Wood Brothers expect Bayne to return, similar schedule in 2014 As a NASCAR staple through seven decades, Wood Brothers Racing is among stock car racing's best-known and most popular teams. It's been around since 1953, when Glen Wood and his brothers, Leonard, Delano and Ray Lee began fielding shade-tree cars at short dirt tracks in southern Virginia and central North Carolina. In 1,405 Sprint Cup entries since 1953 the team has 118 poles and 98 victories, including Daytona 500s with Cale Yarborough, David Pearson, A.J. Foyt, Trevor Bayne and Tiny Lund. It has 337 top-five finishes, 521 top-10 finishes and has earned upwards of $50 million with 42 drivers. Even with that resume, WBR isn't exactly flush with sponsorship. It ran less than half the races in 2009, 2010 and 2012 (and exactly half in 2011), and Bayne will run only 12 of 36 this year. It's not ideal, but the Woods have little choice.
"With sponsorship like it is, we have to pick races that give us the best chance of a good payback," team co-owner Eddie Wood said last weekend at Talladega. "It's just good business: the more you can win, the more you have to keep going forward. We've skipped some races this year that were close to home [the Charlotte area] because the payout wasn't very good. But we've gone to some races way off because the payout made it worthwhile. It's all about surviving to race again." The team would love to run more, but [it's doing] the best it can do right now. "We're always hunting for sponsorships and trying to add races," Wood said. "And, really, it's getting a little better; it's beginning to open up some. A few years ago it was hard to get people to even call you back about sponsoring a race. It was really tough there for a while, but people are more open to listen now. At least here lately, they seem more interested."
Wood said it's too early to talk much about 2014. He said he and his brother, team co-owner Len Wood, expect to run at least the same schedule, maybe adding a few races if more sponsors come along. Nothing is set in stone, either, regarding Bayne and his role, but they "fully expect" him back in their Cup car even as he runs the full Nationwide Series schedule for Roush Fenway. Regardless of what else happens, this much is true: "You'll never see us become a start-and-park team," Eddie Wood said defiantly. "Not our family, not this team, not as far as we've come since the '50s and as much as we've done in racing. We'll do what we can and we'll do it properly, or we won't do it at all. And you can write that down." Autoweek
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