounds as the race cars went around the track. The most memorable thing was probably the actual races themselves. For the first two races we were in one of the garage suites above the garage area; it’s like a flat roof with the garage behind the pits and then above it there is like an awning across, so at least that was out of the hot sun. It was interesting to watch all of the preparation that goes together, all that the pit crew deals with getting the tires ready, and gluing on the lug nuts and gluing down the weights, making sure they have got enough gas cans from the Sunoco gas station behind the garage area. Just seeing it all, was just absolutely amazing.”

YOU MET MATT KENSETH IN MARCH WHEN HE VISITED YOU IN MINNESOTA TO GIVE YOU A TEST DRIVE IN THE FORD FUSION. WERE YOU ABLE TO RECONNECT WITH HIM DURING THE WEEKEND?

“Yes. I met Greg Biffle, he was on the stage when I won the Ford Fusion, and he went with me down to the car out in front of the stage when they handed me the keys. We went to the car and I got in and started it up, and he got in the other side and shook my hand and said, ‘How great is this?’ so I got to meet him. When he was finished, Matt Kenseth was going to come on stage and do a Q & A with the audience, and they were about to whisk us off to the hospitality suite, and I said, ‘If you don’t mind, I would like to wait just to say hello to Matt.’ They were willing to let me do that, so we all waited and Matt showed up and they took a couple of pictures of him between Ruthie and I. He congratulated us on winning the car and everything, so it was good to see him again. I asked him how his wife and new daughter were doing and he thanked me for asking and keeping them in our thoughts. It was a good meeting. He’s a gentleman, and he’s my idol, he really is when it comes to race-car drivers.”

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE ‘WE RACE YOU WIN SWEEPSTAKES?’

“I’m not really sure, and I still don’t recall how I actually entered it. I was doing some research on a Ford vehicle, back towards the end of 2008, or in early January or February in 2009. I don’t remember specifically signing up for it, that whole part is pretty foggy because most of the time when you sign up for a contest you never expect to win anyway, you just put your name in the bucket and that’s the end of it. You never hear anything else, but it worked a little different this time. I’m glad that it did.”

HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING NASCAR FOR A WHILE?

“I’ve watched it off and on for a number of years.”

AFTER THIS EXPERIENCE HAS IT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST MORE?

“Oh sure. I’ve watched almost every race this year, or most of every race. I expect I probably will next year too, now that Matt has a new Crown Royal Ford Fusion.”

Wood Brothers and Bill Elliott Finish 16th at Homestead

The #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion and former NASCAR Champion Bill Elliott showed that it is not how you start the race – it’s how you finish.

Bill took the green flag in 9th position after a strong qualifying effort and good practices all weekend. He reported the car to be loose at the start of a run, but noted that it improved by the end of a long green flag run. On lap 54, the team made its first pit stop under green flag conditions. Unfortunately, one of the air hoses was outside the pit box, the team was black flagged, had to do a pass through and went one lap down.

Despite the mishap, Crew Chief David Hyder and the team knew they had a good car and would get back on the lead lap. On lap 156, during a caution, the team made the decision not to pit and to take the wave around hoping to get back on the lead lap. The strategy paid off as another caution flew on lap 193.

With 74 laps to go and temperatures falling, the team kept adjusting the car. On restarts the car wasn’t as good as others but on longer runs the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion was one of the fastest cars on the track.

During the final pit stop on lap 218, more adjustments were made preparing to go to the checkered flag. Bill was scored in the 26th position as the green flag fell for the final 50 laps. As the race wound down, Elliott passed 10 cars to finish in 16th place with lap times equal to the leader.

After the race, Elliott reflected on the day, “We ended up having a little mishap there in the pits. I got a lap down pretty early. We got fortunate and got that back. Man, I just wasn’t very good on short runs. The longer I ran, the better that thing got. It was awesome there at the end. But, we gave up too much track position, so we just need to get better on those short runs.”

When asked if he thought the season was successful, Elliott added, “Oh, absolutely. Last year we couldn’t finish in the 30s, and this year we were consistently in the top-20s. I mean, we’re out-running teams that are mega-bucks teams, and that’s what we need to continue to do.”

Homestead ends the 2009 race season. The Wood Brothers team will spend the off-season preparing for another successful season in 2010.

Wood Brothers Racing would like to thank Motorcraft and The Ford Motor Company and for their continuing support. Motorcraft will be celebrating ten years with the Wood Brothers in 2010, while The Ford Motor Company will celebrate sixty years with the team next year!

Elliott Qualifies #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion 9th for Ford 400

The Wood Brothers spent the last two weeks finishing a new car that had been in process for the past couple of months, one that will be run in 2010, and the effort paid off. After posting good consistent lap times in practice, Bill Elliott and the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion followed-up practice with a 9th place qualifying effort and a lap time of 31.42.

Co-owner Eddie Wood stated, ” We spent the last two races trying new things. Our guys decided to go back to the basics and have done a heck of a job. The car has been good since it unloaded.”

Jimmy Johnson earned the pole with a lap time of 31.05.

Wood Brothers Head to Homestead for the Final Race of 2009

The Wood Brothers and their #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion, driven by former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, head to Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend for the final race of the season – the Ford 400. The 1.5 mile speedway began holding Sprint Cup races in 1999 and underwent significant changes in 2003 when steeper, progressive banking was added in the turns.

The Wood Brothers have earned 2 top ten finishes at Homestead while Bill Elliott has earned 1 pole and 3 top 10 finishes – winning the event in 2001.

During last year’s race, the Wood Brothers and Elliott put together their best finish of the year – 12th. The team hopes to build on last year’s performance.

The cars take to the track on Friday with practice and qualifying. Two practices are scheduled for Saturday with racing action set to begin at 3:15 pm on Sunday. Live race coverage begins at 2:30 pm on ABC.

#21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion Finishes 34th at Texas

It was a roller coaster ride this past weekend for NASCAR past champion Bill Elliott and the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion team. The weekend started with high hopes as the team brought a new set-up to the track. Unfortunately, the car didn’t respond the way they hoped, which resulted in a 39th place qualifying effort.

On Saturday the team was back at it for two practices. During Saturday’s first practice, the car still needed some work. By the second practice, Bill posted the 5th fastest lap. With the car posting consistent lap times, it was also experiencing a small vibration.

On Sunday morning, the team replaced the transmission. Because of this change, the #21 was forced to start the race in the rear of the field.

As the race started, the car felt a little loose. The team made adjustments for the loose condition. The adjustments coupled with the cooling condition of the track caused the car to become too tight.

By the half-way point, Bill was running laps as fast as the leaders – unfortunately two laps down.  On lap 172, the team made the decision not to pit under caution and take the “wave around.” The gambled paid off when the caution flew again on lap 178. The team had gotten one of its two laps back.

On lap 224, the caution again flew and the decision was made to stay out and again take the “wave around.” This time the gamble didn’t work out. Bill was forced to pit under green and resulted in the #21 going one lap down.

With only 22 laps to go misfortune struck as fourth gear broke, forcing the team to retire from the race. Bill Elliott and the #21 were finally scored in 34th place.

The Wood Brothers #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion will make its final 2009 appearance in two weeks at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Ford 400.

Coke Zero Racefest Starts Ford Championship Weekend Nov. 19th

Coke Zero Racefest Jump Starts Ford Championship Weekend November 19th

DEARBORN, Mich. — November 10, 2009 – For the eighth consecutive year, Ford and Coke Zero are starting off the final race weekend of the season with Coke Zero Racefest at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., from 3-11 p.m. on Thursday, November 19, 2009.

The free outdoor event will give fans a chance to see their favorite Ford Racing stars – including Greg Biffle, Bill Elliott, Matt Kenseth and David Ragan – as they stop by for autographs and question-and-answer sessions.

Throughout the day, fans of all ages will be able to enjoy live music, interactive racing displays, show cars, team merchandise, vehicle displays, demonstrations, and a special performance from the Florida Panthers Ice Dancers. Younger race fans can visit the “Ford Fun Zone” during the day to play games and win prizes.

This year the Coke Zero Racefest is giving car enthusiasts the opportunity to see classic Mustangs from the Ft. Lauderdale Mustang Club, and also test-drive a new 2011 Ford Fiesta.

Coke Zero Racefest is the centerpiece of a weeklong schedule of NASCAR-themed concerts, festivals, parties, fund-raisers, and special events at a variety of locations throughout South Florida. These events culminate with Ford Championship Weekend, November 20-22, the season finales for all three NASCAR series.

Fans who haven’t purchased their tickets for Ford Championship Weekend can do so at Coke Zero Racefest or online at www.thechampionshiptrack.com.

Elliott Qualifies the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion 39th at Texas

Past Champion Bill Elliott qualified the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion today at Texas Motor Speedway with a lap time of 28.877 seconds – a pick-up of over four tenths of a second from practice. The car’s performance isn’t what the team had hoped as it continues to try new setups in preparation for the 2010 season. As team co-owner Eddie Wood noted, “We can’t get better if we don’t try new things.”

With two practices scheduled for tomorrow, David Hyder and the #21 crew will work hard to improve the car’s performance.

Jeff Gordon earned the pole.

Bill Elliott Warriors in Pink Fire Suit and Helmet Auction has Begun

Ford Motor Company, with the help of Wood Brothers Racing and their #21 Ford Fusion driven by Bill Elliott, featured a special Ford Warriors in Pink paint scheme in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Lowe’s Motor Speedway during the NASCAR Banking 500 on October 17, 2009.

For this race, NASCAR Past-Champion Bill Elliott wore a specially-designed Ford Warriors in Pink fire suit and helmet, and the entire #21 team sported Warriors in Pink caps. The fire suit was made by Simpson Race Products and the Bell Helmet was painted by Gary Hess Designs specifically for this race.

This auction includes the fire suit, racing gloves, helmet and team cap that were all worn by Bill Elliott during the Charlotte race weekend, and have each been autographed by Bill himself (#21 car NOT included). 100% of the proceeds from this auction will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fund breast cancer research and education. The auction winner will also receive a letter of authenticity signed by Len and Eddie Wood, co-owners of the #21 Ford Warriors in Pink Fusion.

Ford Motor Company is a 15-year National sponsor of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series, having dedicated over $100 million to the breast cancer cause. Visit www.fordcares.com  to find out more about Ford’s commitment to ending breast cancer forever and to purchase limited-edition Warriors in Pink apparel and accessories.

Click on the following link to place your bid today:  http://tinyurl.com/warriorsinpink

Wood Brothers and #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion Head to Texas

The Wood Brothers #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion heads to Fort Worth, Texas this weekend to compete at the Texas Motor Speedway. Since its first race in 1997, the 1½ mile track with 24° banking in its turns has held 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races.

The Wood Brothers have competed in each of the prior races earning four top ten finishes. Driver of the #21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion and past champion Bill Elliott has competed in 14 Texas Motor Speedway races earning 1 pole and 4 top fifteen finishes.

Teams take to the track on Friday for practice and qualifying. Two practices are scheduled for Saturday with the race set to begin Sunday at 3:15 pm EST. Live race coverage begins at 2:30 pm EST on ABC.