Category Archives: blog

Riley’s Clubhouse Birthday Party

Riley bday 1This past weekend was full of birthday celebrations for Riley Wood. Amanda, his mom, organized a Mickey Mouse birthday party that was held at the shop in Stuart. The party was a blast and perfect for a 2 year olds’ birthday celebration, not overkill but just the right type of party for everyone to spend time with Riley and each other. I am sure many of our readers have toddlers, grandchildren, nieces or nephews that they may plan a party for one day, so I thought it would be interesting to get some pointers on how Amanda planned this perfect celebration. I realize this is not related to racing but I thought it would be fun see how this little monkey boy celebrated his 2nd birthday and give a little advice on how to have a great toddler birthday party!

 

1. Theme – “Go with what they are into, Riley is a huge Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fan so I knew it was something he would enjoy.”

2. Food – “Less is best, just keep it simple and fun, doesn’t need to be fancy. After all, as long as there was “coo” (ketchup), “Chep” (Chips) and “Coooookieee” (Cake, cookies and everything sweet), Riley was completely satisfied. I chose to have “Hot Diggity Dogs”, “Mickey Burgers”, “Donald’s Quackslaw”, “Plu-Ta-To Chips”, “Gooey Goofy Dip” and “Minnie’s Bowtastic Pasta”.”

3. Decorations – “Unless you enjoy crafts, keep it simple because they are basically just for picture purposes.”

4. Guest – “Know your guest, I only invited 3 other children so I didn’t do a lot of games and things, I just kept it simple with lunch, cake and gifts.”

5. Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! – “Fun, creative, simple, less expensive ideas!”

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Riley also had a mini birthday celebration at El Rancho in Stuart, here is a video clip of the celebrations! He prefers dinner with his shirt off and wasn’t to sure about the sombrero :).

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Happy 2nd Birthday Riley Wood

Iphone 031Two years ago my brother, Jon, and his wife, Amanda, welcomed a beautiful baby boy, Riley, into this world. Riley celebrated his 2 year birthday this past weekend, so it is only appropriate to dedicate a couple post about him this week. This is easy because after all, Riley is Jon Wood’s child and he has lived up to that reputation. There is never a dull or quiet moment when Riley is around.

When Amanda was pregnant with Riley, everyone kept telling me that our family would be changed forever. How would it change my family’s world? We wouldn’t be the ones changing dirty diapers or getting up in the middle of the night. I never understood this comment until September 28, 2012, the day our family was blessed with this little miracle.

The pregnancy had been quite the surprise for my family; we just weren’t expecting it quite yet but none the less very excited once we heard the news. Okay, okay, it took a little while to sink in because my family had not had a baby around since me, so we really didn’t know what to expect and were all slightly nervous, I mean this is Jon Wood’s child we are talking about. We are a very open family with very, very, very few, if any, secrets, so of course Jon spilled the news the minute they saw the two lines on the pregnancy test. He sent me a text and told me I was going to be an Aunt, so in true Jordan Wood fashion, my response was, “Oh my gosh, you got another dog”. His is response was, “seriously Jordan, NO, NO, NO A BABY”. Once I found the news out, it spread like wildfire and we all began to prepare for this little nugget.

Iphone 022Fast forward 9 months, I woke up on September 28th, to several phone calls and text messages, IT WAS TIME! My mom, aunt and I had actually planned a NYC trip and of course we were scheduled to leave that night. As stated before, we had not had a baby in the family in a while so us being the go getters we are just thought, she would have the baby, we would kiss him and hold him and then happily peace out of the hospital and go to NYC for the weekend. HA joke was on us, that weekend was the longest weekend ever and for once we could not wait to get home and love on Riley.

The minute Riley was born, my life and my family’s life was changed forever. I will never forget walking into the room and seeing my brother hold his son, this perfect little blessing from God. The look on my dad’s eyes when he held him for the first time and continued to hold him until…well he still won’t share and put him down. Everything I thought I knew about my life changed that day and it wasn’t even my baby.

We are so thankful for this little monkey and thankful that his parents allow us to be so involved in his life. Happy Birthday Riley, we love you and look forward to the many, many more adventures, smiles and laughs with you.

Moral of the story…Be thankful for the time you have with your family, embrace every moment and never question God’s plan.

~ Jordan

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Lessons with Leonard Wood – Dover Days

It’s race day at the Monster Mile! The Wood Brothers are not racing today but their history at Dover tracks back to the 1970’s, way before the nickname the “Monster Mile” was ever created. Leonard, Glen and the Wood Brothers team visited victory lane at Dover 8 times, 5 times with David Pearson and 2 times with Neil Bonnett. With Leonard Wood’s smarts and Neil Bonnett and David Pearsons’ top gun driving skills, the team dominated at Dover between the years of 1972 & 1981, taking the checkered flag 3 times in a row in 1972 and 1973.

Leonard Wood’s memories at Dover are countless. In the video below, he shared a couple with me.

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Dover Victory1975 Mason Dixon 500 (Dover)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Member Spotlight – Leonard Wood

This week’s “Family Member Spotlight” is going to be on Leonard Wood. We all know Leonard Wood, the creator of the modern pit stop and the mastermind behind the success of the number 21, but lets take a closer look into his life.

10671408_10153190999684502_8907042237727143951_nFamily – Leonard has one daughter, Beth Witt, and two grandchildren, Carlin and Gracen Witt. “Beth is the greatest daughter anyone could have and supports me more than 100%”, stated Leonard. His late wife, Betty Mae, passed away in 1997 from a fatal car accident that occurred on the family’s way home from the Charlotte All-Star race. “Betty Mae was always 100% behind me and is missed dearly”, said Leonard. Carlin is 22 years old and has a very busy year ahead of her. She plans to graduate from Virginia Tech in December and is getting married in 2015. Gracen is 18 years old and is a freshman at Virginia Tech. Beth and her husband, Kelly, also graduated from Virginia Tech. GO HOKIES! “When family is behind you, you make life work”.

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Leonard has a dear friend, Lori Banks, that travels with him and keeps his life organized. “Lori is a great friend to me, we help each other out with things and she keeps me updated with what is going on with the computer. We have been great friends for about 7 years and she knows more about my racing career and life than I do”, stated Leonard.

Favorite Race Track – When asked this question, Leonard just couldn’t give me one answer, he gave me several. Coincidentally, all the tracks were where the Wood Brothers had their greatest success.

1. Charlotte and Atlanta – “We had the most poles at Charlotte but we won the most races at Atlanta”

2. Daytona – “Daytona is the most prestigious race to win”

3. Michigan – “We won a lot of races at Michigan, when you get the right setup it is fun to race there”

4. Darlington – “We have a lot of history at Darlington, won a lot of races with several different drivers. Everyone wanted to win the Southern 500″

IMG_365880th Birthday Celebration – Leonard had two birthday celebrations, one was a celebration at Primland Resort and the other one was held at the race shop in Stuart for friends and family. One of the highlights of his birthday celebration at Primland was meeting Harold Primat, Swiss racing driver, and Tom Kristensen, 9 time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Both of which signed a 21 race car door, given to him by Eddie and Len, that everyone at both parties signed.

 

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Leonard Wood Bust Eddie and Len Wood

Birthday celebrations always last for more than a day, well at least mine do, so I am going to keep the tradition going. Since we celebrated Leonard’s birthday yesterday, the next couple posts will be about him. Leonard always tells the best stories about his racing experiences and personal life, so I thought it would be fun to turn the tables and tell a favorite story about Leonard. In the video, Eddie tells a story about how Leonard Wood busted him.

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Happy Birthday Leonard!!!

IMG_3664Today is a special day for the Wood Brothers. Leonard Wood is celebrating his 80th birthday and for those of you who know Leonard, he is 80 going on 20 :). Leonard is quite possibly the most brilliant man I know, not to mention the baddest and raddest 80 year old ever to exist. What other 80 year old do you know that rocks designer clothes, listens to the latest music and hangs out with JAKE OWEN?? Between his latest racing project and his fun-filled personal life, he could have his own TV show, “Keeping up with Leonard”.

IMG_3651Leonard continues to amaze us all with his energizer bunny attitude and a mind that never ages. One of his latest projects is a miniature replica of the 1965 Lotus that he built for my nephew, Riley. I remember when he started the project, I walked back to his work area and he had about 50 papers spread all over the table. He was telling me that each part was going to be identical to the original Lotus and going through the steps of his master plan, which was based on images of the Lotus and not a single blueprint or whatever the mechanics/engineers use these days. I was amazed then but when I saw the project finished, I was speechless! Leonard was impressed with himself too, saying, “Not to many 80-year olds could make something like this”. Yes Leonard, you are correct and you are a GENIUS in my book.

 

 

 

 

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So here is to you Leonard Wood, have a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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~ Jordan

 

Iphone Junkies

The Wood family has a slight obsession with having the latest and greatest technology. Therefore, September is a highly anticipated month every year because of the announcement and release of the new Iphone. You know those crazy people that you hear of sleeping outside of the stores and staying up all night to preorder the newest Iphone? Well I hate to admit it but a few of us Wood members are guilty of this ridiculous behavior every year.

Every year, when Apple announces they have a new phone releasing, we (Eddie, Jon, my husband and I) all start rearranging our phone plans, snatching up each other’s upgrades and selling every Apple device in the house in preparation for the BIG day.  We are “those” people who wake up at 2:00 am to preorder our Iphone at 3:00 am every year. If we can’t preorder or get it on the exact date it releases, we “camp out” outside of the store to be the first in line to buy the phone.  In preparation for this year, I actually visited the store to confirm that I would be able to order one based on my upgrade date. I was extrememly embarrassed when the store associate said, “you may want to get here several hours early because a few years ago we actually had someone come straight from a Panthers game and spend the night outside the store”. Little did the assiociote know that was my husband and me.  Call us crazy but we love our Iphones.

Let the tradition continue………

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Lessons with Leonard Wood – Joe Weatherly

Joe Weatherly won two championships and 25 races in NASCAR’s premier series and will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on January 30, 2015.  Like many others that have been inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Joe Weatherly plays a part in the history of the Wood Brothers.  In 1960, competing against 8 current NASCAR Hall of Famers, Joe Weatherly took the #16 1958 Wood Brothers Ford to victory lane at the Charlotte Fairgrounds.

I stopped in with Leonard Wood to get a glimpse of what that race was like in 1960.

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 ~ Jordan

Family Member Spotlight – Jordan Hicks

Each week we are going to have a “Family Member Spotlight”, that will range from a bio of a family member to whatever crazy activity someone has going on that week. This week I am going to zoom in on myself to give you a little bit of background about the person behind the posts.  Bare with me, I feel like I am taking it back to high school days when you had to write introduction papers about yourself.

Who Am I – Third generation of the Wood family, Eddie Wood’s daughter and Glen Wood’s granddaughter.

EngagementFamily – My husband, Michael Hicks, and I will be celebrating our 2 year anniversary in December. We recently added a little bundle of joy to our family, Giselle Laken. Giselle is 3 months old and keeping mom and dad super busy (refusing to nap as I type this with a baby in one hand, typing with the other and wishing I had another hand to drink my coffee).  My husband is the rear tire changer on the 11 cup team and have no fear, I am currently working on stealing all his secrets. We have two pups, one extra large dog named Chubs, who weighs 105 pounds and one extra small dog named Izzy, who weighs a whole 4 pounds.

Education – Received my undergraduate degree in marketing at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2008 and received my Masters in Business Administration from UNCC in 2012.

Job Experience – After graduating from UNCC in 2008, I decided to work outside the family business. I worked at Motor Racing Network for about year and then decided to go back to get my MBA and work for the race team. Since then I have been at Wood Brothers, where I have a variety of responsibilities including, managing the Facebook page and website, working with my brother, Jon, on marketing and PR for the Wood Brothers and whatever else the family decides to throw my way.

18575_318048788144_6092914_nFavorite Race Memory –  I have two favorite memories and both were at the Daytona 500. Obviously, my all time, forever and ever, favorite memory is winning the 2011 Daytona 500 with Trevor Bayne.  That was actually the first time I had ever been to Victory Lane with the Wood Brothers. The other memory is when my grandpa and Leonard were the honorary starters at the 2010 Daytona 500. I was in charge of capturing the “behind the scenes” pictures and videos and was able to stand on the flag stand with them when they waved the green flag for the Daytona 500.

Favorite Hobby – My daughter pretty much takes up all my spare time these days but I enjoy weekly date nights with the hubs and just spending the weekends with my family. I enjoy traveling and I have taught Giselle at an early age that being a part of our family means being on the go. She made her first Daytona trip at 2 weeks old, beating my first trip by 4 weeks. Of course, I also spend a lot of time dressing little miss up in cute outfits and taking daily pictures of her, if you follow me on social media then you know I am telling the truth. I believe God knew that I would buy way to many outfits for her because he gave me a child that goes through about 3 outfits each day :)

That about wraps up my life!

Jordan

 

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Remembering 9/11

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

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

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

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

http://www.911memorial.org/

 

 

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~ Jordan