Category Archives: 2015

Blaney Qualifies Ninth For CampingWorld.com 500 At Talladega

2015 NASCAR TalladegaRyan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team earned their fifth top-10 start in 14 tries this season by taking the ninth starting spot for Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

The rookie Blaney and his rookie crew chief Jeremy Bullins have maintained the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team’s tradition of having fast Fords when the Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega and Daytona International Speedway, the two tracks where restrictor plates are used to keep speeds at a relative safe level.

Blaney qualified a season-best third at Talladega in May, and the team returned this week with another fast car. He was second fastest in final practice on Friday with a best lap at 196.342 miles per hour, then sixth best in the opening round of qualifying Saturday afternoon before ending up ninth overall with a lap at 192.509 mph. He was the second-fastest Ford driver and one of four Fusion drivers to be among the 12 drivers in the final round of qualifying.

“Being in the final round was our goal, and we accomplished that,” said Len Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team.

2015 NASCAR TalladegaStarting just behind Blaney are Team Penske drivers Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, and Wood said it will be nice to be among drivers who share equipment and technology with the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team. “The Team Penske cars are right there with us,” he said. “That should be good when it comes to drafting in the race.”

Blaney also likes the idea of starting the race among his fellow Ford drivers.

“We’ve got four Fords in the top 12, so that was really good to know we have that speed and are surrounded by teammates,” he said. “That’s good to have and makes you a little bit more comfortable.”
Blaney, who finished fourth at Talladega in May, said he’s looking for another good day at the Alabama track.

“I think we have a good car for tomorrow, and we’ve got a pretty fast one,” he said. “We’ll just try to stay up front most of the day and hopefully avoid any troubles, and maybe we’ll be in a position to make a run towards the front at the end.”

The CampingWorld.com 500 is set to get the green flag just after 2:30 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBCSN.

Talladega A Memorable Place For Blaney, Bullins and the Wood Brothers

2015 NASCAR TalladegaTalladega Superspeedway has a mystique about it like no other track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

It has seen many strange events over the years – from a string of surprise winners in the 1970s and 1980s to Bobby Isaac parking Bud Moore’s Ford mid-race after hearing voices telling him to do so, to an instance of sabotage to race cars.

“Something out of the ordinary was always happening at Talladega back in the day, sometimes good and sometimes bad,” said Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion that Ryan Blaney will drive in this weekend’s CampingWorld.com 500.

Because Talladega holds such a unique place in NASCAR history, a first trip there creates special memories for participants and fans alike.

Wood remembers his first race there very well. It was the 1970 Talladega 500, and in the early years, that second race of the season at Talladega always seemed to produce some strange story lines.

This one was no different.

Cale Yarborough was driving the No. 21 Mercury when the front windshield was knocked out of the car, likely due to debris.

In those days, teams didn’t keep spare windshields on pit road, so the Wood Brothers crew had to bring a replacement from the truck outside the garage to their pit stall on the far end of pit road.

In the meantime, Yarborough kept right on racing, even though his open-face helmet offered little protection from the 180-mile-per-hour wind.

“Cale tied a red shop rag around his face, and off he went,” Wood said. “He ran seven or eight laps that way. When he would go by our pit, he was laid way back in the seat, like the wind was about to blow him out of the seat.”

The crew replaced the windshield, and Yarborough salvaged a fifth-place finish.

Len Wood, also a co-owner of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion, recalled that his first trip to Talladega, in August of 1974, was the time many of the front-running cars were sabotaged before the race.

Roger Penske, who now fields the Fords driven by Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano and has a technical alliance with the Wood Brothers, was the first to detect a problem and alerted his fellow competitors.

“They cut the oil pump belt on our car, and the toe-in had been messed with,” Len Wood recalled.

David Pearson drove the repaired No. 21 Mercury to a second-place finish that day.

2015 NASCAR Kansas Jeremy Bullins, now the crew chief of the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, also had an unforgettable first trip to Talladega. His first race there was the 1987 Winston 500.  “Everyone loves Daytona but to me Talladega is special because it’s the first speedway race I attended,” Bullins said. “My dad got tickets for my birthday when I was 10.”

Bill Elliott set NASCAR’s all-time qualifying speed for that race with a lap at 212.809 miles per hour in his No. 9 Ford, but after Bobby Allison flew into the catch fence during that race, NASCAR began restricting the horsepower on the cars at Daytona and Talladega and Elliott’s record remains untouched to this day. “While they were fixing the fence we went and walked the museum,” Bullins said. “Davey Allison ended up winning the race. It’s pretty cool to go back there now and be part of the race.”

Blaney has been attending races at Talladega longer than he can remember; as his dad, Dave Blaney, was a Sprint Cup driver and regular Talladega competitor. “My first memory of Talladega was watching my dad,” Blaney said. “I can’t fully remember what year but I was really young and playing at [Motor Racing Outreach].  “I remember that I couldn’t believe the race track could be so big, and the cars were so close to each other the whole race.” “That astonished me.”

Now Blaney and Bullins will attempt to write some Talladega history themselves, building on a fourth-place finish at Talladega in May. First up is trying to make the most of practice day on Friday. “Talladega practice is a huge catch 22,” Bullins said. “You need to get in the draft to see how your car is in traffic, but you spend so much time preparing a fast car the last thing you want to do is get caught up in a wreck in practice.”

“We’ve got the same car we had for the [Daytona] 500 and finished fourth with at Talladega in the spring, so being that we have confidence in our car I don’t think you’ll see us spend a lot of time drafting in practice. We’ve got some things to try to evaluate for speed, which will carry over to the draft, so we will focus on getting our car trimmed out and ready for Sunday.”

And Bullins has set his sights high. “As an engineer I’ve got a couple of wins there, but a win there as a crew chief would be special,” he said. “Hopefully our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion will have the speed to do just that this weekend.”

Qualifying for the CampingWorld.com 500 is set for Saturday at 4:15 p.m. with TV coverage on NBCSN. The race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 2:30 p.m. Sunday with TV coverage also on NBCSN.

Motorcraft/Quick Lane Rookies Show Veteran-Like Performances At Kansas

2015 NASCAR KansasThis weekend, the Kansas Speedway saw Ryan Blaney and his crew chief Jeremy Bullins put together their best performance of the 2015 season at an intermediate-length track.

The two Sprint Cup rookies had their No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion near or at the top of the scoreboard from the opening of practice on Friday through the end of the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday.

The official results show that Blaney qualified 8th and finished 7th, but the overall story is much better than that. Blaney posted the 12th best speed in opening practice, then had a remarkable run in qualifying that saw him top the field in the second of three sessions before earning the 8th starting position.

Then on Sunday he ran in the lead group for most of the race and led the field for five laps before coming home 7th on a green-white-checkered-flag run to the finish.
Other than a few laps in which he dropped out of the top 10, it was a stellar day for Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team – on the track and on pit road.

“Obviously we are pleased with a great weekend with starting and finishing in the top 10,” said Bullins, adding that the team’s strong performances in the past two weeks, including a 14th-place finish at Charlotte, are coming at a time when Sprint Cup racing is as tough as it gets. “It’s really cool knowing we are in the Chase races, and everyone is bringing their best stuff.  We felt like we had a top-10 car at Charlotte last week but we didn’t execute well enough to finish there, but [at Kansas] we did.”

2015 NASCAR KansasFor the record, Blaney finished ahead of eight of the 12 drivers competing for the championship at Kansas.

Blaney said Bullins deserves a lot of credit for the positive results at Kansas.

“Jeremy did a great job of getting us better and getting us where we needed to be at the end, and be able to run toward the front,” Blaney said of Sunday’s race. “Overall these guys put together a good race car, and it’s a great way to start the last four races of the season.”

Blaney said the time he and Bullins have spent together in recent weeks, including racing back-to-back races at Charlotte and Kansas and a couple of test sessions, continues to pay dividends. “We’ve learned some things. We still have to get a lot better but we’re getting there. Being on the race track more is part of it.”

“Things come with time for both me and Jeremy, and we’re finally getting some time under our belt.”
Next weekend the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team heads to Talladega Superspeedway, where back in May the team posted its best starting and finishing results of the season. Blaney qualified 3rd and finished 4th in the GEICO 500 after contending for the win in the closing stages.

For Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500, Bullins and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will use the same Ford Fusion that they raced last time at Talladega, with a lot of more preparation in the meantime.

“We’re ready to go back there next week, and everyone is fired up for that,” Bullins said. “Ryan has done a really nice job in the draft, and we look forward to the opportunity to try to compete with the best again next week.”

Blaney, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Team Earn Fourth Top-10 Start of 2015

2015 NASCAR KansasWith 13 Sprint Cup qualifying sessions under in the books this season, rookies Ryan Blaney and crew chief Jeremy Bullins are showing the benefits of their time together this year.

Blaney qualified the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion 8th for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. It was the team’s fourth top-10 qualifying effort in 13 tries, not including three races in which the team did not get to attempt a qualifying lap because of weather issues.

The Motorcraft/Quick Lane team started the day strong, posting the 12th fastest speed in the opening practice session, with a best lap at 193.085 miles per hour.  Blaney was 10th fastest in the first round of knock-out qualifying with a lap at 193.313 mph and quickest overall in the second round with a speed of 195.164 mph before finishing 8th in the final round with a speed of 194.363 mph. The pole went to Brad Keselowski, Blaney’s Ford teammate and one of the Team Penske drivers with which Blaney and his fellow Wood Brothers team members share information and technology.

Blaney said his only mistake of the day on Friday was staying on the throttle longer than he should have in an attempt to go faster in the third qualifying round.

“I should have just done what I did the round before and see if it was a little bit faster,” he said. “I just tried to get too much and unfortunately lost a little bit of speed there, but I’m proud of everybody on this Motorcraft team.”

Blaney said the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team’s qualifying success at Kansas is a result of hard work all season long, and due to their affiliation with Team Penske.

2015 NASCAR Kansas “Everybody’s doing a great job,” he said. “We’re firing off with good speed when we start practice, and the more Jeremy and I work together, it’s a lot smoother transition from practice to qualifying. With time, that will continue to get better.”

Blaney also said a recent test session at Kansas was helpful for both this weekend’s race, and the upcoming races as well.

“The tests we get to do allow us to work together more at the track, and that helps us to bond,” he said.

With a starting spot for Sunday’s race secure, Blaney and Bullins now turn their attention to Saturday’s practice session in which they will prepare the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for Sunday’s 400-mile race.

“I’m excited to get out there in race trim,” Blaney said.

The Hollywood Casino 400 is set to take the green flag on Sunday just after 2 p.m. with TV coverage on NBC.

Wood Brothers’ First Great Run With Ford Backing Came In Kansas

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Photo courtesy of Smyle Media

For many race fans, NASCAR racing in the state of Kansas means competition at Kansas Speedway, where this weekend Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team will compete in the Hollywood Casino 400.

Kansas has its own place in NASCAR history long before the current speedway opened in 2001, bringing major-league racing to an underserved part of the country. Back in the 1950s, NASCAR’s Convertible Division ran several races in Kansas, including a 250-lap race on the half-mile dirt oval on the Kansas State Fairgounds in Hutchinson Kansas in 1956.

That historic track opened in its current configuration in 1909 with hometown driver George Wiles taking the win in an E.M.F. E.M.F. cars, built from 1909-1912, were named for the company founders – Barney Everitt, an auto-body builder; William Metzger, who previously worked for Cadillac, and Walter Flanders, who had worked for Henry Ford and helped develop production methods that led to the moving assembly line that Ford pioneered.

When NASCAR’s Convertible Division ran its first and only race at Hutchinson, it was the 18th of 47 races that year. Like today’s Sprint Cup Series, the Convertible circuit crossed the continent, starting the season at Daytona Beach, Fla., and running up and down the east coast as well as throughout the Midwest. The circuit even traveled to Canada for a race at Toronto.

Glen Wood, founder of the Wood Brothers team, joined the Convertible series in the ninth race of 1956 at Greensboro, N.C. He soon landed a Ford factory-backed ride, and ran his new Ford for the first time at the historic Langhorne Speedway in Pennsylvania.

He qualified 11th but was spun by another driver on the opening lap.

“I was sitting there turned around with the rest of the field coming right at me,” Wood recalled. “I’m thinking there’s no way all those drivers are going to miss me. And they didn’t.”

With considerable damage to that car, legendary mechanic Red Vogt, who was running Ford’s Convertible program at that time, lined up another car for Wood. He and his brother and crew chief Leonard Wood, took the car and headed west to rejoin the circuit.

On the way to their next race, in Oklahoma City, with the race car being pulled by a tow bar attached to Glen’s 1956 Ford pick-up truck, a problem with the tow bar caused the rear tires of the truck to wear down to the point they were completely slick. Vogt had issued the Woods six new tires for their racer, but the brothers took two of them, put them on the tow truck, adjusted the tow bar and were on their way again.

Photo courtesy of Lehman Collection

Photo courtesy of Lehman Collection

At Oklahoma City, Wood qualified fourth but finished eighth after having trouble with his clutch.

From there, the brothers headed to Hutchinson for the race on the Sunday afternoon, June 10, 1956. “I remember it was really hot that day, and the track was really muddy,” Wood said.

He qualified fifth, and was running well in the early going.

“Several laps into the race I looked at the temperature gauge and it was out of sight,” Wood said. “Mud had gotten on the radiator and made the engine run hot.” Wood slowed his pace, trying to nurse his car to the finish.

Later on, he looked at his gauge again, and the temperature was back to normal. “The mud had dried and it shook off the radiator,” he said.

Back on the charge, he moved into second place as the laps wound down. Frank Mundy, in a Carl Kiekhaefer-owned Dodge, was leading by two laps, and Wood had a 50-yard margin over third-running Bob Welborn.

With two laps to go, Mundy’s car began trailing smoke and it slowed to a crawl on the final lap. Still, he held on to win, and Wood maintained the distance over Welborn to take the runner-up spot.

“If Mundy’s engine had let go a little sooner, I possibly could have won that race,” Wood said. “But as it was, it was my first really good finish in a Convertible race after getting in a factory Ford car.”

His $700 paycheck was enough to make the trip profitable, even enough to cover the two tires he’d had to put on his pick-up en route.

From Hutchinson, the Woods traveled to Sedalia, Mo., where Glen finished third behind Mundy, who won again, and second-finishing Gwen Staley. By season’s end, Wood had run 31 races, with 14 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes and finished 10th in the final standings despite missing 16 races.

The next season, he ran all 36 Convertible races, winning four times and recording 23 top-five finishes and finishing third in the final standings.

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Las VegasThose long-ago Convertible races were the beginning of a long relationship between the Woods and Ford Motor Co. that continues to today. “We’ve been with them the whole time,” Wood said.

Fast forward fifty-six years to present day, where the Motorcraft/Quicklane team will unload their No. 21 Ford Fusion at the Kansas Speedway on Friday for practice and qualifying later that evening at 6:15 p.m. eastern time, with coverage on NBCSN. The race is scheduled to see the green flag fly at 2:15 p.m. eastern time on Sunday with coverage on NBC.

Blaney Drives PPG Ford Fusion to 14th-Place Finish At Charlotte

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CharlotteRyan Blaney and the No. 21 PPG Ford Fusion team had a strong, solid run in Sunday’s rain-delayed Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Blaney started 16th and ran in the top 15 for the majority of the race – and in the top 10 at times – before finishing 14th.

“We didn’t start off too bad, and we progressively made it better throughout the day, which I was happy with,” Blaney said, adding that he had one sub-par green-flag run late in the race that kept him from making a bid for a top-10 finish.

“We slipped from about 10th to 13th or 14th and it’s just hard to get it back, especially when there are no more cautions and it’s green-flag sequences,” he said. “It’s hard to get it back and pass everybody.”

Blaney said he was particularly proud to have a good run in his team’s first and only race of the season with PPG as the primary sponsor.

“I’m really happy to have PPG on our Ford Fusion,” he said. “That was a lot of fun.”
Crew chief Jeremy Bullins and the Wood Brothers crew also had a good day on the pit box and on pit road, as team co-owner Eddie Wood pointed out.

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Charlotte “Jeremy made some great calls all day,” Wood said. “He made the call to short pit towards the end of the race, and that helped gain some spots back.

“The over-the-wall guys had great stops every time. It was a good, solid day all around.”

Blaney said Bullins also did a great job adjusting the PPG Fusion for a daytime race after initially preparing it for a Saturday night run, when the track would be cooler and present different set-up challenges.

“It was a good job by my guys being able to compensate from preparing to race last night to the heat of the day today, so they did a good job,” Blaney said.

While proud of their own success on Sunday, Blaney and Wood were offering congratulations to their fellow Ford racer Joey Logano and his No. 22 crew from Team Penske, which has an alliance with the Wood Brothers. Logano led 227 of 334 laps in winning the 500 and thereby earning a spot in Round 3 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

“We’re really happy for [team owner] Roger Penske, Joey and [crew chief] Todd Gordon,” Wood said. “We were proud to have a good showing for PPG and the great people there, and it was a great day overall for Ford Motor Co.”

Now Blaney and the Wood Brothers head to Kansas Speedway for the second of three-straight races, the final one being at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks.

About PPG
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets enhance more surfaces in more ways than any other company. PPG offers a variety of refinishing materials-for cars, trucks and fleet and industrial vehicles – including the products that support Team Penske and Wood Brothers Racing both on and off the track. Small body shops, large productivity-focused collision centers, industrial parts and product manufacturers, specialty and custom finishers, and fleet refinishers and owners can all benefit from PPG solutions. Look to these popular and proven PPG brands to address your diverse coatings requirements: Delfleet® Evolution; Delfleet® Essential; Desothane® Evolution; Deltron®; Nexa AutocolorTM 2KTM; Global Refinish System®; Envirobase® High Performance; Aquabase® Plus, the Vibrance Collection® and Commercial Performance Coatings. Learn more at www.ppgrefinish.com. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 60 countries around the world. PPG Sales in 2011 were $14.9 billion. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).

Speedy Thompson’s Win In Inaugural Bank of America 500 Put The Wood Brothers On The Fast Track To NASCAR Success

Photo by Smyle Media

Photo by Smyle Media

The first running of the race now known as the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, on Oct. 16, 1960, wound up being a key victory for one of NASCAR’s cornerstone race teams.

The Wood Brothers team, at that time, was a part-time competitor focusing on the short tracks.  At the request of fellow Virginian and long-time friend Curtis Turner, the Woods took their 1960 Starliner to Charlotte, which at the time was owned by Turner and current track owner Bruton Smith.

Leonard Wood said that race car was built back from a wrecked street car and painted by Auto Sales and Body Co. in Martinsville. Wood himself built the engine.

The initial plan was for Turner to drive the No. 21 Ford, but Turner was busy with speedway business so the driving duties went to Alfred Bruce “Speedy” Thompson, whose driving career was winding down. Many considered him to be “over the hill” even though he was just 34 at the time.

But after a few laps of practice in the No. 21, team owner Glen Wood and his brother and crew chief Leonard Wood decided otherwise.

Photo by Smyle Media

Photo by Smyle Media

“He was running as fast as anybody,” Glen Wood said.

Entering that Charlotte race, Thompson had 18 career victories in NASCAR’s top division, but none since the fall of 1958 at Richmond.

He went on to qualify third for the National 500 and ran with the leaders for the majority of the race.

“He had a great line entering and exiting the corners,” Leonard Wood said. “He’d drive into the corners high, and stay there a lot longer than it seemed like you ought to, then he’d drop down low.”

Although the Wood Brothers were not known at that time for their speedy servicing of race cars, they had a great day on pit road that day.

At that time, teams used a gas can made by welding two five-gallon cans together and fashioning a spout on the top. The fueler had to pour the gas into the tank opening in the center of the rear of the car.

Leonard Wood said that Thompson came down pit road with a lot of speed, but barely came to a stop before gas man Ralph Edwards had fuel flowing into the tank.

Photo by Smyle Media

Photo by Smyle Media

Thompson took the lead for good when Fireball Roberts wrecked after leading 197 laps and led the final 35 circuits to get the Woods’ first-ever win on a superspeedway.

At the finish, he was a lap ahead of runner-up Richard Petty and third-place Ned Jarrett.

After Thompson and the Woods won at Charlotte, Paul Sawyer, promoter of the next race at Richmond, called Glen Wood and offered him $2,500 appearance money to bring Thompson and the winning Ford to his track, plus another $1,000 to bring a second car for Joe Weatherly.

Thompson again started third and dominated the race, leading 173 of 200 laps to score what would be his final victory in the division now known as Sprint Cup.

For the Woods, who will run the Charlotte race tonight with rookie Ryan Blaney behind the wheel of their PPG Ford Fusion, the back-to-back victories in the fall of 1960 were the start of a string that has seen them win 98 races to date.

Glen Wood said that if not for the successes of that October, his team’s racing might have ended about that time.

“I had considered giving it up,” Wood said. “We were having a hard time making a go of it, but that win at Charlotte paid almost $13,000 plus a new car, and the money we got from Paul Sawyer was a lot more than the purse money from winning the race, which was $800.

Those two races really got us going.”

Thompson ended his 1960 season with a fourth-place finish at Atlanta in the No. 21 Ford, then ran just seven more races in the Cup series, choosing instead to focus on Late Model racing in the Southeast.

During a Late Model race at Metrolina Speedway in Charlotte on Easter Sunday in 1972, Thompson’s car stopped on the track. He was found to be not breathing and died en route to a hospital. He would have turned 46 the next day.

Blaney’s PPG Ford To Start 16th in Bank of America 500 At Charlotte

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CharlotteRyan Blaney and the No. 21 PPG Ford Fusion team finally got a qualifying day with no rain, and they turned that into a 16th place starting position for Saturday night’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

After having a fast car at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago but not able to race it due to a rained-out qualifying session, Blaney and his Wood Brothers team were rewarded for their fast car at Charlotte on Thursday.

Blaney was eighth-fastest in the opening Sprint Cup practice session with a best lap of 192.048 miles per hour. He backed that up with a seventh-place effort in the first of three rounds of knock-out qualifying. But it took a second try to do that, and that negatively affected his tires when it came to round two. As a result, Blaney wound up 16th overall in qualifying with an official lap at 191.056 mph.

2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series CharlotteStill, the rookie driver and his PPG team were looking at the positives of being able to take the green flag for the 500 rather than regretting the lost opportunity to compete for the pole.

“After Chicago it’s at least good to know we’ll be driving on race day,” Blaney said. “It wasn’t what we were hoping for because we had a really good car in practice.”
He said the second qualifying run in the first session hampered him in the second round due to the added time on his tires, which generally lose a bit of speed with each lap that’s run.

“We had an extra lap on the tires and that didn’t really help,” he said. “We just didn’t get enough there at the end to try to get in the top 12, but it’s just going to be nice to be racing here Saturday night and be part of the show.”

 The Bank of America 500 is set to get the green flag just after 7 p.m. Saturday night with TV coverage on NBC.

About PPG

PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets enhance more surfaces in more ways than any other company. PPG offers a variety of refinishing materials-for cars, trucks and fleet and industrial vehicles – including the products that support Team Penske and Wood Brothers Racing both on and off the track. Small body shops, large productivity-focused collision centers, industrial parts and product manufacturers, specialty and custom finishers, and fleet refinishers and owners can all benefit from PPG solutions. Look to these popular and proven PPG brands to address your diverse coatings requirements: Delfleet® Evolution; Delfleet® Essential; Desothane® Evolution; Deltron®; Nexa AutocolorTM 2KTM; Global Refinish System®; Envirobase® High Performance; Aquabase® Plus, the Vibrance Collection® and Commercial Performance Coatings. Learn more at www.ppgrefinish.com. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 60 countries around the world. PPG Sales in 2011 were $14.9 billion. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).

Blaney’s No. 21 Ford Fusion To Sport PPG Colors At Charlotte

IMG_1977Ryan Blaney and the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion will carry new colors – literally and figuratively – into this weekend’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The iconic No. 21 Ford Fusion will be sponsored by PPG, the leading global coatings and specialty products company that was founded in 1883 as Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co. Appropriately, the No. 21 PPG Fusion is colored in blue on the front of the car and streaks to white at the rear, giving a look of speed even when the car is sitting still.

Crew chief Jeremy Bullins said the PPG Ford Fusion will be hard to miss as Blaney competes in Saturday’s 500-mile event. “Our PPG paint scheme is really cool and will definitely pop at night under the lights,” Bullins said.

But the rookie Sprint Cup crew chief is also hoping to get his team’s car some notice for its speed as well. “We’ve been looking forward to coming back to Charlotte since the Coca-Cola 600,” he said. “We feel like we were headed for a top-10 finish before we had engine trouble, and a top-10 in your first Coke 600 is a big deal.”

Bullins, like most of the regulars on the Sprint Cup circuit, relishes racing close to home, as the track is just around the corner from the Wood Brothers’ shop on Highway 49 in Harrisburg. “I certainly don’t mind sleeping in my bed at night either,” he said. Blaney, Bullins and the rest of the No. 21 PPG team have a lot to live up to when it comes to racing at Charlotte.

Over the years, the Wood Brothers team has run 110 races at Charlotte, with six victories, 24 top-five and 38 top-10 finishes and an astonishing 20 poles including 13 in a row during the 1970s. “It’s certainly a track the 21 team has had a lot of success at over the years,” Bullins said. “It’s always great to run well as usually we have a lot of family guests there as well, and we want to make them proud.”

The Bank of America 400 is the fourth of 10 races in the championship-deciding Chase for the Sprint Cup, and that ratchets up the effort for teams in the Chase as well as those like the PPG team that are not competing for the title. “It’s another pivotal race in the Chase, and we look forward to competing with guys we know are bringing their best to see where we stack up,” Bullins said.

Qualifying for the Bank of America 500 is set for Thursday at 7:20 p.m. and the race is scheduled to see the green flag just after 7 p.m. on Saturday with TV coverage on NBC.

About PPG

PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Through leadership in innovation, sustainability and color, PPG helps customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets enhance more surfaces in more ways than any other company. PPG offers a variety of refinishing materials-for cars, trucks and fleet and industrial vehicles – including the products that support Team Penske and Wood Brothers Racing both on and off the track. Small body shops, large productivity-focused collision centers, industrial parts and product manufacturers, specialty and custom finishers, and fleet refinishers and owners can all benefit from PPG solutions. Look to these popular and proven PPG brands to address your diverse coatings requirements: Delfleet® Evolution; Delfleet® Essential; Desothane® Evolution; Deltron®; Nexa AutocolorTM 2KTM; Global Refinish System®; Envirobase® High Performance; Aquabase® Plus, the Vibrance Collection® and Commercial Performance Coatings. Learn more at www.ppgrefinish.com. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in more than 60 countries around the world. PPG Sales in 2011 were $14.9 billion. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).

Wood Brothers Mechanic Fenwick Focuses on Hard Work, Learning

  • Roger Fenwick“I hope to be known as the hardest worker in the garage who will never give up,” said Roger Fenwick, underneath mechanic on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion. “And to continue to grow in this sport and learn everything I can.”

HARRISBURG, N.C., ______ __, 2015 – Roger Fenwick, underneath mechanic on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, is not an ambitious man but he is driven.

“I hope to be known as the hardest worker in the garage who will never give up,” Fenwick said when asked recently what his long-term goals were in racing. “And to continue to grow in this sport and learn everything I can.”

His actions, from his tryout as a rear tire changer in the 2008 Martinsville race until now, speak volumes.

“If I did a good job at Martinsville I would be hired to change tires and work in the shop,” Fenwick recalled. “About three quarters of the way through the race, (team co-owner) Len Wood told me I had the job and my dream was finally coming true.”

Since then, Fenwick has been a general mechanic and then the interior mechanic before taking on new responsibilities under the No. 21 this season.

“This year I was asked if I wanted to try something different and if I wanted to be the underneath mechanic,” Fenwick said. “This sport is all about learning and trying to grow so I was ready for a new challenge.”

An underneath mechanic is responsible for servicing the transmission and gears, and to help make suspension changes in the rear of the car, for example rear shocks, springs and track bar.

“Roger is a good all-around guy,” Wood said. “In the past he’s been the interior guy, taking care of the driver’s needs. Roger has taken on a new role this year, being the underneath guy, and he made the move without skipping a beat.”

Fenwick grew up in Indiana watching the Indianapolis 500 on television and longing for the day when he could race go karts like his father and uncles.

“The first Brickyard 400 (1994) was my first race in person and I was hooked,” Fenwick recalled. “After that I really started to bug my parents about getting one of my family’s old go karts out and let me drive it around the yard. They eventually gave in and boy did I ever wear that thing out. As I started to get in my late teens and early 20s I wanted to start racing competitively so I saved up my money and got my first kart.”

Through karting, Fenwick met Johnny Davis, who raced in the XFINITY series. He started by helping Davis’ team for a weekend. Shortly thereafter he decided to move to North Carolina and make a living in the racing business.

Two years with Davis led to four years with Brewco Motorsports, which led to the tryout with the Wood Brothers.

Not surprisingly, Fenwick says winning the Daytona 500 in 2011 with Trevor Bayne behind the wheel has been his most satisfying moment in racing thus far.

“The month that led up to the race with the pre-season test and then the week and half leading up to the race just had a magical feeling,” Fenwick remembered. “Even after tearing our car up in the 150-mile race and the work that was ahead of us, it was still amazing because everyone knew how fast of a car we had. Being in victory lane at that place with the Wood Brothers and knowing not only their history there, but their history in the sport was something magical, but to also be in victory lane with Mr. Edsel Ford II and it being Ford’s 600th victory made it all the more satisfying.”

Fenwick also gets satisfaction just working for NASCAR’s oldest and most historic team.

“The Wood Brothers are a great family,” he said. “It is by far the best place I’ve ever worked. They are the type of family that would drop what they are doing to help someone out and have always made me feel like I’m family.

“The history that surrounds them speaks for itself, but to know that every day I get to work with a Hall of Famer (Leonard Wood) is unbelievable and to see what Mr. Leonard is capable of is out of this world,” he continued. “Also getting to hear Mr. Glen’s stories of racing back in the day or just his stories of taking care of the home front is amazing. Every day getting to go to work is awesome because you don’t know what you will learn or what you will see.”

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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). In addition to offering trusted parts from Motorcraft, Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers offers brand-name tires from Goodyear, Continental, Michelin and others. Quick Lane® is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company. For more information, visit www.quicklane.com