Category Archives: 2012

Long Green-Flag Runs Go Against The Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion At Charlotte

Trevor Bayne and his No. 21 Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion hung onto the lead lap for the first third of Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the race’s long stretches of green-flag racing worked against them and they came away with a 22nd-place finish.

Bayne started 16th and stayed in the top 20 until just after the 100-lap mark, but the opportunities to fine-tune the car from there on out were limited, especially with so many cars running about the same speed and so few caution periods.

The race had five caution flags, but only two past the 62-mile mark.

“We ran better than we finished, but it’s all about track position,” Bayne said. “That’s pretty much it. If we could have ever gotten on the lead lap, it would have made a big difference.”

“We were running 10th-place times, and about 20 laps into a run at times they said we were running as fast as the leaders, so it’s all about track position once you get spread out everybody is the same speed.”

Bayne said that had his car been as fast at the beginning of the race as it was at the end, the outcome might have been different.

“I don’t think we would have ever lost that lap, but it just took us a little while to get it figured out,” he said. “There were no cautions tonight, so there’s not much you can do once you get behind a little bit.”

Team co-owner Eddie Wood agreed with Bayne about how the night went at Charlotte.

“The Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion ran OK all night,” he said. “We really didn’t have any problems. We were just a little bit off and didn’t have the opportunities we needed to adjust it.”

“The last 50 laps, the track came to us and the car was really good, but it was too late.”

Bayne and the Wood Brothers No. 21 team return to the track next week for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion To Start 16th At Charlotte

Trevor Bayne and the crew of the No. 21 Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion were best in class in qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday, despite the distractions that came because of a radiator change before qualifying for Saturday’s Bank of America 500.

Bayne was 16th fastest with a lap at 191.293 miles per hour, best of the go-or-go-home drivers who have to make the starting field through their qualifying speed. His lap was a significant improvement over his best practice lap of 188.600 mph.

“You want to go for poles,” Bayne said. “That’s what we came here to do, but it makes it hard when you know you’ve got to bring the thing back in one piece or you’re going home.

“I’m really proud of my guys. We picked up four-tenths from practice, which is kind of the trend for everybody… I’m really happy with this Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion.”

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he always breathes a sigh of relief once his car number pops up among those locked into the starting field at Charlotte.

“This is one place where I really worry about qualifying,” Wood said. “We practice in the daytime and qualify at night, and there’s a lot of difference in the track.”

“Trevor did a good job, and so did Donnie Wingo and the crew.”

“It all worked out.”

The Bank of America 500 is scheduled to get the green flag on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with TV coverage on ABC.

Good Sam/Camping World Crew Ready To Make More Charlotte Memories

Sprint Cup races at Charlotte Motor Speedway are something to look forward to for members of nearly every team, as the track is within a few miles of most NASCAR race shops, which gives drivers and crews a chance to perform in front of the home town folks.

For the Wood Brothers race team and the crew of their No. 21 Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion, races at Charlotte; especially the fall event, are more special than most.

It was at Charlotte, the track’s second-ever Cup race, that the Woods got their first superspeedway victory, with Speedy Thompson driving the team’s 1960 Ford.

“I always look forward to racing at Charlotte, just because of what it meant to my Dad for the team to get that win with Speedy Thompson back in the first National 400,” said Eddie Wood, the son of team founder Glen Wood and one of the current co-owners of the team.

The Woods, who had already won three times that season with Glen Wood doing the driving, won again the next week at Richmond with Thompson again behind the wheel. Since then, they have increased the team’s total to 98 Cup victories, the most recent coming in last year’s Daytona 500 with the team’s current driver, Trevor Bayne.

Donnie Wingo, crew chief of the Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion, is bringing a proven car to Charlotte in hopes of pushing the team total to 99 victories, but first there’s the matter of making the starting field.

With 47 entries and the Woods not among the top 35 in car owner points, Bayne will have to qualify on speed to make the field for Saturday’s Bank of America 500.

Wingo said the car he’s chosen has only two races on it, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway, and he believes he and the team can take what they’ve learned in those two races and squeeze even more speed from it.

“I’m looking forward to this weekend,” Wingo said. “We’ve learned some things in the last couple of intermediate-track races that we can apply to this car. I believe it will race well.”

The veteran crew chief also expects the Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion to be fast in qualifying. In the last three races at Charlotte, the Wood Brothers Ford Fusion has two top-10 starts and an average start of 10.7.

“It’s always in the back of your mind that something could go wrong in qualifying, but we’ve been qualifying well at Charlotte,” Wingo said, adding that he likes this weekend’s schedule as it has separate practice sessions for qualifying and for the race.

There’s practice followed by qualifying on Thursday, then a race practice on Friday before the race on Saturday night.

He also said the fall race is simpler to prepare for than the Coca-Cola 500 at Charlotte in May.

“The 600 starts in the daytime and ends at night,” he said. “But the fall race starts pretty close to dark, so the track doesn’t change that much.

“We ran really well last fall, but we had problems with the fuel system,” he said. “I think we’ll be good to go this time.”

Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 is set for Thursday at 7:10 p.m., and the race is scheduled to start on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with TV coverage on ABC.

Late Fuel Stop Drops Bayne to 21st at Talladega

Trevor Bayne and his No. 21 Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion team didn’t get the finish they were looking for in Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, but those who watched the race knew they were there.

Bayne started eighth but soon moved into the top five and took the lead for the first time on Lap 11. The youngster, who first showed his restrictor-plate racing prowess in winning the 2011 Daytona 500, continued to keep his pink and purple Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion among the leaders and used a push from fellow Ford driver Aric Almirola to regain the lead on Lap 53.

After leading three more laps, Bayne and the rest of the leaders made green-flag pit stops. A speeding penalty on pit road coupled with a flat-spotted tire dropped him off the lead lap, but the 21-year-old driver showed maturity as he put the set-back behind him and began working to rejoin the lead lap.

Bayne had worked the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford Fusion into the “Lucky Dog” free pass position when Kurt Busch crashed on the backstretch at Lap 99, putting the Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion back on the lead lap.

As the laps wound down, Bayne worked his way from 26th to fourth place at Lap 177 of the scheduled 188. He remained in and around the top five and was fourth when the caution flew on Lap 184 for a spin by Jamie McMurray.

Since the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team isn’t running for points, they opted to leave Bayne on the track when most of the leaders stopped for fuel.

The gamble didn’t pay off as Bayne’s fuel gauge began to flutter, so he drove to pit road just before the race’s final restart. But most likely the set-back turned into a lucky break as the drivers Bayne had been racing with were collected in a 24-car crash on the last lap while he steered clear to finish 21st.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he was pleased with the performance of his driver and his No. 21 Ford Fusion.

“We were happy to run up front and lead the race,” he said. “Trevor had to come from the back twice through traffic, and you can’t do that without a good race car.”

He also had praise for Bayne’s strong run despite the setbacks.

“It says a lot about his maturity,” Wood said. “The car was strong enough, and he was smart enough to get back on the lead lap the hard way.”

Wood added that the results of Sunday’s race have given him and the team reason to be optimistic heading into next restrictor-plate race – next year’s season-opening Daytona 500.

“We didn’t get the finish we wanted, but the car was fast and Trevor did a good job driving it,” he said. “Even though we’re changing to a 2013 Ford Fusion and the car will look different, we know what’s under it will be good.”

Bayne and the Woods return to the track this week for the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Three Races In A Row Have Wood Brothers Feeling Like Full-Timers Again

The Wood Brothers’ part-time Sprint Cup schedule is looking more like a full-time effort, at least for the first three weeks of October.

Trevor Bayne and the No. 21 Ford Fusion will be racing tomorrow at Talladega Superspeedway with the pink and purple colors of the Ford Warriors in Pink paint scheme, next week at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the blue, yellow, and red colors of Good Sam and Camping World, and the following week at Kansas Speedway with the traditional red, white, and gold colors of Motorcraft and Quick Lane.

In addition to October’s three races, Bayne and the Woods plan to test the 2013 Ford Fusion during the pre-race testing sessions at Kansas.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he’s pleased that the team has been able to expand its schedule from an expected 12 races at the start of the season, to 16 points-paying events plus the NASCAR All-Star race at Charlotte.

“Getting to run three races in a row puts us back in the mode of running full time like we did in the past.”

Wood also said the test of the 2013 Ford Fusion at Kansas will not only help the team gather information for next season but also give Bayne additional laps and seat time on the newly repaved race track, which is one he’s never raced on before in a Sprint Cup car.

“It’ll be a really busy weekend,” Wood said.

Bayne and Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion to Start From The Fourth Row at Talladega

Ford’s Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion will start Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 in the lead pack after Trevor Bayne qualified eighth fastest at 190.722 miles per hour on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

“I felt like I was sitting on the sofa holding the steering wheel, but I think it was a good lap,” Bayne said, adding that qualifying success at Talladega is more about pre-race preparation than driving ability. “There’s not much you can do as a driver, just don’t hit the wall when you’re on the top and don’t hit the apron when you’re on the bottom.”

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he’s hoping that the team’s practice strategy will pay off during the race. There was no pressure on the Wood Brothers team in qualifying as a late change to the entry list meant that every car at the track would make the race, so the team had more flexibility during practice.

“Since only 43 cars showed up, we were able to work more on the race set-up than we normally would,” he said. “The car was really good in race trim.”
Wood said he expects Bayne and the Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion to race with the leaders rather than lay back, in an effort to avoid being swept up in one of the multi-car crashes that often occur at Talladega.

“There are no plans to lay back,” Wood said. “We plan to try to stay at the front and have a good showing with the Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion.”

Qualifying for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 is scheduled to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.

Bayne Carries Special Paint Scheme And Solid Stats Into Talladega

Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew head into this weekend’s Good Sam Road Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with stats on their side and a special paint scheme on the No. 21 Ford Fusion.

Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will spend this weekend supporting breast cancer survivors and raising awareness of the disease with a special Ford Warriors in Pink paint scheme.

Ford Motor Company has dedicated more than $115 million to the fight against breast cancer in the past 18 years, and 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of Warriors in Pink wear and gear will be dedicated to the cause.

Based on recent history, the Ford-backed program should get its share of fan and media attention.

Bayne leads all active drivers when it comes to qualifying at Talladega with an average starting position of 8.6.  The Ford Fusion he will drive qualified second at Daytona last July and fourth at Talladega, last fall.

Still, crew chief Donnie Wingo won’t relax until qualifying is over, as the Wood Brothers team isn’t running a full schedule and therefore must qualify for the race on speed.

“We’ve been good in qualifying so far and haven’t had any issues, but until qualifying is over you can’t relax,” he said.

Wingo is feeling a little better about Sunday’s race where he expects cooler temperatures to take away some of the concern of engines overheating due to the restrictions placed on them in an attempt by NASCAR officials to limit the two-car tandems, which usually produce dramatically higher speeds.

“They’re forecasting a high of 66 for Sunday, so the drivers should be able to tandem up longer than the four or five laps they have in the past,” he said.

Wingo also said he’d like to see Bayne and the Warriors in Pink Ford Fusion running up front during the race instead of riding in the back and playing it safe.

“I’ve seen them get wrecked in the back too,” he said. “I think it’s probably safer to be up front.”

Qualifying for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 is set for Saturday at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is set to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.

Bayne Drives Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion to 20th-Place Finish on Tough Day at Chicagoland

Trevor Bayne’s Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion was strong all day in the Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, and the Wood Brothers’ pit crew had one its best performances of the year, neither of which was reflected in the official results.

Bayne was credited with the 20th place finishing position, and said afterward that he could have finished considerably better had he had a little more racing luck.

“It was a tough day,” he said. “We kept getting bad positions on the restarts. We kept getting on the outside, and it was tough up there. Everyone would lose positions up there.”

“If I could have ever restarted on the bottom and had some track position, I think we had a decent car.”

Team co-owner Len Wood said the team also had the misfortune of being on pit road when one of the race’s four caution flags was displayed.

“We had intended to pit a few laps later, but when everybody started stopping, we decided to short pit, and then we were sitting on pit road when the caution came out,” he said. “We were able to take the wave-around and get back on the lead lap and stay there almost until the end of the race.”

Wood said Bayne and the Donnie Wingo-led crew had to work all day to keep up with changing track conditions, but once Bayne hit pit road it was smooth sailing.

“We had the most consistent day on pit road that we’ve had in a long, long time,” he said.

Bayne and the Wood Brothers No. 21 Ford Fusion return to the Sprint Cup circuit in three weeks for the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega, where Motorcraft and Quick Lane return as primary sponsors.

The following week, the team will again sport the Good Sam/Camping World colors in the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bayne’s Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion to Start 14th at Chicagoland

It’s a sure sign of progress when a Sprint Cup team and driver outside the top 35 in car owner points and not assured a starting spot, are somewhat disappointed with a top-15 qualifying effort.

Trevor Bayne turned a lap at 181.354 miles per hour in his No. 21 Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion to earn the 14th starting spot for Sunday’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.  Bayne, however, had bigger goals in mind.

“I needed to hustle it a little more,” Bayne said. “It felt like a pole run to be honest. The car was solid and felt good, and I thought we would have a shot at it today.”

There’s still Sunday’s race, and he’s thinking positive about it too after posting the ninth fastest overall lap time in the final “Happy Hour” session, a practice in which teams typically work solely on race set-ups.

“I am a little disappointed to qualify 14th, but on the other hand we are in the show, and can race from there and have a good race-trim car,” he said.

Eddie Wood said Bayne’s qualifying effort was stronger than it might have seemed because of the time he went out on the track. During Friday’s first practice, which sets the qualifying order, Bayne was fourth fastest.

“You have to go as fast as you can in the first practice to see what you have,” Wood said, adding that a quick lap in the opening practice wound up being a disadvantage because it put Bayne on the track later in the day on Saturday when the track was hotter and slicker.

“Trevor did a good job in qualifying. You’ve got to be fast, but you also have to be careful not to overdrive the car, especially with the track being so much hotter than it was when qualifying started.”

Just like his young driver, Wood is optimistic about his team’s chances on Sunday.

“The race set-up was really fast,” he said. “I think we’ll be OK.”

The Geico 400 is set to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.

Good Sam/Camping World Crew Carrying Momentum To Sponsor’s Home Track

Trevor Bayne, crew chief Donnie Wingo, and the rest of the Wood Brothers Racing Team are looking to build on their mid-season momentum this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, home track of Good Sam and Camping World.

The Good Sam/Camping World Ford Fusion that Bayne will drive this weekend is the same car he ran at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29. That race was the first for that particular chassis, and it performed well, as Bayne finished 17th, on the lead lap, in a track-position race that saw many top teams and drivers mired in mid-pack, unable to improve their positions.

In addition to the successes Bayne had at Indy, the youngster is coming off a spirited run at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where he drove from his 32nd starting position to finish 16th, also on the lead lap.

Wingo said he expects another strong run in this weekend’s Geico 400.

“It’s the second time out for this car, and I feel pretty good about it,” Wingo said, adding that Bayne’s experience at Atlanta in his first Sprint Cup start at that track should pay off in Chicago.

“That race track is getting a little bit like Atlanta,” he said. “It’s not as rough as Atlanta, but it’s getting some character to it. We should be able to go off some of the notes we have from Atlanta.”

Wingo also said that as the weekend went on at Atlanta, Bayne was able to adjust to the rapid tire wear and the resulting drop-off in speeds as the tires wore down on the weathered asphalt. Among the important aspects of tire management, gaining the most ground one can when the tires are new is probably the most critical.

“Once we got in the race he did a lot better and the pit crew had one of their best races of the year,” Wingo said, adding that as the team gets into a portion of the schedule where they’re running fairly frequently, Bayne and the pit crew will be able to get into a rhythm that should help them maximize their performances.

This weekend’s race marks the start of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup, and Wingo and the Wood Brothers team plan to run the race like they do any other.

Qualifying for the Geico 400 is set for Saturday at 1:40 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is set to get the green flag at 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.