The past and present of the Wood Brothers and their Motorcraft/Quick Lane team come together this week as they’re preparing the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang that Paul Menard will race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway while also unveiling their Southern 500 car, which is inspired by the 1957 Ford Sunliner raced by the team’s late founder Glenn Wood.
Wood’s son Eddie said he’s looking forward to this weekend’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at Loudon, N.H., a popular stop on the Monster Energy Cup Series circuit.
“We only go to New Hampshire once a year now, so it’s good to get to see that area and the great fan base there,” he said. “And we’re hoping to take some of what we learned at Richmond Raceway, where we ran well, and see how much of that applies at New Hampshire.”
Wood also is proud to help unveil the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team’s contribution to the popular annual throwback-themed weekend at NASCAR’s original superspeedway, Darlington Raceway.
The red-and-black paint scheme is patterned after the 1957 Sunliner that Glenn Wood raced in 1957 in his only Darlington appearance as a driver.
Wood, with relief from Fonty Flock, finished 17th in the Rebel 300 after blowing an engine.
Wood also raced the ’57 at Daytona in 1958 in the Convertible circuit’s final appearance on the beach-road course that preceded Daytona International Speedway. He finished sixth in that race.
Wood, one of the top stars of the Convertible circuit, had his best season in 1957, winning four races and two poles and finishing in the top five in 23 of the 46 races that year.
For his 89-race Convertible career, Wood had five wins, 43 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes and nine poles.
He also raced the ’57 in the series now known as Monster Energy Cup, simply bolting on a top to make it legal for the elite division.
The original car had an interesting history. It started its life doing endurance testing at Ford’s proving grounds in the desert.
“They were going to scrap it once the endurance testing was over, but my Dad found out about it and called John Cowley, who ran Ford’s NASCAR effort back then,” Wood said. “He gave the car to my Dad and they made a race car out of it.”
“They kept the red-and-black paint scheme that was on the car during the endurance tests.”
Wood said he, his family and the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are thankful for the chance to honor his father, who died January 18th of this year.
“You want to honor your dad the best way you can,” Eddie Wood said. “And for racers, the throwback weekend at Darlington provides the perfect opportunity to do that.”
Wood said his family and the race team considered honoring Wood at Darlington last year but chose to recognize former driver Cale Yarborough on the 50th anniversary of his first Southern 500 triumph, which came aboard the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Mercury. It also was the first Southern 500 win for the Woods.
“It would have been nice to do it last year, but it’s nice to do it now,” Wood said. “It’s really a special paint scheme, for sure.”
But first there’s business to be done at New Hampshire, where Cup qualifying is set for Friday at 4:30 p.m., and Sunday’s 301-mile race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 3 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBCSN.