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Glen Wood

Wood Brothers           Leonard Wood

It was Glen Wood that brought the famous Wood Brothers team into racing, forming a team in 1950 to run Modifieds on dirt. Glen was nominated as the driver. What started out simply as fun quickly became serious business.

     With Wood's expertise behind the wheel the team was gaining recognition. In 1954, he won the North Carolina sportsman championship, and three years later he finished third in the NASCAR convertible division points.

     In 1959, the likeable Wood was named NASCAR's Most Popular Driver. Wood dominated the track at Winston-Salem, winning there three times in 1960. In his final year behind the wheel, Glen raced only the two Winston-Salem races, winning one and finishing 3rd in the other.

     It was then he hung up his helmet for good and assumed the duties of crew chief for a list of drivers that reads like a "Who's Who", such names as Yarborough, Pearson, Foyt, Roberts, Turner, Weatherly, Panch and Lund. They also crewed Jim Clark at Indy in 1965.

     Although his driving career was brief, Glen Wood is still counted among NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. Glen was also inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002.

     When talking about Glen Wood, it is difficult to not to talk about the legendary Woods Brothers. Here are some some stories of their fabled racing history.

RACING REVOLUTIONARIES  By Dr. Mark D. Howell

Glen and Leonard Wood have done more to revolutionize the sport of NASCAR racing than anyone in motorsports history. These siblings from Stuart, Virginia, have scored 96 victories, 116 pole positions, and were responsible for developing today's orchestrated pit stop technique. Not only did the Wood Brothers use their choreographed system to win at such competitive speedways as Daytona, Charlotte, Darlington, Michigan, and Atlanta, but they also used it to win the 1965 Indianapolis 500 with the late Jimmy Clark as their driver.

Part of the Wood Brothers' legacy over their fifty years in stock car racing has been their knack for hiring talented drivers, even though Glen Wood (known as "The Woodchopper" since he owned a sawmill in Stuart by the age of 21) drove the family's race cars himself during the 1950s and became recognized as one of the sport's best short-track racers. Of the top fifty drivers named to commemorate NASCAR's fiftieth anniversary in 1998, seventeen had driven for the Woods. Such legendary competitors as David Pearson, Tiny Lund, A.J. Foyt, Cale Yarborough, Donnie Allison, Marvin Panch, Dan Gurney, Neil Bonnett, and Parnelli Jones have all been behind the wheel of a Wood Brothers entry. This year marks Glen and Leonard's golden anniversary in racing, a fifty-year period that forever shaped NASCAR's history and its impact on American culture.

The Wood Brothers' greatest mark on motorsports history was their performance in the 1963 Daytona 500. Marvin Panch, Glen and Leonard's driver, was seriously injured in a sports car race when the Maserati he was driving overturned and caught fire. Several bystanders leaped into action to rescue Panch from the flames; one of the rescuers was a stock car driver from Iowa named DeWayne "Tiny" Lund. Since Panch was injured in the accident, and the Wood Brothers' red and white #21 Ford needed a replacement driver, Lund was given the chance to compete in the Daytona 500.

The 1963 Daytona 500 ended up becoming the greatest "Cinderella story" in all of professional sports history. Tiny Lund and the Wood Brothers ran a masterful race, using effective drafting techniques and smart pit strategy to conserve fuel and stay ahead of challengers like Ned Jarrett and Fred Lorenzen. As their competition pitted for closing lap splash-and-go fuel stops, Lund and the Wood Brothers ended their day by parking in victory lane, celebrating their Hollywood-like performance at the World Center of Racing. Adding to the excitement of their 1963 win: the Wood Brothers never changed the Firestone tires on Lund's car!

The Wood Brothers have visited victory lane at the Daytona 500 on four different occasions with the help of drivers like Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), A.J. Foyt (1972), and David Pearson (1976), whose win that year went down in the annals of sports history as the wildest finish ever seen in motor racing. Pearson's battle with Richard Petty near the end of the event resulted in a last-corner-of-the-last-lap accident that sent both drivers and their cars spinning into the infield grass just yards from the finish line. While Petty struggled in vain to refire the engine of his Dodge, David Pearson rolled the Wood Brothers' Purolator Mercury across the finish line at less than twenty miles per hour to win the race.

Such events highlight the Wood Brothers' role in the evolution and success of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Whether it be an outstanding car driven by a talented hotshoe, or an innovation that catches the rest of their competition by surprise, Glen and Leonard Wood have helped make stock car racing the popular sport it is today. Their addition to the Motorsports Hall of Fame is another accomplishment of which they can be truly proud.

The Woods of Virginia - Part 4: Super Speedy
January 05, 2010

Speedy Thompson lived up to his name for the Wood Brothers in the 1960 National 400 at Charlotte. (File photo courtesy of Wood Brothers Racing)

By Rick Minter | Senior Writer     RacinToday.com

The Wood Brothers Racing Team has been one of the backbones of NASCAR since the sport was founded. The Woods, from Stuart, Va., have been racing continuously in the division now known as Sprint Cup since 1953 and have 96 wins to their credit.

In a RacinToday exclusive series, Eddie Wood, one of the second-generation members of the team, will discuss what he considers the top 10 wins in Wood Brothers history.

The wins aren’t ranked in any particular order. This week’s entry recalls the team’s first superspeedway victory. It came on Oct. 16. 1960, at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the inaugural National 400.

Eddie’s dad Glen recalled that he initially didn’t plan to enter a car in the race, since a tire test before the event indicated problems with a rough racing surface.

But Wood’s old friend Curtis Turner, a co-owner of the speedway, convinced him to bring his Ford to the race.

“I didn’t have anybody to drive it, so Curtis said he’d drive it,” Glen Wood said.  The plan was for Speedy Thompson, who had been sitting on the sidelines for most of that season, to take Turner’s place in the Holman-Moody Ford.

But Turner’s duties as track owner were consuming so much of his time that Thompson wound up running some of the practice sessions in the Wood’s No. 21 Ford. Finally, after it was evident that Turner wouldn’t be able to give the car his full attention, the decision was made to put Thompson in it for good.

When it came time to qualify, Thompson convinced the Woods to use baby powder on the car instead of wax to make it slicker and faster. And he didn’t want anyone else to know his secret, which posed a problem.

“You could smell that baby powder a mile away,” Wood said. “And it was hard to hide that white powder on a red car.”

While Wood isn’t sure whether the baby powder helped or not, Thompson ran fast, qualifying third behind Fireball Roberts and Jack Smith for the 400.

Wood is sure about one factor that contributed to the speed.

The car was purchased from a junkyard. Originally a street car (this was when stock cars were pretty much stock cars), the interior of which had burned in a fire.

But that was a good thing. Gone were all the heavy soundproofing materials and glue and such that were a part of a street car.

“The fact that the interior had been burned was all the much better,” Glen Wood said. “You normally wouldn’t have taken all that stuff out of a car.”

Wood also figured that in his team’s favor was the fact that Thompson, a very capable driver, had been out of action for a while and was anxious to prove he could still drive.

“It livened him up,” Wood said, explaining that Thompson and his brother Jimmy were much like the Allison brothers – Bobby and Donnie – in their day.

During the race, the No. 21 was one of the leading contenders. Eddie Wood recalls listening to the broadcast on a console radio from the family home in Stuart, accompanied by his brother Len and a neighbor lady assigned to watch the youngsters that day.

In the closing laps, Fireball Roberts was leading but blew a tire and hit the wall. Thompson took over and sailed to victory, one lap and 12 seconds ahead of runner-up Richard Petty. The winner’s share was $12,710 plus a new convertible. Thompson kept the car, paying Wood for his share.

The victory and the money won that day were a major turning point for the Wood Brothers team.

“It had been pretty lean for a few years up to that point,” Wood said. “That win put some money in the bank and let us keep racing a while.”

The good times continued into the next week’s race at Richmond. Immediately after the Charlotte win, Richmond promoter Paul Sawyer called and offered Wood $2,500 to bring Thompson and the winning car to his track and added another grand if he’d bring a second car for Joe Weatherly.

“Paul was pretty good about getting something while it was hot,” Wood said.

And Sawyer was spot on. Thompson qualified on the outside pole at Richmond and dominated the race, leading 173 of 200 laps to score his 20th and final Cup victory. He raced just eight more times in his Cup career, choosing instead to concentrate on Late Model races. He died just after crashing in an April 2, 1972 at Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte, possibly after suffering a heart attack. He would have been 46 the next day.

To follow up on his breakthrough 1960 season, Wood bought a new 1961 Ford Starliner, turned it into a race car and was back on the NASCAR trail. More importantly he offered the car to Ford, which wasn’t officially involved in NASCAR at that point, to conducts tests at Concord, N.C.

Soon Ford was officially back in racing, and the Woods were part of their plan.

“I’ve been with Ford ever since,” Wood said.                                   RacinToday.com


Speedy Thompson (L) win congrats, 1960; Glen Woods second from right
 

WOOD BROTHERS RACING … IT’S ALL ABOUT FAMILY

It is family owned and family run. It is a legend in the annals of NASCAR history. Wood Brothers Racing, the oldest continuously operating team in NASCAR Nextel Cup, entered a new phase in 2003 with the introduction of Ricky Rudd as the man behind the wheel of the #21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus.

“Motorcraft and the people at Ford Customer Service Division have been extremely pleased with our association with Wood Brothers Racing,” said Ann O’Neill, Executive Director FCSD. “This team represents family, quality and a sincere concern for the product they produce and that is what Motorcraft and Ford Motor Company are all about. The same building blocks that have given Wood Brothers Racing its competitive strength over the years can be compared to the building blocks that keep Ford and its divisions and products at the top of the automotive market.”

When the Woods signed on with Motorcraft three years ago Eddie Wood said, “Working with Motorcraft is going to be like working with family. Len and I have known nothing but Ford since we were children. Ford is part of our heritage. I can’t think of a better fit for our team.”

And now Ricky, Linda and Landon Rudd have joined the family.

“It’s a little scary how quickly and easily all of this has come together,” said Rudd. “The bottom line, I guess, is that I trust Eddie and Len Wood, and I trust the people at Motorcraft. We’re speaking the same language.

“Everybody in the garage who knows anything has seen how good the Wood Brothers’ equipment is,” Rudd continued. “Eddie and Len have put together a partnership with Jack Roush that is paying off. Pat Tryson (crew chief) used to work for me when I ran my own team. This is really comfortable for Linda and me, and I think we’ve got a chance to win some races.”

This will be Rudd’s second turn carrying the Motorcraft banner. From 1985-1987, Rudd won four races and finished in the top-10 all three years while driving Motorcraft Ford Thunderbirds for Bud Moore Engineering.

Judi Moritz, Motorcraft Motorsports and Event Marketing Manager said, “When I received this assignment, racing was all new to me, but it didn’t take long to realize how important Wood Brothers Racing is in NASCAR and just what a privilege it is to be associated with them. Motorcraft has signed a three-year agreement with the Wood Brothers to continue our sponsorship and partnership as a racing team. Their family further accentuates the Ford family and our presence in racing and we are very, very excited to continue that.”

Another big factor to the team’s success is the team’s primary association with the United States Air Force. “The Air Force has become part of our family too and we are very proud of that relationship,” said Len Wood. “They are looking for young recruits with an interest in mechanics and engineering and NASCAR provides the perfect target audience for those goals.”

Wood Brothers Racing was founded by Glen Wood, who along with his brother, Leonard guided its growth and success into the 1980’s. Glen’s sons Eddie and Len and daughter Kim are team co-owners and now manage the business.

http://www.woodbrothersracing.com

Inducted into the Oceanside Rotary Stock Car Hall of Fame 1997, Ormond Beach, Florida

Records
96 Winston Cup Wins
80 Super-Speedway Wins
53 500-mile Wins
116 Poles
87 Super-Speedway Poles
92 Fastest Qualifiers on Super Speedways
26 Super Speedway Races won from pole
Won Triple Crown in 1976
(Daytona 500, World 600, Southern 500)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Formed in 1953, the Wood Brothers Racing Team is one of the oldest, best-known and most successful in NASCAR Winston Cup Racing

  • May 17,1953 First Grand National Race
     
  • Oct 19, 1958 First Grand National Pole
     
  • Apr 18, 1960 Winston-Salem, NC - First Grand National Win
    Oct 16, 1960 Charlotte, NC - First Super-Speedway Win
     
WIN TRACK DATE REASON
- Martinsville, VA May 17, 1953 Wood Brothers’ first GrandNational race; Glen Wood was the driver.
- N. Wilkesboro, NC Oct 19, 1958 First GN pole (G. Wood); came in team’s 12th attempt.
1 Winston-Salem, NC Apr 18, 1960 First GN win (G. Wood); came in team’s 32nd race.
4 Charlotte, NC Oct 16, 1960 First superspeedway win (S. Thompson); came in first start superspeedways.
5 Richmond, VA Oct 23, 1960 Second and last win for Thompson with Woods.
6 Daytona Beach, FL Feb 24, 1963 Second superspeedway win; Tiny Lund ended 33-race winless streak.
7 Winston-Salem, NC Aug 13, 1963 Fourth and last win for G. Wood.
8 N. Wilkesboro, NC Sep 29, 1963 First win for M. Panch.
9 Riverside, CA Jan 19, 1964 First win for D. Gurney.
14 Atlanta, GA Apr 11, 1965 Fifth superspeedway win; first for Panch.
18 Rockingham, NC Oct 31, 1965 First win for C. Turner; record 4th superspeedway win of season.
20 Riverside, CA Jan 29, 1967 First win for P. Jones.
21 Atlanta, GA Apr 2, 1967 10th superspeedway win; first for C. Yarborough.
23 Riverside, CA Jan 21, 1968 Gurney’s fourth and last win; record fifth straight win here.
27 Daytona Beach, FL Jul 4, 1968 15th superspeedway win; fifth for Yarborough.
28 Darlington, SC Sep 2, 1968 Record 5th superspeedway win in 1 season.
34 Rockingham, NC Nov 15, 1970 20th superspeedway win; 10th for Yarborough on supers and13th overall in 77 races.
35 Ontario, CA Feb 28, 1971 First win for A.J. Foyt.
37 Talladega, AL May 16, 1971 First win for D. Allison.
39 Ontario, CA Mar 5, 1972 25th superspeedway win; fourth and last with Foyt.
40 Darlington, SC Apr 16, 1972 Pearson wins from pole in 1st start for Woods.
44 Brooklyn, MI Aug 20, 1972 30th superspeedway win.
45 Dover, DE Sep 17, 1972 Eighth superspeedway win of season ties record.
50 Talladega, AL May 6, 1973 Record 35th superspeedway win; Holman-Moody set career mark of 34 in 1971; Pearson ties record of four consecutive superspeedway wins.
55 Dover, DE Sep 16, 1973 40th superspeedway win.
56 Rockingham, NC Oct 21, 1973 Record 10th superspeedway win for 1 season.
60 Daytona Beach, FL Jul 4, 1974 45th superspeedway win.
65 Brooklyn, MI Jun 15, 1975 50th superspeedway win.
70 Darlington, SC Apr 11, 1976 55th superspeedway win.
75 Darlington, SC Sep 6, 1976 Win Triple Crown (Daytona 500, World 600, Southern 500); 60th superspeedway win.
76 Ontario, CA Nov 21, 1976 Tie own superspeedway record of 10 wins in 1 season.
79 Rocingham, NC Mar 5, 1978 100th career win for Pearson.
80 Dover, DE May 21, 1978 65th superspeedway win.
82 Brooklyn, MI Aug 20, 1978 Pearson’s 42nd superspeedway win and 43rd overall as Woods’ driver; record 26th super race won from pole, 18 by Pearson.
83 Dover, DE May 20, 1979 N. Bonnett wins first race in third start for Woods.
85 Atlanta, GA Nov 4, 1979 70th superspeedway win.
90 Atlanta, GA Nov 8, 1981 75th superspeedway win.
91 Charlotte, NC May 30, 1982 Bonnett’s ninth and last win for Woods.
92 Daytona Beach, FL Jul 4, 1983 Buddy Baker’s only win in two seasons (1983-84) with Woods.
93 Richmond, VA Feb 23, 1986 Kyle Petty wins first race in 30th start for Woods; win ends 61-race drought.
94 Charlotte, NC May 24, 1987 Petty breaks Woods’ losing streak at 72 races on superspeedways; Petty’s second and last win with Woods.
95 Brooklyn, MI Aug 18, 1991 Dale Jarrett wins first race in 43rd start for Woods.
96 Atlanta, GA Mar 20, 1993 Morgan Shepherd wins first race in 33rd start for Woods; record 80th win for Woods on tracks of a mile or longer.
- New York City Dec 2, 1994 Exceed $1 million in prize money first time.
- New York City Dec 1, 1995 Won The Bill France Award of Excellence
- Charlotte, NC May 18, 1996 In Michael Waltrip’s first season as driver, won The Winston Select all-star race first time and $200,000.
- RICHMOND, VA Sep 9, 1999 Received Spirit of Ford Award.
- 2000 Racing Season Jan 1, 2000 Wood Brothers Racing celebrates 50 Years in racing.
- Novi, MI Jun 1, 2000 Glen & Leonard inducted into Motorsports Hall of Fame
97 Bristol Mar 25, 2001 Elliott Sadler’s first Winston Cup victory, and first victory with Motorcraft
- Darlington, SC Sep 1, 2001 Glen inducted into NMPA Hall of Fame
- Darlington, SC Sep 1, 2001 Leonard inducted into NMPA Hall of Fame
- Stuart, VA Jan 1, 1950 1950 to present – only raced Ford products
- Stuart, VA Jan 1, 1950 1950 to present – Six decades of winning
Grand National Statistics
Year Age Races Win T5 T10 Pole Laps Led Earnings Rank AvSt AvFn
1953 27 2 of 37 0 0 0 0 274 0 125 64   25.0
1954 28 1 of 37 0 0 0 0 33 0 0 215   41.0
1955 29 1 of 45 0 0 0 0 55 0 0 242 23.0 26.0
1956 30 2 of 56 0 0 0 0 177 0 50 246 8.0 27.0
1957 31 6 of 53 0 0 1 0 1062 0 1,670 74 14.7 15.0
1958 32 10 of 51 0 1 7 3 2348 360 3,120   4.5 10.2
1959 33 20 of 44 0 9 13 3 4186 98 6,875 57 6.5 9.7
1960 34 9 of 44 3 6 7 4 2206 766 5,260 103 2.6 6.8
1961 35 6 of 52 0 3 3 1 1101 138 2,000 65 4.5 11.2
1963 37 3 of 55 1 2 2 2 571 268 1,070 73 1.3 6.3
1964 38 2 of 62 0 1 1 1 305 5 530 100 2.5 11.0
11 years 62 4 22 34 14 12318 1635 20,700   6.1 11.7

 

 


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