Wood Brothers 2nd Daytona 500 Win - 1968 The Wood Brothers entered the 1968 Daytona 500 with legendary driver Cale Yarborough behind the wheel of the Wood’s #21 Mercury. The race was an up and down affair for Cale and the Wood Brothers, but one where the team’s perseverance and Cale’s grit and determination brought the #21 home for the win.
The race began well for the team with Cale running the fastest qualifying lap and starting in the pole position. As the race progressed, Cale encountered engine trouble as the engine began “missing.” Thanks to the fast thinking and fast repair work of Glen and Leonard Wood, they were able to fix a faulty transformer. However, this was no easy task - the transformer was located under the dash. The team had to remove the dash, take out the transformer and replace it. This remarkable effort kept Cale in contention losing only one lap.
With 40 laps to go, there were a couple multi-car accidents that sent several of the top cars to the garage. Cale was the beneficiary of their misfortune and moved up to third behind LeeRoy Yarbrough, who was first, and Paul Goldsmith, who was second. During the caution, Goldsmith pitted which moved Cale into second position. With the #21 on the verge of overheating, it was forced to pit on lap 174 under caution brought out when Sam McQuagg blew an engine. This left Cale almost a full straightaway behind leader LeeRoy Yarbrough.
With only 10 laps to go, it seemed as though LeeRoy would earn a victory. However, Cale wasn’t going to let LeeRoy win without a fight. Drafting behind Paul Goldsmith, Cale pulled out and used a “slingshot” move to pass him. Cale then set his sights on LeeRoy.
Cale eventually caught LeeRoy and twice tried to pass him on the backstretch. On lap 198, Cale again reached the rear of LeeRoy’s car and this time completed the pass. Not wanting to lose his momentum, Cale stomped on the gas, winning the race and bringing the Wood’s their second Daytona 500 victory.
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