Category Archives: blog

Wood Brothers Racing Museum Feature – Driver Uniform Displays

Today’s museum feature is on a couple of the driver uniform displays. At Wood Brothers Racing, we consider our employees like family and that includes all of our drivers. In order to honor some of our drivers, Len and Eddie gathered old driver uniforms and artifacts and placed them in cases at the museum.

In the video below, Len Wood describes a couple of our driver uniform displays, including Neil Bonnett’s and Kyle Petty’s.

 

Lessons with Leonard Wood – RC Lawn Mower

We are back with a ridiculously, amazing Leonard Wood invention! Ever heard the saying, “boys and their toys”, well here is a perfect example! It is a well-known fact that “boys” love everything remote control. Leonard Wood has this same love and he decided to build his own remote control lawn mower. Yes, you heard me correctly. A lawn mower that he can control from one-eighth of a mile away!

Check out this video, Leonard goes into detail about his remote control creation!!

Martinsville Weekend at the Wood Brothers Museum

First of all, I apologize for the lack of blog post recently. Life has been pretty crazy at my house with the west coast swing but I promise I will get back to regular blog post soon! Thankfully, Martinsville was this past weekend and that means a nice long weekend in Stuart, VA for my family. The 21 team was not racing at Martinsville but the Wood family stayed busy entertaining guest at the Wood Brothers Museum. Every year, the family looks forward to the Martinsville races because of all the wonderful NASCAR fans that come by to visit and see the Museum. Eddie, Len, Glen, Kim and Bernece are usually hanging around the museum and love to share stories and help with the tours. This year, visitors came from across the country! We had a visitors from many states, including Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska and Canada. A couple special guest were Bill and Cindy Elliott and Mike Joy and his son.

The next Martinsville race is November 1st, 2015. If you are planning to go to the race, make sure to pencil in a stop to the Museum, you will not be disappointed. The hours for a race weekend are usually M-F from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.

~ Jordan

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Wood Family Vegas Vacation

Viva Las Vegas! I know it is a little late but I thought I would share some fun stories from our Vegas trip a couple weeks ago. As most of you know, the NASCAR schedule does not have many off weekends and goes from February to November. The schedule is hectic and does not provide for many “family vacations” but my family would not have it any other way.

From as far back as I can remember, if a race location provided any type of family entertainment, you better believe that my whole family would load up and travel with my dad. Traveling was our life and I loved every minute of going to the races when I was younger.

I am sure that many people thought my brother and I were crazy to take our children to Las Vegas. After all it is known as “Sin City” and not as “Baby City”. However, Vegas has a lot of fun things for children and adults that is not part of the “Sin City”. Pictures are always better than long descriptions so I thought I would just share our Vegas adventures thru a few photos.

Shark Aquarium

Shark Aquarium

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Lessons with Leonard Wood – The Backseater

The Backseater is another one of the Wood Brother’s famous innovations. Back in the old Modified days, rules were much more liberal than today. By moving the engine rearward in the car, the teams could get more rear grip and thus more acceleration off the corners. In order to gain a competitive advantage, Glen Wood and his brother Leonard kept moving the engine back in their 1937 Ford until the driver was sitting in the back seat of the car.

A replica of the back seat racer is at the Wood Brothers Racing Museum in Stuart, Va. In the video below, Leonard Wood gives a brief description of the racer!

Wood Brothers Racing Museum Feature – Trophy Display

This week’s museum feature is about some of the older trophies that are on display. With 98 wins, the Wood Brothers have collected many trophies over the years and several of these are in display cases for our fans to view. There are trophies that date back to the1950’s when Glen Wood raced on the beach and at Bowman Gray Stadium. One of my favorites is a qualifying trophy from 1956 that was made into a lamp. One may ask, why was the trophy made into a lamp? Two little boys, by the name of Eddie and Len Wood, kept breaking the trophies. In order to prevent this, Ray Lee Wood, turned the trophy into a lamp. Pretty creative!

Len Wood describes the trophy display in the video below.

 

65th Anniversary Flashback – Atlanta Sweep

Starting this week, we are going to try something new on our blog. The Wood Brothers have 65 years of history and with that are many fascinating and captivating stories! In addition to our flashback photos, we are going to start posting flashback videos. These videos will feature one of the Wood Brothers telling a story about some of their memories from over the years. It would be impossible to tell all the Wood Brothers stories but we would like to share as many as possible with our fans.

Our first 65th Anniversary Flashback video features Eddie Wood telling about the first time the Wood Brothers swept the Atlanta Races.

DAYTONA: THE GOOD, BAD & UGLY

To get everyone up to speed, my name is Jon Wood and I am a 3rd generation Wood and former driver for Wood Brothers Racing. I hung my helmet up at the end of the 2008 season and now I am TRYING to learn the business side of NASCAR racing.  My grandpa is Glenn, my dad is Eddie, my uncle and aunt are Len and Kim, and my sister is Jordan.  Jordan is the director of marketing for the team and I am the director of business development. That’s a fancy way of saying we are involved in the marketing side of the team and are learning the ropes.  Anyway, when this whole blog thing got started, I was hoping to be involved in it more than I have been being, and the blog started as a way to give an inside perspective on the goings-on of our team and our racing world.  We live in a society that’s socially driven and Jordan has been an integral part in growing our social media and I would have to say that pretty much everything we have done up to now has been by her suggestion. She wants a blog that is original and raw, and gives readers a glimpse into our lives, so by golly that’s exactly what we are going to deliver. Starting now! I do want to give forewarning that I have a tendency to be opinionated. I think it’s important to stand your ground on your beliefs and if you see something a certain way, stick to it.  There is a difference in being rude and pushing your beliefs on people and simply sharing your perspective. This is going to be a place where we share what we think. We aren’t out to offend anybody, and that’s not going to happen.  When I add a blog post, it will be from my perspective, and while that may not be in line with what you think, or she thinks, or Bugs Bunny thinks, it’s just a different vantage point. It’s simply my opinion, and we all know that saying about opinions and noses and how everybody has one.  So here goes.

THE GOOD:  OUR NEW DRIVER/CREW CHIEF

Our Speedweeks was a success. We accomplished what we set out to do. I think Jeremy Bullins said it best when he summarized what his goals are for the 2015 season. He doesn’t have these silly and unrealistic expectations of winning 20 races out of 18, or having –X- number of top 5’s. His goals are very simple, to be competitive. He wants to go to each and every race we enter with one thing in mind, make few mistakes and be competitive.  While we are still the same ‘ole team, pretty much everything is new, that being a new driver, spotter, crew chief, crew, and team alliance.  That being said, we are batting 1000 on accomplishing Jeremy’s goals so far. We were competitive and made few (if any) mistakes throughout the entire week and as my dad puts it “they know we were there.”

THE BAD:  OUR FINISH POSITION

Yes, we didn’t have the finish we wanted and probably deserved.  Ryan did a great job in the Duels, finishing 6th and running in the top 8-10 for pretty much the entire race.  It was obvious; however, that in the 500 he was a rookie and rookies by nature don’t get a lot of help with drafting. It’s as if the cars behind him see that yellow line on the bumper and say “nah, no thanks. I’ll follow this other car instead” and that’s ok and to be expected.  To compensate for this lack of cooperation that a new driver gets, it helps to have teammates.  With our new Penske alliance comes drafting help from Brad and Joey, but after the incident with Stewart, that left us playing catch up with a slightly banged up Ford Fusion.  When you have to pit for any reason whatsoever besides four tires and fuel at a super speedway, it’s really hard to get your track position back.  So in essence, Ryan was on his own for much of the race.  Another thing that’s to be expected is to have the occasional part failure. Our day ended with an engine failure, and in those situations there is usually no warning, it just happens. Roush/Yates builds the best Ford engines anybody could ever ask for.  They’re reliable, they’re fast, and they win races and championships.  I see two parallels between having an engine failure and getting struck by lighting; it’s rare and it hurts.

THE UGLY:  GROUP QUALIFYING

It’s no secret that the group qualifying format used for Daytona was flawed. We can sit here all day and bash it for what it did or didn’t do and how bad it was.  We (myself included) are quick to jump on the complain-train and talk about how bad something is, but in this case I will leave my personal opinion aside on the matter and instead, try to offer a totally different perspective.  NASCAR has done many things right.  It’s not just a stroke of luck that it’s one of the most popular sports worldwide.  It has gone from a bunch of boys slinging dirt in a cornfield to what it is today because of constant improvement and continual tweaks.  At the end of the day, the primary goal isn’t to make such and such team happy, or whatever conspiracy theory you may have read on Facebook, it’s to make you, the viewer, want to view it more. It’s real simple, how do we make Joe and Jan Smith want to turn the channel to NASCAR racing. The group qualifying as a whole has been successful in making it more appealing to the viewer/fan and you can’t deny it has made qualifying more interesting to watch.  Does it need some fine-tuning and adjusting? You bet. Does it need to be taken out back like a mangy old dog and shot? The answer is a resounding NO!  I was the first to stand up and shout how bad it was during qualifying for the fall Talladega race, and yes, Daytona resulted in some torn-up cars and even more manipulation by teams trying to get the best outcome.  But I have confidence in NASCAR that they will get it right and make it better.  It’s a very simple formula that requires no math skills. More interesting equals more eyeballs watching. They will get it right.  We lose sight of what racing truly is, that being entertainment. Racing isn’t court of law and its sole purpose isn’t to be totally fair and that alone.  Do you enjoy watching C-SPAN? That’s a channel that’s dedicated to what’s fair and just. Racing is entertainment, and while I may have felt like Daytona group qualifying wasn’t totally fair or whatever, it was entertaining.  We need to continue to voice our opinions, because that’s the only way improvement can come about. If you don’t know a problem exists, you won’t fix it. I am 100% confident that we will see group qualifying that’s entertaining and fair.

As I said at the beginning, I want to make this blog be something that’s unique and interesting. If you have suggestions about topics for us to discuss, by all means let us know. This is just as much about us hearing from you as it is you hearing from us. We want to make you keep coming back!  THANKS FOR READING!!!

-Jon Wood

 


2015 NASCAR Daytona 500


 

 

How Bad Do You Want It

IMG_9152In the constant hustle and bustle of a NASCAR season, it’s very easy to overlook the small things and take them for granted. For that reason, I want to take this opportunity to recognize the efforts and accomplishments of BOTH my dad and my grandpa Glenn on something; that in my opinion, is quite noteworthy. Lets start at the beginning.

For longer than anybody except my grandpa (and a few others) can remember, he has been coming to Daytona to take part in what’s now called Speedweeks, the NASCAR season’s kickoff event.  He began coming down to show his support and root for his idol Curtis Turner and was just a mere fan of the sport.  As the years went by, he would come back to Daytona as a driver, competing on the beach course, as a team owner, and now what I consider to be, as a living legend. Every year, year after year, he came to Daytona to be a part of what he loves, NASCAR racing.  He has persevered through some good times and some bad. In over 65 years of participation in the sport, you can’t help but be thrown obstacles, but nevertheless he has mustered through and made the 10+ hour trek to Daytona. Let me also add, that his past 68 annual trips have been consecutive, never missing a single one.  That’s where the story gets a little better.  My family, as a whole, is an extremely tight-knit group and at the pinnacle of the pecking order, sits “Nannie” and “Pa” (Bernece and Glenn).  Now I realize every family has its own unique DNA and some get along better than others, but ours is tight. I MEAN TIGHT. So needless to say, for the past couple of weeks, its been a group effort with Kim, Len, and my dad all putting their heads together to figure out the most logical way to help get Pa down here. With him approaching 90 years young, his family doctor felt like it would be best if he was accompanied by someone on the way down, so that’s where my dad comes in.  The week following qualifying last Sunday has been anything but comforting.  Ryan qualified mid pack and a provisional starting spot for the 500 based on his qualifying speed seemed farfetched at best. So needless to say it’s been a tense few days.  Still, with all the pressure of making the 500, one thing that was at the top of my dad’s “to-do” list was to be sure and help Pa get down here.  We got back to the condo Thursday night around midnight (after finishing 6th in the Duel YAYYY!!) and my dad was in Orlando the next morning by 7:00am to catch a flight back to Charlotte.  He lands in Charlotte, gets a rental car, goes by my house to make sure my water pipes are still in tact and not busted from the extreme cold (that’s another story), and then meets up with Pa to drive back down here. I would also like to mention that this is the 2nd year my dad has done this Charlotte-Daytona-Charlotte-Daytona trip with Pa.  Last year, for whatever reason, he was just not feeling it, and hadn’t made plans to come. It wasn’t until after Thursday’s Duels that he decided he couldn’t miss a Daytona 500.

Now many people have their own definition of the word Hero, and it’s used fairly loosely this day in time.  Based on the definition of the word when Google-searched, I get –a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities– as the definition of the word Hero.  I can honestly say that both my dad and my grandpa are my Heroes.  They fit the definition entirely, and while this single event of coming to Daytona may not seem “heroic” to some, it’s not solely about coming to Daytona year after year. It’s not about making a day trip a few hundred miles away and hopping in a rental car to drive back.  It’s about these two men for two entirely different reasons, one for his unrelenting love for his family’s team and the sport he has been a part of for the majority of his life, and another man’s love for his father and to help him continue to be a part of what he built many years ago.  It’s amazing, just simply amazing.  To be able to say you’ve been coming to Speedweeks for 69 straight trips is impressive, but to say you have a family like mine is far more significant than anything found in a record book.

~ Jon Wood

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The Sweet Taste of a Daytona 500 Starting Spot

We are racing on Sunday! It has been a very tense week to say the least. My family has been down in Daytona since last Friday. It has been fun but very tense around the condo. When you have to qualify in to make the Daytona 500, no one sleeps well. You try to be positive but you prepare yourselves for the worst. I tell myself, it’s is just one race and that is the truth but it is still the Daytona 500. The race that starts the season, the race where my family has won 5 times, the race with 57 years of history, it is the Great American Race.

As a part time team, we don’t have points to rely on when qualifying for the Daytona 500. The qualifying procedure is very unique for the 500, as it should be because this is a race like no other. To put it in simple terms, the 21 team had to either have a fast lap in qualifying or race their way in last night. Unfortunately, qualifying did not go as planned last Sunday and we were faced with the challenge to race our way into the 500. This means we needed to finish in the top 15 last night in our Duel race. Sounds simple, right? Not quite! This is Daytona and as we all know, anything can happen in moment’s notice. One minute you are leading and the next minute you are shuffled out of the draft and are 20 car lengths behind the field. We knew we had the best of the best; a great driver, crew chief, crew members and car but the rest (which is a lot) was out of our control.

The duel races took place last night at Daytona International Speedway in 30 degree weather. These races are stressful on a good night but factor in freezing cold weather and wind and it equals a very long night. Do not get me wrong, as a fan of the sport, these two races are awesome to watch because so much is on the line. However, as a team member, these two races are terrifying because you have no idea what lies ahead.

We all sat on top of the pit box for the first race and watched other teams qualifying in. Everyone knew that our best shot at making the race was to race our way in by finishing in the top 15. The race lasted for what seemed an eternity! In true Daytona fashion, a late caution meant the race would end with a green, white, checkered. We were in a great position to have a strong finish with 2 laps remaining but you just never know at Daytona. Finally, the checkered flag waved and we were locked into the Daytona 500!! Cheers, claps and hugs spread over the 21 team pit box. Ryan, Jeremy and the whole 21 crew did a phenomenal job and thanks to them, my family will enter their 55th Daytona 500 on Sunday.

In Riley Wood’s words, “We did it”!!!

~ Jordan