WOOD BROTHERS RACING
wo elderly gentlemen, one with an
aluminum walking cane in his right hand,
shuffled out to the starting grid to stand
alongside their young driver and the car
they all hoped would get them running
up near the front later that afternoon.
The venerable duo, 91-year-old Glen
Wood and his brother Leonard, 83, were
no strangers to Daytona Beach, Fla., in
February – Glen had been coming down
from Virginia for 71 consecutive years.
The driver representing their
eponymous, storied Wood Brothers Racing
team in the 59th Daytona 500, opening
round of the 2017 Monster Energy
NASCAR Cup Series, would be Ryan
Blaney. Born in Ohio to a racing father,
but raised in Charlotte, N.C., the 23-year
old is acutely aware of the heritage and
the long history he represents every time
he climbs inside the No. 21 Motorcraft/
Quick Lane Ford Fusion.
There are few teams in the history of
NASCAR stock car racing more significant
than Wood Brothers Racing. Glen and
Leonard, who got the enterprise up and
running in 1950 in the tiny town of
Stuart, Va., nestled in the foothills of the
Blue Ridge Mountains, have been at it so
long that everything they – and more
recently Glen’s sons, Eddie and Len –
have done the last seven decades is a
mirror on the sport and the organization
“Big Bill” France founded back in 1947.
With 1,489 starts, 99 wins and 117
(MAIN) Charlotte 1978: A classic Wood Brothers Racing
scene, with David Pearson behind the wheel and
Leonard Wood in full pit-stop flight. Anything out of the
ordinary? Just that they finished only fifth this time...
(RIGHT) Ryan Blaney gave NASCAR’s oldest existing
team its 99th win at the Pocono 400 in June.