Category Archives: 2014

Glen Wood Has Seen Major Changes In NASCAR Championships During His Long Career

_TXK1174When Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team hit the track at Texas Motor Speedway, team founder Glen Wood will have one eye on the No. 21 Ford Fusion and the other on the three Ford drivers among the eight in the Eliminator Round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Additionally, Wood likely will be paying more attention to how Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards fare in the championship battle that he did to his own team back in 1963 when it won the owner’s championship in the series now known as Sprint Cup.

Joe Weatherly, who drove for the Woods early in his career, won the driving title in ’63, but he did it by driving for nine different car owners throughout the season, so none of them accumulated a significant number of owner points. Wood’s team ran 24 of the 55 races that season with five different drivers behind the wheel of their No. 21 Ford. Fred Lorenzen, Tiny Lund, Dave MacDonald, Marvin Panch and Wood himself all spent time behind the wheel, and the team won three races and had 17 top-five finishes. Lund scored the biggest victory, winning the Daytona 500. Panch, who was burned in a sports car crash prior to the 500 and was unable to compete in the Great American Race, returned to the No. 21 later in the season and won at North Wilkesboro, while Wood himself took the victory at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

But in that era of the sport, championships didn’t carry the significance or pay the amount of money they do today.

“We didn’t even know we were in that category until the season was over,” Wood said. “It wasn’t like today when there’s a big fuss over it. It wasn’t until Winston came along and sponsored the series that championships became so important.”

IMG_7824The Woods’ championship trophy actually bears the name of another Wood Brother – Ray Lee Wood, a crewmember and tire changer in the team’s early years.

Glen Wood said he listed his brother as car owner back in the day as a cost-saving move.

“Times were hard back then, and I probably saved $10 or $15 by listing Ray Lee as the car owner,” he said. “I had to buy a driver’s license for myself, and if I listed myself as the car owner, I’d have to have two licenses. So it saved one license by putting Ray Lee as the owner.”

Despite running a limited schedule for most of their NASCAR careers, the Woods have had several strong finishes in the championship battle. In 1974, with David Pearson at the wheel, the Woods ran just 19 of the 30 races that year but still finished third behind champion Richard Petty and runner-up Cale Yarborough on the strength of seven wins and 15 top-five finishes, five of which were second-place.

“Some of those years, all we would have had to do to win the championship was run a few more races,” Wood said, adding that if his team were to get the sponsorship needed to run all the races each year he’d relish the chance to compete for another championship.

Wood said the new format for the Chase for the Sprint Cup has brought much more publicity to the sport, especially in the final weeks of the season, but it also makes for some nerve-wracking times for the participants.

“There’s been a lot of ink about the Chase,” he said. “But the way it is now, even the best teams can get knocked out by an accident that’s no fault of theirs.”

“No matter how it goes, somebody will be the champion when it’s over.”

Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 is set for Friday at 6:45 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.

Talladega Madness Wrap-Up

Whew! Glad that race is in the books and we were not even in the Chase! Talladega is just one of those races that you look forward to and dread at the same time. The thrill behind Talladega is you never know how it will end until they cross the finish line, which also keeps you on edge the entire race. And by on edge, I mean that can’t eat, sweating bullets, nerve-wracking feeling.

IMG_4443In my opinion, Talladega lived up to the hype yesterday. For the Wood Brothers, the day did not end like it should have but since when does that ever happen at Talladega? Trevor consistently ran up front all day, dropping back a couple times because he felt the BIG one coming. The team had a caution that went their way towards the end and it put Trevor on the front row for the restart. Everything was set up for a great finish and then…..”Talladega” happened. On the final restart, the 2nd GWC attempt, Trevor was lined up on the third row and was hit from behind and slid off the track. It was just one of those “racing” things that couldn’t be avoided, with several chase contender cars behind Trevor that were either going to win or wreck trying.  UGHHHH!!!!! It just wasn’t in our cards and we ended up with a 32nd place finish. Good news is we went home with a car in one piece, with a minor scratch on the rear where Trevor was hit. This tiny tiny tiny little scratch ended what looked to be a promising day for the team at Talladega.

As far as the race as a whole, I was highly entertained! I believe the chase made Talladega even more exciting than normal. Who was in? Who was out? I don’t know about you but my eyes were glued to who was in the chase and who was out of the chase, just waiting for the BIG wreck to happen and shake the point’s standings. As usual, it came down to the final lap before we knew who was going to be moving forward in the Chase. I actually found myself screaming at the TV, thinking that was going to help the Ford driver, Brad Keselowski, win the race. I guess it worked and we are very happy for all Ford teams continuing on in the next round of the Chase.

~ Jordan

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Late Spin Ends Bayne’s Bid at Talladega

_TB50270aWith 10 of the scheduled 188 laps remaining to be run in Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Trevor Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick crew had their No. 21 Ford Fusion in 2nd  place with plenty of fuel in the tank for the finish.

Although the remaining laps didn’t play out like Bayne and his Wood Brothers team planned, co-owners Len and Eddie Wood left the track pleased with their team’s performance.

“All you can ask for at Talladega is to get to 10 laps to go and have a shot at winning,” Eddie Wood said. “Whatever happens after that is just how the race unfolds.”

“It just didn’t work out for us this time.”

Bayne remained in contention through the first of two green-white-checkered-flag attempts to finish the race, but on the final restart, he was running in the third row headed into turn one when he was hit from behind and slid off the track. He regained control of his Ford Fusion, but the lead pack was long gone and he wound up 32nd in the finishing order.

Len Wood said that at the end of the day the positives for his team far outweighed the one negative at the end.

The bright spots included a pit stop at Lap 175, when the caution flag flew just as Bayne had pulled into the Motorcraft/Quick Lane pit stall for a final splash of gasoline. When the field lined up for the ensuing restart, Bayne was on the front row.

“At one point there it looked like we might have been hung out, but with the way the caution fell we wound up with good position on that restart,” Len Wood said. “It just didn’t work out for us.”

“But Trevor did a good job throughout the race and in saving the car on the last restart.”

Len Wood also offered his congratulations to Brad Keselowski, who came into Talladega needing to win the GEICO 500 to advance to the Eliminator Round of the Chase and did just that. Keselowski and his fellow Team Penske driver Joey Logano, who won at Kansas Speedway, both will advance to the next Chase round.

“Congratulations to Team Penske for winning two of the three races in the Contender Round,” Wood said.

Now Bayne, the Woods and the rest of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team turn their attention to the upcoming races at Texas Motor Speedway and at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where the NASCAR season ends with the Ford Championship Weekend.

“We’re looking forward to running two of the next four races,” Wood said.

Bayne Earns 16th Starting Spot in Intense Qualifying Session at Talladega

_TB40256The new format for knock-out qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway made for some anxious moments, but in the end, Trevor Bayne and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick   Lane team wound up with a solid 16th-place starting spot for Sunday’s GEICO 500.

In the opening round of qualifying, Bayne was part of the second group of cars to run against the clock, and the group didn’t leave pit road until more than half of the five-minute session had elapsed.

That meant little time for error as Bayne, crew chief Donnie Wingo and spotter Chip Ross had to decide just when to go so Bayne could catch the draft just right and get a speed that would put them in the starting field.

For team co-owner Eddie Wood and the rest of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team on pit road, the anxiety level was about as high as it gets.

“It was one of the most tense moments I’ve had at a race track in a long, long time,” Wood said. “It’s like when your car is leading on the white flag lap and goes out of sight and you don’t know what’s happening until it comes back into view.”

“But Trevor and Donnie and Chip did a great job. They had to make decisions in split-seconds, and they got them right.”

As Wood pointed out, his Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, like all of its competitors in qualifying, had little control of their own destiny. Bayne’s speed in his session was dependent on the speed of the cars around him, and his overall speed also was determined by how fast his group went in comparison to the other half of the qualifiers, who ran a separate opening session.

“Everybody was at everybody’s mercy,” he said.

Bayne made it into the second round and eventually knocked out, but the primary mission was accomplished, and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion will race on Sunday.

“We made the race, and we’ll get after it tomorrow,” Wood said. “It’s a fast car.”

The GEICO 500 is set to get the green flag on Sunday just after 2 p.m. Eastern Time with TV coverage on ESPN.

Wood Brothers Set To Make 400th Superspeedway Start

Assuming Trevor Bayne successfully qualifies the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, Sunday’s GEICO 500 will mark the Wood Brothers’ 400th start on a Sprint Cup speedway two miles in length or longer.

-David Pearson & Leonard Wood-Throughout their history, the Woods have focused on NASCAR’s biggest, fastest tracks. And they’ve had some of their biggest successes on them. They have 36 victories on the superspeedways, with more than half of them at Talladega and its sister track, Daytona International Speedway. The Woods have five Talladega wins and 15 at Daytona. The other victories came at Michigan International Speedway, where the team has won 11, at the old Ontario Motor Speedway, where they had three wins, and at Pocono Raceway, where the Woods won twice.

Nine drivers have delivered wins for the Woods on superspeedways with NASCAR Hall of Fame member David Pearson accounting for half of them.

Another Hall of Famer, Cale Yarborough has six superspeedway victories for the Wood Brothers. A.J. Foyt has four and Neil Bonnett three. Hall of Fame member Dale Jarrett has one, as do Tiny Lund, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker and Trevor Bayne, who got the team’s most recent win in the 2011 Daytona 500.

Success on the big, demanding tracks also helped propel two of the original Wood Brothers, team founder Glen Wood and the team’s long-time crew chief Leonard Wood into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.

“Getting to 400 superspeedway starts isn’t just another number,” said Eddie Wood, one of the team’s current co-owners. “It’s something we are proud of.”

Wood also said the number of victories achieved on the bigger tracks means a lot more to him than the starts.

“It shows that our team has performed consistently well on those size tracks,” he said. “We’ve always had more success on the bigger speedways.”

“They just seem to suit us for some reason.”

_DYJ3444Continuing their team’s emphasis on the bigger tracks, the Woods and the current Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew, led by veteran crew chief Donnie Wingo, will head to Talladega with a brand-new Ford Fusion, one that has shown good aerodynamic numbers in the wind tunnel and produced good horsepower on the chassis dyno.

Having a fast car at Talladega isn’t enough to be relatively certain of racing on Sunday.

Since the Woods are without a guaranteed starting spot for the race, Saturday’s knock-out qualifying session will be nerve-wracking.

With the qualifying drivers divided into two groups, and each group having just five minutes on the clock, there will be little room for error.

Drivers will have to get up to speed in a hurry and quickly find a drafting partner to turn a lap fast enough to make the starting field.

“Everyone will be trying to leave pit road as soon as the session starts. It takes close to a minute to get back to the start-finish line to start the clock on your first lap, leaving only enough time for 3 or 4 laps at full speed,” Wood said. “It will be important not to get caught by yourself without a drafting partner.”

Qualifying for the GEICO 400 is set for Saturday at 4:40 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.

 

Remembering 9/11

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When I woke up this morning, I contemplated what to post today. I knew I wanted to post about 9/11 but what? I started off thinking about posting where each Wood member was when we heard the horrifying news that came from NYC but then I quickly changed my mind. This day is not about us, it is about remembering those who lost their lifes that day and their loved ones. The spouses who lost their life partners, the children who lost their parents, the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins who lost their grandchildren, nieces and nephews, the friends who lost friends that were like family and the list goes on. As a new mother, I think of those who lost their children. I can’t fathom the thought of losing my daughter to the act of terrorism.

photo 2So today, we pause and remember each and every person that is suffering a loss, your loved one is a true American hero.

In December of last year, my husband and I spent our one year anniversary at the 9/11 memorial in NYC. As we stood at the location of the former twin towers, our hearts were full of pain for the victims and their loved ones. It was both a breathtaking and gut-wrenching experience. Breathtaking because of the way our country has joined as one to remember all those suffering. Breathtaking because of this beautiful place that has been built to honor and remember the nearly 3,000 people killed in the attacks on 9/11. Gut- wrenching because of the thought of the horrifying terror attacks that happened that day.

If you have never visited the memorial, I highly recommend it, here is the link:

http://www.911memorial.org/

 

 

[youtube nUFCayG4MJ8 Remembering 9/11]

 

~ Jordan

Convertible Racing at Soldier Field

Who knew that NASCAR raced at Soldier Field in Chicago? Well, if you are a “youngster” like me, you may have been unaware that NASCAR held races at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears.  With the race in Chicago this weekend, let’s take a trip down memory lane to look at what it used to be like racing in Chicago.

The track was built around the field and was considered to be a half-mile paved track. In 1956 and 1957, the Wood Brothers joined in on the fun and brought their 21 convertible. Glen Wood was the driver at the time, with his brothers serving as the crew/mechanics and building him a top-notch car. In 1956 the team finished 14th and then went on the win the race in 1957.

I caught up with Leonard Wood this week to talk to him about racing at Soldier Field. Watch the video to get some insight on what it was like racing at Chicago in the late 1950’s.

 

[youtube dLuf2LFlCnc Lessons with a Legend]

~ Jordan

 

Welcome to The Wonderful World of The Woods

Welcome to the Wood Brothers Racing blog, brought to you by Jordan and Jon Wood, third generation of the Wood family. We are excited to start this blog and share current and past stories of what make the Wood Brothers who they are today! Each week we will be posting several stories that will range from stories from the 1950’s to stories about what it is like to be a “Wood” family member today. Trust me life gets interesting when you have Leonard Wood and Jon Wood as apart of your daily life. Stay tuned for our first post.

Be prepared to be AMAZED & AMUSED.

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Multi-Car Crash Spoils Bayne’s Quick Michigan Start

_M254975After a strong start to Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway, Trevor Bayne and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion were involved in a multi-car accident on lap 22 that led to a trip to the garage for major repairs and a 41st-place finish.

Bayne, who had to start in the rear because of a driver change from qualifying, had a goal of making it into the top 30 before a planned competition caution flag at lap 20. He had surpassed that with ease and was 28th when Danica Patrick lost control and triggered a nine-car crash that left the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion with damage to the radiator, oil cooler and front-end body work.

“We had something we could work with,” Bayne said of his car, which was driven in practice and qualifying by Ryan Blaney. “It’s pretty easy to get through those first 10 to 15 cars, but when you get to about 25th, the pace picks up and it’s more difficult to pass.

“We were almost to that point, and we were just going to keep working on the car and try to get it to turn better. We could have had a good run, but we got caught up in somebody else’s mess.”
Bayne said there was little he could do to avoid being swept up in the crash.

_M255313 “I couldn’t really see much in front of me,” he said. “I was following the 7 car [Michael Annett] or whoever was in front of me, and the next thing I know three cars slid down in front of us, I got on the brakes hard and couldn’t get it slowed down in time. It wasn’t much of a hit, but it doesn’t take much to damage these things.”

The otherwise disappointing situation provided the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team an opportunity to shine, and the crew delivered in fine fashion. They replaced the radiator and oil cooler as well as patching up the aerodynamically sensitive sheet metal at the front of the No. 21 Ford Fusion and had Bayne back on the track for the final two-thirds of the race on a day that Ford Motor Company board member Edsel B. Ford II was watching from atop the team’s pit box.

“They did a really good job of putting the car back together,” team co-owner Len Wood said. “We didn’t have to come back in to fix any tire rubs or anything. They got it right the first time.”

Bayne too had good words for his fellow members of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team, whose next scheduled return to the Sprint Cup circuit will be on Oct. 17-19 for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

“I hate that for these guys who work so hard,” he said. “Hopefully next time we don’t have that kind of luck.”

 

Ryan Blaney Has Successful First Outing in Famed Wood Brothers Ford

SM_M240881Two three-generation racing families officially went to work together on Friday at Michigan International Speedway as Ryan Blaney took his first laps in the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.

Blaney, the son of veteran NASCAR and sprint car racer Dave Blaney, nephew of sprint car standout Dale Blaney, and grandson of the late short track legend Lou Blaney, drove the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion as a substitute for Trevor Bayne, who was at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course where his Nationwide Series schedule conflicted with Sprint Cup practice and qualifying.

Blaney, who will become the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team’s regular driver next season, also will drive the No. 21 in Saturday’s practice session before turning it over to Bayne for Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

Blaney was 27th in practice with a best lap of 199.756 miles per hour and then qualified 28th with a lap at 202.327 mph. Nevertheless, Bayne will have to start from the rear on Sunday because of the driver change.

“It was a good day of work with everyone here at the Wood Brothers team,” Blaney said. “We didn’t get the qualifying lap in that I wanted to. I am excited for tomorrow to be able to get some race runs in and hopefully get it pretty good for Trevor for Sunday.”

Part of Blaney’s challenge was trying to adapt to the more powerful Cup cars while still practicing in his Ford F-150 in the Camping World Truck Series, where he’s the current points leader.

“It is good to get out here and get my first laps on Michigan in a Cup car,” he said. “It is a whole lot different than those trucks over there I will tell you that. It is all about learning and helping these guys out as much as I can. I am just happy to be here.”

Eddie Wood, who co-owns the Motorcraft team founded by his father Glen Wood and one that now includes his brother Len and sister Kim, as well as third-generation members Jon, Jordan and Keven, said he was impressed with Blaney’s work on Friday.

“He did a great job for his first time here in a Sprint Cup car,” Wood said. “He gave the crew great feedback, and I was very impressed with his calm, focused approach to the whole day.”

The Pure Michigan 400 is set to get the green flag just after 1 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday with TV coverage on ESPN.