It's a home game for the Wood Brothers. But the April 3 STP 500 is a home game the Wood Brothers haven't experienced as a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team with a single driver since Ken Schrader filled the seat of the vaunted #21 Ford in 2006. We're talking about Martinsville, the closest to the Wood Brothers' family home in Stuart, Va.
"It's a huge thing," says NASCAR Hall of Fame crew chief Leonard Wood, who co-founded NASCAR's most venerable organization with brother, driver and fellow Hall of Famer Glen Wood.
"We look forward to going to Martinsville. We used to run over there and have a lot of fun."
The Wood Brothers last competed at Martinsville in 2011, when Trevor Bayne's unexpected victory in the season-opening Daytona 500 gave the family-owned team the wherewithal to run more races than originally planned. The Woods' last trip to the paper-clip-shaped track before Bayne's 35th-place run was with veteran driver Bill Elliott in 2008.
This year, they return to the track with Sunoco Rookie of the Year hopeful Ryan Blaney, a 22-year-old who has never driven a Sprint Cup car at Martinsville, though he does have five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races under his belt there. When Blaney completes his 22nd lap at the 0.526-mile track on Apr. 3, it will mark 45,000 laps in Cup competition at Martinsville for the Wood Brothers. NASCAR Wire Service