Ford congratulates Wood Bros on 60 years in racing
If it was a marriage anniversary, it would be celebrated with a diamond gift.
In this case, both sides of this relationship would relish a trip to
NASCAR victory lane.
Ford Customer Service Division is offering the Wood Brothers Racing team its congratulations as it celebrates a racing milestone in 2010 – 60 years in NASCAR racing and 60 years exclusively racing Ford Motor Company products.
“All of us at Ford Customer Service Division, especially our Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands, congratulate the Wood Brothers on their 60th year of racing and 60th year with Ford Motor Company,” said Brett Wheatley, Director of Marketing, Ford Customer Service Division.
“Glen, Leonard, Ray Lee, Clay and Delano Wood were pioneers in racing and their tradition lives on today through Eddie, Len and Kim. We’re thrilled to offer our congratulations to all members of the Wood family for their first 60 years in racing.”
“They are an important part of our Ford Racing family,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “Through good years and difficult years, they have stuck with us, racing Fords and Mercurys with some of the greatest drivers in the sport.
“We are committed to them, just as they have been committed to us. And part of our commitment to them is to help them return to victory lane.”
The Wood Brothers are acknowledged pioneers in the sport of stock-car racing, and have earned 96 wins in over 59 years of NASCAR competition – second most in Ford Racing history, and fifth overall in NASCAR history.
The team is planning on competing in 13 Sprint Cup races this season, 10 with Motorcraft/Quick Lane sponsorship. They will run Ford’s new FR9 NASCAR engine in each of their races.
Significant moments in Wood Brothers history:
· The team competed in Sportsman and Modified events in Virginia and
the Carolinas starting in 1950, and then made its NASCAR Sprint Cup
Series (then Grand National) debut at nearby Martinsville (Va.)
Speedway on May 17, 1953
· Glen Wood was the team’s original driver, and left the seat in the
· The Wood Brothers are synonymous with pit stops, and are credited
with inventing the modern pit stop. Their work was so legendary that
Ford Motor Co., asked the Woods to serve as Jimmy Clark’s pit crew for
the 1965 Indianapolis 500. Clark went on to win the race.
· The Wood Brothers are one of two teams in NASCAR history to win the
owners’ championship without the team’s driver winning the drivers’
championship. In 1963, the Woods – with seven different drivers –
produced three wins and 18 top-five finishes in 26 starts to win the
· The original Wood Brothers – Glen and his brother Leonard, who
served as the team’s crew chief for many years – have been inducted
into a number of racing Halls of Fame and are winners of the
prestigious Spirit of Ford Award for lifetime achievement in racing.
· The Wood Brothers have 14 victories at Daytona, more than any other
team. They also won two of the most famous Daytona 500s in history: in
1963, with Tiny Lund, subbing for the injured Marvin Panch (whom Lund
had earlier pulled from a burning sports car during practice for
another series); and in 1976 with David Pearson, in what many
observers have called the greatest race in NASCAR history.
· The Wood Brothers, with driver David Pearson, were the team of the
1970s. Pearson (who won back-to-back championships for Ford in 1968
and ’69) made his debut with the Woods on April 16, 1972, at the very
difficult Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. He won from the pole. In a
six-season span from 1972-77, the team and driver entered 116 races,
and won 39 (winning slightly better than once every three starts),
with 84 top-five finishes (72.4 percent of the starts) and 43 poles.
· In 1973, the Wood Brothers and Pearson set a NASCAR single-season
record with a .611 winning percentage by reaching Victory Lane in 11
of 18 starts.
· From 1970-80 when Ford Motor Co. had officially pulled out of NASCAR
racing, the Wood Brothers still ran only Ford products (’69, ’71, ’73
and ’76 Mercurys) through the decade. When Ford officially returned to
NASCAR in 1981, the Woods immediately campaigned an ’81 Ford.
· The Wood Brothers’ last victory occurred in 2001 at Bristol Motor
Speedway, when crew chief Pat Tryson kept driver Elliott Sadler on the
track for the final 162 laps instead of pitting for fresh tires. That
move started a trend by teams to not pit later in races in order to
gain track position.
· Some of the greatest drivers in motorsports history drove the famous
No. 21 Ford. Wood is one of 19 of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers
(including current driver Bill Elliott) to have driven for the team.
Other notable drivers for the Wood Brothers include: Junior Johnson,
Curtis Turner, Dan Gurney, Fred Lorenzen (who in 1963 became the first
driver in racing to win more than $100,000 in one season), A.J. Foyt,
Cale Yarborough, Parnelli Jones, Donnie Allison, Kyle Petty, Dale
Jarrett and Ricky Rudd.
· The 2010 season will mark the second consecutive campaign that the
Wood Brothers will run a reduced schedule with Bill Elliott.
· The Wood Brothers are scheduled to compete in 13 points races plus
the All-Star race in 2010, starting with the Daytona 500 in February
and ending with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
The 21 will also run at: Atlanta (twice), Texas (twice), Charlotte
(twice), Michigan (twice), Chicago, Indianapolis and Kansas.