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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.


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.


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.”


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.


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


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

Wood Brothers Racing Museum Feature – Leonard’s Creations

Yesterday, I blogged about a lawn mower Leonard created. That was just one of the many Leonard Wood creations. This week’s museum feature is on a couple more of Leonard Wood’s “projects”. In the video below, Len Wood describes a mini Lotus and go-cart that Leonard built from scratch. These two “creations” display how impressive Leonard’s mind was and is today! He made the go-cart, powered by a Maytag washing machine engine, when he was 14 years old. The Lotus, designed and built from memory and pictures, was made when he was 80 years old. I don’t know about you but I think this is beyond impressive! I can barely figure out how to turn my washing machine on, not to mention build a go-cart from the engine!

Lessons with Leonard Wood – Lawn Mower

Have you ever been in the process of mowing your lawn and thought, “hmmmm maybe I should invent my own lawn mower”? Leonard Wood had that same thought one day but he took it beyond just the thought. Leonard has a steep hill at his house that you have to use a push mower because a riding lawn mower would flip. He was tired of having to use the push mower on the hill because he was constantly “turning his ankles over”. To fix his problem, Leonard decided he would design and build his own riding lawn mower that would enable him to easily mow the steep hill. He built, from scratch, a 4-wheel drive, independent suspension, automatic riding lawn mower. This bad boy has a suspension like a race car and even though it only goes lawn mower speed now, he could make it go 100 mph! Only Leonard would design a lawn mower that could run as fast as a race car.

Check out the video to see the actual lawn mower!


Happy 64th Anniversary Glen and Bernece

Bernece and Glen Wood celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary this past weekend! That is absolutely incredible and we are very proud of them. As their granddaughter, I look up to them and their marriage in so many ways. In this day and age, where divorce statistics are at an all-time high, to say you are celebrating your 64th wedding anniversary is astonishing and I strive to be just like them. Anyone who is married or has been married will agree with me that marriage is no walk in the park. The dirty truth is marriage is difficult and we have to work hard to make it last.

Thankfully, I have my grandparents to look up to when it comes to marriage. Bernece and Glen have an amazing relationship and I aspire to have the same relationship with my husband 64 years from now, if it is the Lord’s will. They have an unconditional love for each other and it shows in every aspect of their life. I truly believe that their relationship is the reason my family is celebrating their 65th year in racing. They have shown us all how a successful relationship works and I believe that ultimately has affected how we treat each other, business partners and employees. Anyone who has ever worked with my family will agree that they treat everyone as if they are a part of the Wood family. That type of love stems from my grandparents marriage and relationship.

Happy Anniversary Nannie and Pa, we all thank you for showing us what marriage is about and love you to the moon and back!

Glen & Bernece on honeymoon0001 Bernece & Glen#1


Wood Brothers Racing Musuem Feature – Trophies

This week’s Wood Brothers Racing museum feature is about the trophy display. The team has many special trophies at the museum and Len Wood gives us a brief description of a couple of his favorites. The 2011 Daytona 500 Trophy is on display at the museum alongside a short video that takes you through the final laps of the race. I have seen the video a million times but to this day, I still get chills every time it plays.

~ Jordan

Birthday Celebration for Nannie

A couple weeks ago we celebrated Nannie’s (Bernece Wood) birthday in true Wood fashion. The family was going to be gone on her actual birthday so we celebrated a little earlier with a family cook out. The entire family gathered at Eddie and Carol’s house to surprise Nannie with a birthday celebration. Jon and I gave my dad an electric griddle for Christmas and he can make some delicious burgers without having to use the grill outside. The Wood family members are not fans of cold weather but are huge fans of burgers, so this makes “grilling out” possible in the winter months. Dad (Eddie) cooked his famous burgers and fries, Nannie whipped up her Macaroni Salad and “Bananaless Pudding” and I made Nannie’s favorite dip, my special Corn Dip. I could live off of Nannie’s Macaroni Salad and Keven could live off of her “Bananaless Pudding”. Somewhere down the line, someone disliked Bananas so Nannie makes her banana pudding without bananas and it might just be the best dessert ever created. We ended the cook out with a surprise birthday cake. Of course, Riley decided it was his birthday cake, so Nannie had a little help blowing out her birthday candles.

IMG_8042 IMG_8052 IMG_8053 IMG_8039

Lesson - Always close the lid on your Tupperware before putting it into the refrigerator or it will end up in the floor.

Lesson – Always close the lid on your Tupperware before putting it into the refrigerator or it will end up in the floor.


A Look Behind The Scenes in Stuart

IMG_7464Last Friday Ryan Blaney, Jeremy and the Wood Brothers gathered in Stuart, VA to shoot video footage for Motorcraft / Quick Lane. The day was mainly spent shooting various videos for Motorcraft / Quicklane but during breaks Glen, Eddie, Len and Leonard were giving Ryan a brief Wood Brothers history lesson. This was the first time that Glen and Bernece Wood had met Ryan and they are so excited for him to be behind the wheel of the 21 car. I was able to capture some images and a video of Glen and Ryan talking about Glen’s 1937 Ford Backseater.