Category Archives: 2015

Marvin Panch Was Like One Of The Wood Brothers

Photo Credit: Tom Kirkland/Smyle Media

Photo Credit: Tom Kirkland/Smyle Media

Of all the drivers who have taken the wheel of the Wood Brothers’ Fords over the years, none were as close to the Wood family as Marvin Panch.

Panch, who died Dec. 31 at the age of 89 at his home in Port Orange, Fla., drove the No. 21 from 1962 to 1966, winning eight races, including a sweep of the superspeedway races at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1965. When Panch drove the Wood’s Ford, now driven by Ryan Blaney, he was more like a member of the family than an employee of the team.

“Of all the people that ever drove our cars, Marvin was the closest to our family,” team founder Glen Wood said. “When we were on the road, we always stayed at the same motel. We ate together, and we always went to a movie together.”

When the team raced near the Wood family home in Stuart, Va., Panch stayed in Glen Wood’s home on race weekends. And Glen Wood bought a home adjacent to “Pancho’s Rancho” home in Port Orange, which made them neighbors twice each year when the circuit raced at nearby Daytona International Speedway.

Besides his victories as a driver for the Woods, Panch played a big role in the team’s first Daytona 500 victory in 1963. Panch qualified the No. 21, but was seriously burned in a crash of a Maserati sports car he was driving at Daytona.

Tiny Lund, who helped pull Panch from the burning car, was hired to replace Panch and drove the No. 21 to the team’s first of five Daytona 500 victories.

Photo Credit: Tom Kirkland/Smyle Media

Photo Credit: Tom Kirkland/Smyle Media

Panch had his greatest success for the Woods on the shorter tracks, but he dominated at Atlanta in 1965 – with relief from A.J. Foyt in the first race – and won on the road course at Watkins Glen that year.

Watkins Glen dropped off the Cup schedule after that and didn’t return until 1986. For that race, Panch was the Honorary Starter, and the green flag from that race, along with the signatures of all the drivers in the starting field, was recently given to the Woods by the Panch family.

Leonard Wood, who was the team’s crew chief and engine builder during the Panch era, said those dinners and movies on the road back in the day had a way of facilitating success on the race track.

“We’d get to talking about the car, and that would help us pick up things to make it better,” Wood said. “Something would come up in conversation and it would ring a bell, and we’d know what to do the next day.”

Photo Credit: Smyle Media

Photo Credit: Smyle Media

Wood recalled a race weekend at Charlotte in which the No. 21 Ford handled great for most of the practice sessions but developed a handling issue the day before the race.

“I was trying to figure it out at dinner, and Marvin said that it felt like the right front was low,” Wood said. “Sure enough, when we checked it, the air pressure in the right-front tire was too low.”

Wood said the easy communication with Panch made it easier to tune the car for him, and when he got on the track, his driving style was just what the team needed to be fast.

“He backed off the gas at the right places, and got back on the gas at the right places,” Wood said, adding that Panch was especially good on superspeedways like Atlanta. “From the old pit road, you could see all the way around the track, and I remember watching him pulling away from guys off the corners.”

Wood said that between the dinners, the movies, the races, the discussions about the car and the joking back and forth, the Woods and Panch had a great relationship that continued to the week he died, when he phoned the Wood family to wish them a Merry Christmas.

“I can’t say enough good things about Marvin Panch,” Wood said.

The Panch family is planning to hold a memorial service sometime around Speedweeks at Daytona.

Blaney Closes Out Rookie Sprint Cup Season With 17th-Place Finish In Ford EcoBoost 400 At Homestead

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, HomesteadRyan Blaney and Jeremy Bullins finished their rookie Sprint Cup season with a 17th-place finish in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway Sunday night.

Blaney started 6th and ran as high as 2nd before falling back during some early caution periods.

Fittingly, the rookie Blaney got to race door-to-door early in the race with the retiring Jeff Gordon in Gordon’s final race, much like Gordon was able to race Richard Petty in Petty’s final race in 1992 at Atlanta.

Blaney’s No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion appeared to be faster than Gordon’s car at that point, but the rookie didn’t make any daring moves to pass.

“When I was racing with him I thought it was his last race and he’s racing for the championship and you don’t want to jeopardize his championship,” Blaney said. “You don’t want to race him too hard and put him in a bad spot.”

“I was more concerned with his running for the championship than the fact that it was his last race.”
Blaney did eventually get by Gordon, on the next pit stop thanks to some swift work by the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew.

As the laps wound down, Blaney began to deal with a loose handling condition that kept him from improving his position, and he had to settle for 17th at the finish.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said he was proud of the team’s overall effort, both at Homestead and throughout the 2015 season, and is looking forward to getting to work on 2016, when the team will return to a full-time schedule.
For Wood, one of the many advantages of running full-time is getting the opportunity to run for the championship and be a part of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“That’s something that will be new for us and new for Ryan,” Wood said. “The 2015 season is behind us, and I’m already looking forward to Daytona.”

Blaney’s Sixth-Place Qualifying Effort Caps Momentous Day for Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

2015 NASCAR HomesteadMidway through a press conference announcing his team’s return to full-time Sprint Cup racing, Eddie Wood heard cars running on the track, and it occurred to him that his team had finally weathered the storm – literally and figuratively.

The clearing skies at Homestead-Miami Speedway meant that his Wood Brothers team would get to qualify for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400. Something that hasn’t been a given this season, and because of his team’s part-time status, they have missed three races when weather issues led to cancellation of qualifying.

And in the bigger picture, the words being spoken at the announcement meant that a years-long rebuilding program for the iconic Wood Brothers team had been a big success.

It all happened thanks to the Wood family’s long-time friends and associates at Ford Motor Company, the only manufacturer the Woods have ever raced for in their 65 seasons in the sport.

Being able to share the day with their friends at Ford made the moment even more special, Wood said.

“I have to thank Ford’s Dave Pericak, Raj Nair, Edsel Ford, our technical alliance partners Team Penske and Roush Yates Engines, as well as everyone at Ford Motor Company for working with us to make this day possible,” Wood said.

Wood’s brother and team co-owner Len Wood pointed out that Edsel Ford, among others, stood by the team through its struggles, and was on hand to celebrate the return to full-time racing. “In 2008 we stood here with Edsel Ford and Brian Wolfe, who was the Ford Director at the time, and talked about how our performance was not where we wanted it to be.  The suggestion was made to go to a limited schedule and get our performance back and then try to get back full time. I think this past year our performance has been where it needed to be, and I think we are ready to make the next step with Ryan Blaney and Jeremy [Bullins] as our crew chief.”

2015 NASCAR Homestead Given the Woods’ confidence in Blaney and Bullins, it was no surprise to them that Blaney made it through all three rounds of Friday’s qualifying session and ended up with the sixth starting position. It was his sixth top-10 start of the season and his third in his past four starts.

“We made really good adjustments between each round and that’s really all you can ask for,” Blaney said. “They did a good job adjusting and accounting for tire fall off.  We improved every round. That’s all you can ask for besides getting the pole. It’s a good way to start off the weekend. I’m excited to get into practice mode tomorrow.”

A good qualifying effort also gives the team an advantage in Sunday’s grand finale of Ford Championship Weekend.

“You get a better pit stall,” Blaney said. “You get better everything when you start up front, better air to start with and you can get a lot better read on your race car when you start up front. Hopefully we have a good race on Sunday and have good momentum to carry over into next year.”

For Eddie Wood, one of his team’s biggest days ever couldn’t have ended much better.

“It’s always good to have success on the race track,” Wood said. “But it means a lot more to be doing it at Ford Championship Weekend.”

Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 is set to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBC.

Wood Brothers to Return to Full 36-Race Schedule in 2016

 

  • Wood Brothers Racing announced today that it will run a full, 36-race schedule in 2016 with Ryan Blaney continuing as the team’s driver contending for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Ford Performance returning as anchor sponsors.

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Las VegasHOMESTEAD, Fla., November 20, 2015 – Wood Brothers Racing announced today that it will run a full, 36-race schedule in 2016 with Ryan Blaney continuing as the team’s driver contending for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Ford Performance returning as anchor sponsors.

“We are beyond excited to make this announcement about going back to full time competition,” said Eddie Wood, team co-owner, at a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. “It has been something we’ve worked toward since 2009 when we started running limited schedules.

“I have to thank Ford’s Dave Pericak and Raj Nair, Edsel Ford, our technical alliance partners Team Penske and Roush Yates Engines, as well as everyone at Motorcraft, for working with us to make this day possible,” Wood continued. “It’ll be fun to see just how good Ryan Blaney, Jeremy Bullins and our team can be over a full season.

“Lastly,” he added, “it’ll be great not to have to worry about rain anymore on qualifying day.”

Due to their limited schedule and the current point system, inclement weather prevented Wood Brothers Racing from qualifying for three races in which they were slated to run this season.

“We are proud to have played a role in helping get the Wood Brothers back on the track full time for 2016,” said Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “These guys have been Ford’s most-loyal team for 65 years and they deserve the chance to show how they can perform when they are at every race. They’ve earned a full-time slot by running strong all year, even under adversity.  We plan on being part of this when they capture their 100th Cup victory.”

“This is a day everyone has looked forward to,” said Edsel B. Ford II, board member, Ford Motor Company. “The Wood Brothers represent everything that is great about this sport – tradition, family, loyalty, competition.  When we asked them to regroup and consider going part-time in 2009, it was always with an eye on getting back to this day.  And we are thrilled it is finally here.”

Thus far in 2015, the Wood Brothers’ iconic No. 21’s best finishes were fourth in the spring Talladega race, 12th at the Brickyard, 14th in the fall Charlotte race and seventh in the most-recent Kansas race. Even in the four races when the team had engine problems, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion was running toward the front of the field when the trouble arose.

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Talladega“This is every driver’s dream come true,” Blaney said, “Getting a chance to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I’m really looking forward to running a full schedule with this historic Wood Brothers team and hopefully get them their 99th and 100th wins sooner rather than later.”

Motorcraft’s partnership with Wood Brothers Racing began in 2001 and quickly bore fruit by winning the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel. The Motorcraft-Wood Brothers pairing had its greatest triumph in 2011 when rookie driver Trevor Bayne captured the Daytona 500.

“We are thrilled to have been able to work with Ford Performance to make the Wood Brothers’ a full-time race team for the 2016 NASCAR season,” said Mary Lou Quesnell, director of marketing for Ford Customer Service Division. “Wood Brothers Racing has been an excellent representative of our brands for 15 years and we look forward to seeing the famous No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion on the track week after week.”

In addition to Motorcraft and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers, the team will look to add additional sponsors to the roster during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.

Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history. Since its founding, the team won 98 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 117 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, who still can be found in the team’s pit, is known for inventing the modern pit stop.

 

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About Motorcraft

Motorcraft® offers a complete line of replacement parts that are recommended and approved by Ford Motor Company. From routine maintenance to under-hood repairs, Motorcraft parts offer exceptional value with the highest quality and right fit at competitive prices. Motorcraft parts are available nationwide at Ford and Lincoln dealers, independent distributors and automotive parts retailers are backed by Ford Motor Company’s two-year, unlimited-miles Service Parts Limited Warranty. Ask for Motorcraft by name when you visit your local auto parts store or your favorite service facility. For more information, visit www.motorcraft.com.


About Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers
Quick Lane® provides automotive quick services for all makes and models.  Quick Lane’s nationwide network of more than 700 facilities, each providing the convenience of an aftermarket company (no appointment necessary, service while you wait, evening and weekend hours, competitive prices) with the confidence of a major automotive manufacturer (quality parts, factory-trained technicians).  Quick Lane® is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit 
www.quicklane.com.

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team Looking To End 2015 Season On High Note At Homestead

2015 NASCAR MichiganAs the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team and the Wood Brothers race team come to the end of the team’s 65th anniversary season in NASCAR, the future looks as promising as the past has been for the Woods, one of NASCAR’s cornerstone race teams.

With rookie Ryan Blaney at the wheel of the iconic No. 21 Ford Fusion and another Sprint Cup rookie, crew chief Jeremy Bullins, on the pit box, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team has been able to parlay its technical alliance with Team Penske into a potent race effort, week-in week-out.

Despite some mechanical issues and weather that caused the team to miss three of its scheduled races, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team has been able to put fast Ford Fusions on the track on a regular basis.

Heading into this weekend’s Sprint Cup season-ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the Wood Brothers have run 15 races. In 11 of those races, Blaney has qualified in the top 16, with two top-five and five top-10 starts. He also has nine top-25 finishes, with one top-five finish and two top-10s.

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Talladega “With Ryan and Jeremy both being rookies and working with us for the first time, it’s just like having a new team,” said Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion. “It’s a big step for Ryan and Jeremy to move from the Xfinity Series to Sprint Cup, and they’ve done a really good job. I’m looking forward to Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead and to next season.”

Wood said what gives him the most encouragement going forward is seeing the No. 21 on the upper end of the scoreboard during practices and qualifying nearly every time it’s on the track.

“The important thing is that we have speed in the car,” Wood said. “If you have speed, the rest will eventually take care of itself.

“You can’t do anything about the weather, as a lot of teams found out at Phoenix Sunday night, and there are always going to be some mechanical failures in this sport, but you have to have speed, and we’ve had that.”

Wood said his team’s technical alliance with Team Penske has been a big factor in the team’s progress.

“It’s our first year with Team Penske, and it’s all worked out really well,” he said.

The goal now, Wood said, is to close out the season with a good showing for Ford Motor Co. in a race the company sponsors, the Ford EcoBoost 400, the final event in Ford Championship Weekend.

“It’s really important for us to finish the season on a high note,” he said. “We’ve run well all year, but it seems like something weird always keeps us from delivering the results that show the potential that Ryan has and that the team has.

“We’re hoping to put it all together this weekend.”

Qualifying for the Ford EcoBoost 400 is set for Friday at 6:15 p.m. Eastern Time, and the race is set to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBC.

Early Crash Spoils Strong Start For Snap-on Team at Texas

2015 NASCAR TexasRyan Blaney and the No. 21 Snap-on Ford Fusion were on the move early in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway before an aggressive move led to contact with the wall and a cut-down tire, resulting in an early exit from the race.

Despite not having any practice since qualifying on Friday due to a wet race track on Saturday, Blaney began to move forward from his 25th starting position as soon as the green flag was displayed Sunday afternoon.

Blaney worked his way into the top 15 before the first yellow flag flew on lap 11. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins elected to leave Blaney on the track during the caution period, and that put the Snap-on Fusion inside the top 10 for the restart.

Blaney was running ninth when he attempted to pass another driver and bounced off the outside wall. The damage to his Snap-on Fusion led to a cut right-front tire, which put him into the wall again and out of the race.

2015 NASCAR Texas“We had a good car, and we were driving forward early and I got into the wall off [Turn] four trying to pass somebody,” Blaney said. “I hit the wall all by myself and ruined a very fast race car. That is really unfortunate.”

Blaney, who was credited with a 43rd-place finish, said he hopes the lessons the team learned at Texas will pay off when his Wood Brothers team returns to the track for the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks.

“I think with how we started out today it is kind of a good thing with what we learned and really makes you look forward to Homestead,” he said.

Team co-owner Len Wood said his main regret from Sunday at Texas was that his team wasn’t able to deliver their sponsor a better finish.

“I really hate it for the people at Snap-on,” he said. “We had a really fast car, and even without being able to practice on Saturday we were moving up really quickly.”

 “Ryan just tried to get a little too much and ended up hitting the wall.  But you can’t blame him for trying.”

About Snap-on Tools

Snap-on Tools is a subsidiary of Snap-on Incorporated, a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostics software, information and management systems, shop equipment and other solutions for vehicle dealerships and repair centers, as well as for customers in industries, including aviation and aerospace, agriculture, construction, government and military, mining, natural resources, power generation and technical education. Snap-on Tools is one of the largest non-food franchise companies in the world, selling its products and services through franchisee, company-direct, distributor and Internet channels.  Snap-on Incorporated, which was founded in 1920, is a $3.3 billion, S&P 500 Company located in Kenosha, Wis. with operations throughout the world.

For additional information, visit www.snapon.com.

Blaney To Start 25th At Texas

2015 NASCAR TexasRyan Blaney and the No. 21 Snap-on Ford Fusion will start Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway from the 25th starting position, but team co-owner Eddie Wood is confident that the Snap-on Fusion won’t stay there for long.

“We will be fine in the race,” Wood said. “The Snap-on Ford is really good when it comes to a race set-up. We were just a little too loose in the first lap of qualifying, especially in turns one and two.”

Blaney wound up making a second run on the clock during qualifying and improved his time, but he ended up just 0.008 of a second shy of posting the 24th-fastest speed, which would have allowed him to advance to the second of three rounds of knock-out qualifying. His official speed in qualifying was 195.525 miles per hour.

Friday’s practice session was a different story altogether, as Blaney was seventh fastest with a best lap at 195.879 mph.

“We were really good in practice,” Wood said. “We’re all looking forward to practice on Saturday and the race on Sunday.”

Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 is set to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. Eastern with TV coverage on NBC.

Snap-on Ford Team Looking For Big Finish At Texas

2015 NASCAR KentuckyRyan Blaney, his crew chief Jeremy Bullins and the rest of the crew of the No. 21 Snap-on Ford Fusion are headed to Texas Motor Speedway hoping to build on strong runs in their last three races in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.

In the month of October, Blaney, Bullins and the Wood Brothers team posted finishes of 14th at Charlotte Motor Speedway, 7th at the Kansas Speedway and were running 3rd at Talladega Superspeedway when an engine failure ended their run prematurely.

Now it’s on to Texas, where in April, Blaney started 13th and ran among the leaders before an engine issue ended his race.  He and Bullins have prior sucess at the Texas track in the Xfinity Series, where they have two top-10 finishes, including a runner-up run in 2012 in a Ford Mustang for Team Penske, which now has a technical alliance with the No. 21 Snap-on team.

Based on their brief history in Texas, both Blaney and Bullins are expecting to be front-runners in the AAA Texas 500.

“We’re hoping to keep our good momentum going on the mile-and-a-half race tracks,” Blaney said. “Charlotte and Kansas were good to us, and earlier this year Texas was fairly good to us until we had problems.”

“I’m looking forward to this weekend. We’ve really upped our mile-and-a-half program. I’m excited to go back to Texas.”

Bullins makes no secret of his goals for Texas, and for all the other races the Snap-on team runs.

“As long as I’ve been doing this, no matter what team I’ve been on, we leave the shop with the mindset that we’re going to the track to win,” he said. “Wherever we finish after that was our best effort.”

Qualifying for the AAA Texas 500 is set for Friday at 6:45 p.m. and the race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. Eastern on Sunday with TV coverage on NBC.

About Snap-on Tools

Snap-on Tools is a subsidiary of Snap-on Incorporated, a leading global innovator, manufacturer and marketer of tools, equipment, diagnostics, repair information and systems solutions for professional users performing critical tasks. Products and services include hand and power tools, tool storage, diagnostics software, information and management systems, shop equipment and other solutions for vehicle dealerships and repair centers, as well as for customers in industries, including aviation and aerospace, agriculture, construction, government and military, mining, natural resources, power generation and technical education. Snap-on Tools is one of the largest non-food franchise companies in the world, selling its products and services through franchisee, company-direct, distributor and Internet channels.  Snap-on Incorporated, which was founded in 1920, is a $3.3 billion, S&P 500 Company located in Kenosha, Wis. with operations throughout the world.

For additional information, visit www.snapon.com.

Halloween 2015 Marks The 50th Anniversary Of One Of NASCAR’s All-Time Great Races

P-WB1-954Throughout NASCAR history, some of the sport’s greatest stories occurred on the same day, in the same race.

On Nov. 15, 1992, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Richard Petty ran his last Sprint Cup race, Jeff Gordon ran his first one, and that same race saw Alan Kulwicki beat Bill Elliott to win the championship in a title battle still considered by many to be the sport’s best ever.

The same thing was true of the Oct. 31, 1965 race at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham.

The American 500, held 50 years ago today, was the inaugural event at that track. It also was the final appearance on pit road for Ray Lee Wood, one of the original members of the famed Wood Brothers team. And the victory went to Curtis Turner, a wildly popular driver who had only recently returned to the sport after being suspended for trying to organize a drivers’ union.

Turner, at 41, was considered by many to be over the hill as far as driving. But Glen Wood, who first was attracted to the sport of auto racing by Turner and had been friends with him for years, thought otherwise.

The Woods first ran Turner at Martinsville Speedway, where he was involved in a crash with Bobby Isaac. Next up was North Wilkesboro, where he finished fifth. From there the team ran Turner at Charlotte, where he finished third.

At Rockingham, crew chief Leonard Wood had to fix a special brace to help Turner deal with the pain from ribs cracked from racing on a rough track at Charlotte.

That made the race even more dramatic as the 500-miler boiled down between the aging, hurting Turner and 26-year-old Cale Yarborough.

P-CT1-5-2Many at the track that day figured Turner would wear out when it counted, especially those who saw him napping on the decklid of the car during pre-race practice, recovering from a long night of partying.

Instead, the only weakness came from grit from the racing surface, which began eating away at the fan belt on Turner’s No. 41 Ford, which was running as a team car to the No. 21 of Marvin Panch. (The Wood Brothers crew serviced both cars that day and wound up taking two of the top three finishing positions as Panch finished third.)

Over the final laps, Turner had to slow to keep the engine from frying, and Yarborough moved in, but Turner held him off to take the victory.

“It was the old man against the young sprout, and the old man won,” Leonard Wood recalled.

P-CT1-14-1As time went by, the victory, already a special one for the Wood Brothers, became even more important to them.

“It turned out to be the last win he ever had, and it was in our car,” Leonard Wood said.

It also was the final trip to Victory Lane for Ray Lee Wood. Earlier that year, while at Indianapolis Motor Speedway helping Jim Clark win the Indianapolis 500, Wood had felt the call of the Lord. He felt that he should begin spending his Sundays serving the Lord instead of changing tires on his brother’s race cars.

He decided to finish the 1965 season before ending his career as a tire changer, and the Rockingham race wound up being his last one, which was fitting given that he and Turner were fast friends during their racing days.

Wood often rode home from races in Turner’s airplane so he could be back at work Monday morning with his grading business. And while Turner had a reputation of being a hard partier and Wood did not, the two got along famously.

“Curtis was something else,” Wood said in a 2010 interview. “If he liked you, you really had a friend.”

Strong Run, Disappointing Finish At Talladega For Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team

2015 NASCAR TalladegaRyan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team had the speed and strategy to compete for the win in Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Speedway.

What they were missing was some good racing luck.

As Blaney diced with the leader just prior to the halfway point, an apparent parts failure in the engine of his No. 21 Ford Fusion sent him coasting to the garage after 84 laps, leaving him with a 43rd-place finish.

“I hate it for Motorcraft and for everybody involved with our race team,” said team co-owner Eddie Wood. “We had a really fast car and had a good day going.”

“We were doing everything we were supposed to do. We had two good pit stops. We ran around the top 10 all day and had just gotten to third place when we had trouble.”

Wood said it hadn’t been determined just exactly what went wrong, but he said the engines in the No. 21 Ford Fusion have helped provide great speed all season.

“I’m proud of everyone that helps put the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion on the race track,” he said. “Ryan, Jeremy and the team did a great job in practice and qualifying as well as the race on Sunday.”

Now Blaney and the Wood Brothers turn their attention to Texas Motor Speedway and the AAA Texas 500 on Nov. 8.

“In recent trips to Texas we’ve had fast cars,” Wood said. “They’ve been fast on all the mile-and-a-half tracks, which is where our cars seem to really excel.”

“We’re looking forward to going to our next race at Texas Motor Speedway with sponsorship from Snap-on.”