Races [?12] that Motorcraft / Quick Lane has been/is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2016:
All so far except:
Indianapolis - 7/24, Quicklane
Bristol - 8/20, Virginia Tech / Motorcraft
Darlington - 9/4, David Pearson 1976 Mercury Montego
Richmond - 9/10, SKF
Martinsville - 10/23, Virginia Tech / Motorcraft
Phoenix - 11/13, SKF
Homestead - 11/20, Motorcraft / JDRF
Contract Status: Driver: 2017+; Primary Sponsor: 2016
Blaney To Honor The Late Neil Bonnett At Talladega: Ryan Blaney and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are planning an encore presentation of their throwback theme first used at the Darlington Raceway earlier this season. Blaney, at his own request, will wear the same uniform he wore during the Southern 500 to honor David Pearson. At Talladega, he'll wear the uniform in honor of both Pearson and the late Neil Bonnett, who was from Bessemer, Ala., and considered Talladega his home track. Bonnett succeeded Pearson as driver of the iconic #21 midway through the 1979 season and used a uniform just like the one Pearson wore. Once aboard the #21, Bonnett won in his third start, at Dover. He won twice more that season, at Daytona and Atlanta. In 1980, he won back-to-back races at Pocono Raceway and Talladega. He won three more in 1981 and another in 1982, giving him nine wins in four seasons, all while running a limited schedule. His 1980 win at Talladega was classic Neil Bonnett. He had the #21 out front seven times for 53 laps, but won the race in dramatic fashion. A restart with seven laps remaining set up a shootout for the win between Bonnett, Cale Yarborough, Benny Parsons and Dale Earnhardt Sr. Yarbrough took the lead at the drop of the green flag, but Bonnett, who had been leading prior to the final caution flag, wasn't done, as team co-owner Eddie Wood recalled. It took Bonnett three laps to regain the lead, and he led the final four - just like the week before at Pocono - to score the win. Behind him, Yarborough edged Earnhardt for second place with Parsons finishing fourth.(Wood Brothers Racing)(10-21-2016)
SKF debuting on the #21 at Richmond: The #21 Wood Brothers Ford Fusion, with Ryan Blaney at the wheel, will hit the track at Richmond International Speedway this weekend with a new look representing technical partner SKF, the leading global supplier of friction-reducing solutions for industrial and transportation applications. Saturday's race at Richmond marks the first of two appearances of the SKF Ford Fusion this season, the second coming at Phoenix in November. At Richmond, the iconic #21 also will carry the colors of Motion Industries, a key distributor partner for SKF. The Motion Industries logo will adorn the hood of the SKF Fusion. Last year, SKF partnered with Blaney and the Wood Brothers in three events. In 2014, Blaney and Bullins made their first-ever Sprint Cup starts at Kansas Speedway, where Blaney finished 27th in a race that also was Bullins' first race as a Cup crew chief. SKF returned later that season to Blaney's #12 Ford Fusion at Talladega where he started fourth, led 15 laps and finished 22nd. SKF, like the Wood Brothers, has a rich racing heritage, with sponsorship's at all levels of motorsports. For more than 18 years, SKF has partnered with NASCAR as both a sponsor and technical partner.(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the car on the #21 team paint schemes page)(9-9-2016)
Blaney could be fined for not wearing gloves: #21-Ryan Blaney might have gone just a little bit too far in getting into the throwback spirit of the Darlington Raceway weekend. Now NASCAR has to decide whether to slap him on the wrist. His bare wrist. Blaney, driving a car that carries a paint scheme reminiscent of the 1976 paint scheme David Pearson drove for the Wood Brothers, went out for practice Saturday morning with no gloves. NASCAR noticed it after his second run and ordered the 2016 Wood Brothers driver to come back to the garage for gloves. If NASCAR follows its rule book to the letter of the law, Blaney faces a fine "of up to $1,000" for a P1 safety infraction.
The 22-year-old Blaney had no clue he could get fined for going out on the track without gloves. "I wanted to go out there with no gloves," Blaney said. "They didn't have gloves in the '70s, you know? They didn't wear them. ... I've never done it before. I've never gone out with no gloves before. I thought it was appropriate to go do it just for the weekend."
Prior to practice, Blaney also had a pair of old-style loafers. He did change to driving shoes, not because it was a rule but out of necessity. "I knew I couldn't make a lap in them things -- they'd slide off my feet," Blaney said. "They said Pearson used to drive in those. I don't know how he did that."(ESPN.com)(9-4-2016)
Virginia Tech featured on the #21 at Bristol and Martinsville: The Virginia Tech Athletics Department and Wood Brothers Racing announced that the NASCAR Sprint Cup race team will display a Virginia Tech paint scheme on its cars for upcoming races at Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. The paint scheme is being used to promote both the school's academic programs and the athletics department as part of the department's "This is Home" marketing campaign. The Virginia Tech football team will play Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 10 - a game that may break college football's all-time single-game attendance mark - and the car will be displayed at that game. The car will feature a primary color of maroon, with orange and white accent stripes. Ryan Blaney, who drives the Wood Brothers' #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, will wear a fire suit and a helmet with Virginia Tech colors and the team will be wearing Virginia Tech shirts.(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the car on the #21 team paint schemes page.(8-15-2016)
Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford to pay tribute to Pearson at Darlington: Wood Brothers Racing and Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing unveiled their throw-back paint scheme for the Bojangles' Southern 500 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The design is a tribute to the 1976 Mercury Montego that David Pearson drove to the unofficial NASCAR triple crown that Bicentennial year four decades ago. With Hall of Fame crew chief Leonard Wood calling the shots from the pit area, Pearson grabbed the triple crown by winning the Daytona 500, the World 600 at Charlotte and the Southern 500, and added seven other victories that season. "We are so excited that we were able to work with Motorcraft, Quick Lane and Ford Performance to make this paint scheme happen," said Eddie Wood, co-owner of the Wood Brothers Racing Team. "It's hard to believe that it's been 40 years since all that happened." The scheme includes Pearson's name on the door honoring the winningest driver in the Wood Brothers' storied 66-year history.
"David Pearson is such an important part of our history, getting 43 of our 98 wins over seven years, that we're proud to put his name on this race car," said team co-owner Len Wood, who along with his brother oversaw the execution of the design down to the smallest detail. "We had to incorporate our current sponsor Motorcraft/Quick Lane into this design yet stay true to the original, right down to the blue stripes across the hood and down the side panels and the silver wheels." The iconic #21's Darlington paint scheme includes an image of a Motorcraft oil filter on the C pillar just as there was for Purolator in 1976. The Wood Brothers ran just two cars, the same two cars, between 1976 and 1980. One was set up for speedways and the other for short tracks. The original speedway model is in the Speedway Motors Museum of Speed in Lincoln, Neb. The short-track variation is on display in America's Car Museum in Tacoma, Wash. In 1976, in addition to the triple crown, the cars won 10 of the 22 races they started, led 1,227 laps, captured eight poles and posted 16 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. The non-triple crown victories came at Riverside (2), Atlanta, Darlington, Michigan (2) and Ontario (Calif.). The cars ran as Montegos again in 1977 when they won at Riverside and Darlington and grabbed five pole positions, again with Pearson behind the wheel, Wrigley's Spearmint Gum duct taped to the dash as was his custom. In 1978, 1979 and 1980, the cars ran as Cougars and an opera window replaced the oil filter on the C pillar. As Cougars, they combined for five poles and six wins including triumphs at Dover, Daytona, Charlotte, Darlington, Pocono and Talladega.
Pearson shared driving duties with Neil Bonnett in 1979 and Bonnett became the team's sole wheel man in 1980. If anyone thinks the "throwback" paint schemes at Darlington are solely for older NASCAR fans, they are mistaken. A year ago, a 14-year-old fan from Tennessee named Skyler Fox sent his idea for a throwback paint scheme to Wood Brothers Racing. It also was based on the 1976 paint scheme. "I really enjoy old racing," Fox said. "The throwback race brings back lots of things I never was able to see. This scheme always stood out to me because it was one of the Daytona 500-winning schemes. It also is one of the cleanest, fastest-looking schemes ever." Also at Darlington this year, driver Ryan Blaney will wear a fire suit patterned after the suit Pearson wore in 1976. "When I first started driving for the Wood Brothers last season, I knew it was going to be a special experience," Blaney said. "But being able to drive the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Fusion with a paint scheme that really highlights the team's great history is truly an honor." In addition, Wood Brothers crew members will be wearing uniforms - complete with white pants with a blue stripe down each leg - that match those worn by their predecessors 40 years ago.(Wood Brothers Racing), see an image of the scheme on the #21 Team Schemes page (8-2-2016)
"This raffle presents an excellent opportunity for everyone to help JDRF raise funds to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and have a chance to experience NASCAR like few others," said Brett Wheatley, executive director of North America, Ford Customer Service Division. "The winner will get exclusive access to what goes on at the race track during the most important weekend of the season - Ford Championship Weekend." All proceeds from the raffle will go directly to JDRF. To purchase raffle tickets for a donation of $10, visit www.jdrf.org/Motorcraft.
The VIP Motorcraft Racing Experience of a Lifetime includes:
Round-trip airfare for the winner and three guests to Miami, Fla.
Three nights' hotel accommodations.
Honorary pit crew status for the #21 Ford Fusion with exclusive team, driver and track access.
Tickets to the Ford EcoBoost 400 on Nov. 20, which will decide the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.
A Visa gift card for meals and car rental.
Motorcraft autograph and apparel package.
Tickets are available through Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016 and the winning ticket will be drawn at the Ford Conference and Events Center in Dearborn, Mich., on Friday, Sept. 30 at approximately 12:30 p.m. Ford Motor Company's relationship with JDRF spans three decades. In 2008, Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing joined efforts and has since raised more than $400,000 for JDRF, the world's leading charitable funder of T1D research.(7-30-2016)
Wood Brothers' Ford to change look at Indy to support scholarship program: When the Wood Brothers' historic #21 Ford takes to the famous 2.5-mile oval at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 24 for the Crown Royal presents the Combat Wounded Coalition 400 at the Brickyard, it will have a decidedly different look and a very noble purpose. The look is the blue Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers livery for the only time in 2016. The purpose is to promote Quick Lane's new "Trading One Uniform for Another" scholarship program for veterans. To help veterans acquire the skills they need to become automotive technicians, Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers will award $10,000 scholarships to five veterans. The funds are used to pay for tuition, books and fees at any community college, university, trade or vocational school with an accredited program in automotive mechanics in the United States. "We are honored that Quick Lane has decided to use our car to deliver its message about 'Trading One Uniform for Another,'" said Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood. "Our uncle, (Hall of Fame crew chief) Leonard Wood, is a veteran and we've always held those who served in high esteem. This scholarship program is an excellent opportunity for them." Everyone is invited to nominate veterans for these scholarships by going to www.QLtradingone.com and writing a short essay on why their nominee is a deserving recipient. Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers will select 10 finalists from all qualified nominees. In November, which is Military Appreciation Month, Quick Lane Tire & Auto Centers will reveal the finalists at www.QLtradingone.com and invite everyone to vote for a finalist to receive a scholarship. Quick Lane will announce the five scholarship recipients at this year's Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field in Detroit on Dec. 26.(Wood Brothers Racing), see image of the scheme on the #21 Teams Schemes page.(7-10-2016)
Four Rookies wreck at Kentucky, comments from each: Four of the five rookie of the year candidates had issues in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday night: #21-Blaney, #24=Elliott, #34-Buscher and #44-Scott were involved in accidents. On lap 89, #21-Ryan Blaney got stuck in the middle between #24-Elliott on the top and #16-Biffle who was below the #21. Blaney and Elliott made contact, sending both backing into the wall. Then, on Lap 93, #44-Scott got loose, then made contact with #42-Larson, sending the #44 sliding. #34-Buescher had no place to go and hit the #44 Ford sending it into the inside wall. #47-Allmendinger and #95-Dillon were also involved. Comments/Quotes from each:
Q) YOUR CREW IS MAKING REPAIRS, BUT TAKE ME THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED. DID YOU REALIZE YOU WERE GOING THREE-WIDE?
Elliott: "Yeah, kind of at the last second I heard them say three, and I really didn't know how that was going to work. And there's really not enough room. I felt like I was I was about at the top of the gray; or the bottom of the gray; as about at the top as I could be without getting up in the mess. I tried to give as much room as I could do as possible. That's racing, I guess. We'll just try to go get 'em next week. The good news is we had a fast NAPA Chevy; the bad news is that we've had three bad weeks in a row. So, for us; we've just got to go back and get the job done, bottom line. So, we'll try again next week."
Q) WE JUST SAW ANOTHER BIG WRECK THAT TOOK OUT A LOT OF CARS. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU TO TRY AND MAKE THE REPAIRS AND GET BACK OUT?
Elliott: "Well, it's definitely important. It's not as important as winning. That's the most important thing, for us, at this point. That's our goal. Just because we had a bad night tonight doesn't mean our goal has changed. So, we'll try to get 'em next week."
Q) WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOW THAT ALL TRANSPIRED?
Elliott: "Just being top of (Turn) 3 and there is really not enough room to be three-wide, so I heard at the last second we were three-wide and I had a feeling that we were just because we got bottled up there off of (Turn) 2. I tried to give as much room as I possibly could to stay at the top of the black and out of the grey. I didn't know how much further out I could get without wrecking myself without any help. I guess Ryan (Blaney) just got loose and got us, but that is racing. The good news is we had another fast car, the bad news that is the third bad week in a row. We will try to regroup and go get 'em wherever we go next."
Q) WHAT HAPPENED?
Elliott: "Just got three-wide, had a bad corner there in (Turn) 2 and got us bottled up. Once that happened guys obviously tried to pounce and make things happen. For me, I was kind of the guy on the outside lane. I tried to get out as far as I felt like I could without getting up in the grey. I know every time somebody has got in the grey this weekend it has been bad news. I was trying to stay out of that myself. I guess Ryan (Blaney) got loose in the middle and that is an easy thing to do. It's slick." Q) HOW SLICK WAS IT? WAS THE DRIVING TONIGHT AS CRAZY AS EVERYBODY THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE?
Elliott: "It's just such a fine line. There is just not a lot of room for error. The groove is so narrow that if you make a mistake you just kind of have to stop in your tracks. You can't necessarily slide up and gather yourself back up in a wider spot. You just kind of have to try to keep it wherever you are and obviously the people coming behind you. That is part of it I guess and like I said we will try to come back and have a better week next week."(Team Chevy)
#21-Ryan Blaney: "That restart was pretty hectic from the beginning with the 78 getting loose and it kind of put everybody in a bad spot, and it wound up with us being in the middle of three-wide into three. It's so hard to get into that corner all night with a car close to behind you and outside of you, and no one lifting either, and it's just an unfortunate spot we got put in and I hate to see two really good cars tore up. We were both very fast tonight (24 and 21) and it's just a really unfortunate deal, but we'll try to get it fixed and get back out there and make some laps."
#34-Chris Buescher: "I was really happy with our Love's Ford Fusion. Our fire-off speed was excellent and this was the best car we've had all year. The guys did a heck of a job. Unfortunately, the call was made to run practice during our qualifying time and we started by points. We've had three of these situations at superspeedways already this year and just didn't put us in a good place for the start and the pit selection wasn't good because of it, and we ended up in a bad spot because of it. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Q) HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE TRACK TONIGHT?
Buescher: "They did a good job with the repave. The track is a lot of fun to drive. Everybody keeps begging for less and less downforce, and we keep seeing more and more incidents because of it. I think it has made better racing at a lot of race tracks, but it's not easy to get into turn three here side-by-side."
#44-Brian Scott: "The 11 was pretty tight on my door and I had the 42 up my bumper there on that restart and these cars are pretty difficult to drive when you're in that type of situation. I was expecting it and when it happened I thought I had it saved. I was just trying to gather it back up and lose the spots we were gonna lose, but go on and then some cars barreled in pretty fast from behind and caused a pile up. It started with me. It's a product of new paves. You just don't have any room and everybody holds each other really tight, and it's just difficult. This low downforce package is racing really well, but it doesn't really matter what downforce package you have when you've got two cars really tight on you from behind and on the side you just have no air on your car and there was nothing I could do."(Ford Performance)(7-9-2016)
Dave Blaney injured at Eldora: Former NASCAR driver Dave Blaney, father of Sprint Cup rookie Ryan Blaney, was transported to an Ohio hospital Friday night after crashing during qualifying at Eldora Speedway, a track spokesperson told NBC Sports. Blaney was competing with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at the half-mile dirt track owned by NASCAR driver Tony Stewart. Blaney hit the Turn 1 wall and flipped multiple times. The car landed in Turn 2. He was taken by ground to a local hospital and was awake and alert, according to a track spokesperson. A LifeFlight helicopter was on site but wasn't needed to transport Blaney to a local hospital. Blaney's daughter, Emma, provided an update Friday night on Twitter: "Thank you for all the prayers. My dad is one tough guy. He is a little sore but going to be okay... probably already watching dirtvision".(NBC Sports)(5-7-2016)
Wood Brothers returning to Martinsville as a full-time team: 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 .526-mile track on Apr. 3, it will mark 45,000 laps in Cup competition at Martinsville for the Wood Brothers.(NASCAR Wire Service)(3-28-2016)
Wood Brothers head to Auto Club Down One Man: Ryan Blaney and the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team head into Sunday's Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway without the services of the team's longest-serving road crew member other than those related to the Wood Brothers. Michael "Andretti" Smith tore his bicep muscle loose from his shoulder and fifty percent apart from his elbow while trying to hold a full can of gasoline out over the wall during a pit stop at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Smith was able to continue his role on the Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew for the remainder of that race, since the remaining stops that day required only one can of fuel, which he was able to hand over to the gas man despite the injury and the pain. After consulting doctors, he decided to forego surgery and basically let his muscle reattach itself, although that will leave him with a slight bulge known as a "Popeye Muscle." Doctors told Smith that with surgery he risked another tear that could cause him to lose some use of his wrist and fingers. He plans to return to the team after the Easter Break, at Martinsville Speedway, his home track. In the meantime, Jeffery Thousand and Wade Moore both from Team Penske are on loan to the team to fill in for Smith.(Wood Brothers Racing)(3-18-2016)
First back-to-back top 10s for #21 team in 11 years: Ryan Blaney and the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team backed up their sixth-place finish at Las Vegas a week ago with a 10th place finish in Sunday's Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. It was the first back-to-back top-10 finish for the Wood Brothers team since Ricky Rudd scored a pair of ninth-place finishes at Kansas and Charlotte in the fall of 2005. Blaney qualified 12th for the 500-kilometer run at Phoenix, where he'd never before raced a Sprint Cup car.(Wood Brothers Racing)(3-15-2016)
Wood Brothers crew member misses first race in 26 years: You don't hear many stories like this in any sport, but this past weekend in Phoenix Wood Brothers Racing crew member Andretti Smith missed his first race since October 1990. The veteran pit crew member spent his first 24 years in the sport going over the wall with the Wood Brothers, doing everything from carrying to changing tires and finished up gassing his last eight years. When the Wood Brothers aligned with Team Penske two years ago, Smith started handing in the second gas can from behind the wall. "I did everything over the wall," Smith said. "I carried from 1990 to '92, jacked from '92-94, changed from '95-05, and then gassed from '06-'14." It was the behind the wall help that sidelined Smith following the Las Vegas race earlier this season. "I tore my biceps at the top of the shoulder and 50 percent at the elbow. It happened handing in the second can during the Vegas race." Smith hopes to be back at the track as early as Martinsville, depending on how his recovery goes.(PitTalks/NASCAR.com)(3-15-2016)
Penske still plans to add Blaney with a third team: Roger Penske has said his young NASCAR protege Ryan Blaney is "part of the family" and is moving closer to becoming a full-blown member of Penske's Sprint Cup lineup. Blaney, 22, is currently entered by the Wood Brothers, using equipment supplied by Penske. Blaney finished sixth at Las Vegas last weekend, and looks set to be brought even closer to the Penske fold next season. "Our goal is ultimately for that to be a Penske entry - or maybe a Wood-Penske entry, depending on how the Charter system works out," said Penske. "Today it's entered by the Wood Brothers, they're involved in the strategy, some of their guys work on it, and it's perfect. "You could call him the nephew, you could say. He's part of the family. He's in the shop, he briefs with us, it's a great setup." Penske said that it had a long-term strategy with Blaney, going forwards, and this way it could allow him to build his experience in a low-pressure environment before stepping up his level to being an expected regular frontrunner. "Our plan with [Blaney] has worked out well, he's been with us now for four years," he added. "The fact we've been able to provide the car and get [crew chief] Jeremy Bullins over there, and working with the Woods, it means we can build him without the pressure of being with Brad [Keselowski] and Joey [Logano]. But he can use them as a benchmark because he's got access to all their information, because the cars and pieces are the same.(Motorsport)(3-13-2016)
Roger Penske adds insight to team charter machinations: Roger Penske isn't showing any bitterness publicly over his driver #21-Ryan Blaney not having a guaranteed spot in the Sprint Cup field in 2016. Penske got charters for his two teams [#2, #22] but Blaney and crew chief Jeremy Bullins have been farmed out to the Wood Brothers Racing team, which didn't get a charter. Rob Kauffman was actively selling his two charters from the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing, which he sold to Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. The charters come with guaranteed starting spots and revenue streams. "There really wasn't any opportunity because the two that were available went to other guys that ran the full season last year, which was SHR and Gibbs," Penske said. "So we weren't really in the discussion. That was done between Kauffman and the two [other] teams." Penske says he hopes the charters "are worth a lot of money when I want to sell mine -- we've invested a lot." But Penske also might be looking for a charter to buy when he wants to bring Blaney in-house to Penske Racing. "It's really up to the Wood Brothers long-term what they want to do [as far as getting a charter]," Penske said. "They're very comfortable running as an open [without a charter] car. I think we are supporting them with equipment and technology, and with that they seem to be competitive and Blaney certainly will have a great career. Ultimately we'd like to go to three cars at some point [at Penske], [but] that's certainly in the distant future." Penske has long-term agreements with Blaney as well as with the Wood Brothers.(ESPN.com)(2-21-2016)
Wood Brothers Racing leaves Race Team Alliance: Wood Brothers Racing team members expressed disappointment Friday that they didn't receive one of 36 charters issued by NASCAR this week and said they had pulled out of the Race Team Alliance. The 36 teams with charters have automatic starting spots in each Sprint Cup race. The other four spots on each starting grid will be available to "open" teams like the Woods and their driver, Ryan Blaney, through qualifying. Although the Woods' team, one of the oldest in NASCAR, has been racing since the sanctioning body's first season, the fact that it has been running part-time over the past several years caused the #21 to fail to meet the numbers for a charter. Ironically, the Woods decided last year to run full-time this season and now face having to qualify via speed every week. Should Blaney be one of the 16 drivers to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup, under the current rules, he would have to qualify for those races too, taking one of the four Open slots in the new system. "It's all going to work out," said team co-owner Eddie Wood. "I promise. It's going to be OK." Jon Wood, Eddie's son and the team's business manager, said it was evident during preliminary charter discussions last season that the #21 would not be among the teams receiving charters.(USA Today), see transcript at Ford Racing (2-15-2016)
Wood Brothers Racing make statement: "We can't express enough how proud and thankful we are for the overwhelming expression of support for our team. NASCAR has pressed the reset button on the ownership structure and we hope it takes the sport in a positive direction. We have endured challenges throughout our 66 years and will undoubtedly face more in the future, but that's what makes our team unique. We take great pride in our organization's reputation and our loyal fans are nothing short of amazing. The main focus right now is to be the best team we can possibly be. Motorcraft and Ford Performance have put tremendous faith in us and our objective is to make the most of this 2016 season and beyond. We know there are numerous questions and as a result, Eddie, Len and Jon Wood will be addressing any available media at the speedway on Friday, February 12, at 1:00pm/et behind their hauler in the Sprint Cup garage.(WBR Facebook)(2-11-2016)
Wood Brothers Racing add veteran tire changers to pit crew: Rookie Ryan Blaney will have veteran tire changers Shannon Myers and Ryan Langley manning the stops at Daytona. Both changers were at Michael Waltrip Racing last year and come over with loads of experience and talent. Carrier Jesse Mills will be carrying fronts with longtime jackman Chris Conklin in the middle. The back of the car has Josh Chaney carrying tires and gassing will be Andrew Lackey.(Pit Talks)(2-11-2016)
Gibbs, Stewart Haas expected to buy charters; HScott to lease one UPDATE: There are 38 teams committed to full-time racing in 2016. Four weren't awarded charters -- Joe Gibbs Racing's #19-Carl Edwards (team started in 2015), Stewart-Haas Racing's #41-Kurt Busch (2014), HScott Motorsports' #46-Michael Annett (2015) and #21-Wood Brothers Racing's Ryan Blaney (formerly part-time team now going full time). Former Michael Waltrip Racing owner Rob Kauffman, who has two charters from his teams that ceased operations after last year, said he expects to sell his charters to JGR (for Edwards) and SHR (for Busch). Kauffman estimated the value of a charter at the "single-digit millions." The transfer of a charter must be approved by NASCAR, which will charge an administrative fee but not get a percentage of the sale. All NASCAR team owners will be allowed to see the transfer application, which would include the price of the charter sold. Charters can only be sold prior to the start of a season and can be transferred only once every five years.(NBC Sports)
AND According to Motorsports' Lee Spencer, "Been told Jay Robinson (Premium Motorsports) has leased his charter to @Team_HSM #46. Hearing $1.6m for lease of charter.(2-9-2016)
UPDATE: A representative for SHR said Tuesday afternoon that "Stewart-Haas Racing will have four Charters and that process is nearly complete." A Joe Gibbs Racing representative said Tuesday afternoon that it was "just a matter of finalizing the transaction" that would bring a Charter to the #19 entry.(NASCAR.com)
AND: ESPN.com's Bob Pockrass tweeted that an HScott spokesman said: "HSM intends to field two full time cars for the 2016 season and is in the process of finalizing an agreement."(2-10-2016)
UPDATE2: HScott Motorports confirmed Tuesday that it is in the process of leasing second charter from another team to ensure that Michael Annett is in every Sprint Cup points race this season. The charter will return to the other team after this season.(NBC Sports)(2-11-2016)
NASCAR expected to announce charter system Tuesday UPDATE: NASCAR will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon at 1:30pm with NASCAR CEO Brian France where they are expected to announce the details on a new charter system for Sprint Cup teams. The agreement is expected to guarantee a certain number of starting spots in the field to certain owners and shrink the race field to 40 cars. The system would provide owners with additional revenue and give them more value for their teams.
The press conference will be shown online at NASCAR.com.(2-8-2016)(2-8-2016)
UPDATE: Now that the paperwork is signed, how much one of these franchises -- "charters" as NASCAR will call them -- is worth in the coming years is as big a guess as picking the winner of the Daytona 500. The new system is to guarantee 36 owners a certain amount of revenue as well as starting positions in what will be a 40-car field, down from 43. There would be no buy-in for the initial 36 charters -- they will go to owners whose cars have attempted every race since 2013. The owners, who likely will have to meet a performance clause to keep a charter, can opt to sell them to the highest bidder. There currently are 38 full-time teams announced for the 2016 Sprint Cup season, and four would not meet the criteria to get a charter. Joe Gibbs Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing are expected to purchase two charters from the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing [for the teams of #19-Edwards & #41-Busch]. The other two -- #21-Wood Brothers Racing and one of the two HScott Motorsports cars -- would either need to purchase a charter from an existing team or have to be among the four at-large qualifiers each week. There have been 41 announced entries for the Daytona 500, although that number could change. The system should give organizations more value to potential investors and buyers. Teams will still need sponsorship to be competitive -- sponsorship makes up about 70-75 percent of a team's revenues. It is likely that whatever MWR owner Rob Kauffman sells his charters for will at least set an initial standard. And it remains to be seen whether future owners will come from racing fans with money or private equity firms.(ESPN.com)(2-9-2016)
Wood Brother's looking for additional sponsorship: #21-Wood Brothers Racing will be running a full NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule for the first time since 2008. Ryan Blaney will drive the #21 Ford, running for Rookie of the Year. The team spoke about that topic as part of Wednesday's Charlotte Media Tour at the Ford Technical Center. Eddie Wood was asked: How many of the 36 races will we see Motorcraft (and Quick Lane) on the (#21) car?
Wood answered: "They're still working on that. I know for a minimum it will be 12 races, just like it's been in the past. As we said at Homestead when we announced this, we're also trying to get other partners involved with other races to help make it all work for everyone. That's kind of an ongoing work in progress. I'm like you, I'm really partial to the red and white, but if someone comes up and they need it to be pink or purple, that's fine with us as long as we can go to the race track."(Ford Racing)(1-21-2016)
Wood Brothers returning to full-time racing in 2016: #21-Wood Brothers Racing announced that it will run a full, 36-race schedule in 2016 with Ryan Blaney continuing as the team's driver contending for a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship with Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Ford Performance returning as anchor sponsors. "We are beyond excited to make this announcement about going back to full time competition," said Eddie Wood, team co-owner, at a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend. "It has been something we've worked toward since 2009 when we started running limited schedules. I have to thank Ford's Dave Pericak and Raj Nair, Edsel Ford, our technical alliance partners Team Penske and Roush Yates Engines, as well as everyone at Motorcraft, for working with us to make this day possible. It'll be fun to see just how good Ryan Blaney, Jeremy Bullins and our team can be over a full season. Lastly, it'll be great not to have to worry about rain anymore on qualifying day."
Due to their limited schedule and the current point system, inclement weather prevented Wood Brothers Racing from qualifying for three races in which they were slated to run this season. "We are proud to have played a role in helping get the Wood Brothers back on the track full time for 2016," said Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. "These guys have been Ford's most-loyal team for 65 years and they deserve the chance to show how they can perform when they are at every race. They've earned a full-time slot by running strong all year, even under adversity. We plan on being part of this when they capture their 100th Cup victory."
"This is a day everyone has looked forward to," said Edsel B. Ford II, board member, Ford Motor Company. "The Wood Brothers represent everything that is great about this sport - tradition, family, loyalty, competition. When we asked them to regroup and consider going part-time in 2009, it was always with an eye on getting back to this day. And we are thrilled it is finally here." Thus far in 2015, the Wood Brothers' iconic #21's best finishes were fourth in the spring Talladega race, 12th at the Brickyard, 14th in the fall Charlotte race and seventh in the most-recent Kansas race. Even in the four races when the team had engine problems, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion was running toward the front of the field when the trouble arose.
"This is every driver's dream come true," Blaney said, "Getting a chance to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I'm really looking forward to running a full schedule with this historic Wood Brothers team and hopefully get them their 99th and 100th wins sooner rather than later." Motorcraft's partnership with Wood Brothers Racing began in 2001 and quickly bore fruit by winning the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway with Elliott Sadler behind the wheel. The Motorcraft-Wood Brothers pairing had its greatest triumph in 2011 when rookie driver Trevor Bayne captured the Daytona 500. "We are thrilled to have been able to work with Ford Performance to make the Wood Brothers' a full-time race team for the 2016 NASCAR season," said Mary Lou Quesnell, director of marketing for Ford Customer Service Division. "Wood Brothers Racing has been an excellent representative of our brands for 15 years and we look forward to seeing the famous #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion on the track week after week." In addition to Motorcraft and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Centers, the team will look to add additional sponsors to the roster during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.(Wood Brothers Racing)(11-20-2015)
AND According to NASCAR officials, Blaney will be eligible to run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in 2016 on a one-time exemption, even though he has 17 Sprint Cup starts to his credit, 15 this season. Blaney was not a candidate for the rookie award this year.(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-20-2015)
Wood Brothers returning to full-time racing in 2016: The Wood Brothers, NASCAR's oldest active team that has fielded entries in the Sprint Cup Series since 1950, will return to full-time racing in 2016, multiple sources have confirmed. Ryan Blaney will compete fulltime with the team in the series in 2016. It will mark the first time since 2006 the Wood Brothers have attempted to field a fulltime team in the Cup series. An official announcement is expected Friday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Motorcraft will remain the anchor sponsor for the #21 Ford and Blaney in 2016.(Motorsport)(11-20-2015)
Team Penske plans to eventually have four teams: For Team Penske to make the next progression longer-term, president Tim Cindric said, it will eventually have to field four teams, like powers Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Until then, he said, the organization will not be regarded as an "elite team."
"I don't think we're looked at as that yet," Cindric said. "I mean, you look at the pedigree, and you look at the time, it's only been since Joey arrived (in 2013) that we've had two cars consistently contending. I think you could say maybe there was a year with Brad and Kurt (Busch, in 2011) but before that, if you look at the 90s and you look at the 2000s time period, we were hit and miss. I don't think that we got to the point where we were a consistent contender with multiple cars, and I think we're almost over that hump. But I don't think we're viewed yet as an elite team within NASCAR because we only run two cars." Sponsorship shortfalls this summer quashed a plan to field a full-time program beginning in 2016 for Ryan Blaney, Cindric said. The 21-year-old is running partial national touring campaigns this season, with the Wood Brothers in Cup, for Penske in Xfinity, where he has won twice, and for Keselowski's trucks team, where he has one victory. "There's a certain tolerance that you have," Cindric said of sponsor money, "but you can't close the gap so far. For '17 it's a definite goal of ours to get ourselves back up to three and longer-term we want to be a four-car team." NASCAR currently limits to four the number of full-time Sprint Cup cars an organization can race. Teams capable of funding such operations benefit from economies of scale in building cars and information-gathering and -sharing. Of the three teams with the maximum, JGR qualified all four drivers for the 16-person Chase this season, HMS three and Stewart-Haas Racing two. "I think four is the right business model, but we felt like we had to go to two to get ourselves focused," Cindric said. "When you have two successful cars or one successful car and others that aren't successful, you spend as much time or more time on the car that is not successful. And we felt like we needed to take a step back and get ourselves to a point where we could simplify things.For sure we want to get back to three and eventually four. I do think four is easier to manage than three just because you typically have a better balance. I do think there is some truth to three's a crowd and it's harder to manage the three."(USA Today)(11-16-2015)
MWR Points for sale; RCR? Penske?: Before the fire sale begins at Michael Waltrip Racing, team owner Rob Kauffman has isolated a few assets that could bring a handsome price prior to the dissolution of the company at season's end. Among the coveted commodities remaining in the MWR inventory are the points from the #15 and #55 Toyotas. Two organizations that could be interested in obtaining those points are Richard Childress Racing for Ty Dillon and the Wood Brothers for Team Penske protege Ryan Blaney. Team owner Richard Childress said that the organization is still working on Dillon's schedule for next season but acknowledged,"Yeah, we're talking to some people about points in case we run him full-time next year. As of now, we're still in the making. We're still trying to find out the way to go."
Similarly, owner Roger Penske is contemplating Blaney's future. "We definitely want to work something out where we can run Blaney the whole season," Penske said. "Hopefully, a combination with the Woods or something here. We'll just have to see how the whole thing works out."(Motorsport)(9-11-2015)
Penske wants Blaney to run full-time in 2016: Roger Penske isn't only about championships. He eyes the future of his organization and can see Ryan Blaney, a 21-year-old driver whom Penske wants to run full-time Cup next year, possibly in a mix of cars fielded by Wood Brothers and Penske personnel. Blaney found out the true Penske a few weeks ago after Kyle Busch passed Blaney for the win on the last lap of the Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis. Penske texted him that night, and an entire group of Penske employees was part of a "pep rally" the next morning before Blaney got back behind the wheel for the Brickyard 400. Blaney finished 12th and then won the Xfinity race the following week at Iowa.(ESPN.com)(8-14-2015)
Penske wants to run Blaney full time in 2016 UPDATE: Roger Penske wants Ryan Blaney to run a full NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2016 with the Wood Brothers. Blaney, a Team Penske development driver, has been farmed out to the Wood Brothers for about 18 Cup races this year. Blaney has made four starts so far this season and finished a career-best fourth at Talladega three weeks ago. A lack of available seats has made it difficult for Penske to give Blaney many opportunities, and the Wood Brothers alliance has worked well for both sides. "This is a partnership really with Woods' people and ours," Penske said before Saturday night's All-Star race. "We've got the technology and the ability to build the right pieces for them. It's like a brother-in-law." Penske said he's not interested at this time in expanding his Cup program to three cars, but would like Blaney to run the full schedule in the #21 Ford assuming funding is found for the 21-year-old. "I'd hope there can be an extension - we're going to run him in about 18 races, so if we can get sponsorship for him, that gives him a chance to take a look at extending that through a full season next year. That would be our goal," Penske said.(Associated Press)(5-17-2015)
UPDATE: Officials with Wood Brothers Racing said Thursday that the legendary team could run a full 36-race schedule today in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, something the team hasn't done since 2006. But, said co-owner Len Wood at Charlotte Motor Speedway, "you've got to pay for it. We could go run 'em all (now), but it wouldn't be pretty. And with that being said, I don't think you could keep a sponsor like that either."(NASCAR.com)(5-22-2015)
Glen Wood at Daytona for 69th Consecutive Year: Daytona wouldn't be Daytona for Wood Brothers Racing if team patriarch Glen Wood wasn't sitting in front of the hauler holding court with the who's who of NASCAR racing. Wood, 89, is attending his 69th consecutive race on Florida's Atlantic coast. Starting in 1947 as a spectator to watch Curtis Turner drive, through driving to victory himself in the last three races run on the sand, to being the owner of a dominant team in the '60s and '70s, to being a proud father watching his sons follow in his footsteps, Wood hasn't missed a February in Daytona since shortly after World War II. "The first trip down here in 1947, we came not knowing anything about the place," Wood recalled. "It was just something off the wall to do. We heard about this big race by the ocean and we'd never heard of that. So we drove down here." His memory as sharp as ever, Wood remembers the two wood-slat bridges that led from the mainland to Daytona Beach. "Once in a while you'd hit a slat and it would break," he said with a chuckle. Rather than miles of high-rise hotels, he remembers small cabins and one-floor motels lining the Atlantic. The landscape wasn't that much different in 1953 when he and his brother, Leonard, brought a Ford from Virginia to the beach for the first time. Leonard Wood, who at age 80 still is active with the race team, fondly recalls his brother's wins on the beach. Len Wood, one of Glen's two sons and a team co-owner, says his father's attendance record at Daytona is important for team continuity. "For us, him being here 69 years in a row is part of our history, part of our tradition," he said. "He's a link back to earlier days when guys like Pearson, Foyt, Gurney and Yarborough drove for us. We brought the team (now comprised of several Team Penske personnel as a result of the technical alliance between the organizations) up to Stuart in January to give them a bit of a history lesson. Hopefully when they put on that 21 uniform they'll think about the past and try to make Ryan Blaney the next big star."(Wood Brothers Racing)(2-22-2015)
Jeremy Bullins named crew chief for Wood Brothers, Blaney: Wood Brothers Racing announced that Jeremy Bullins will rejoin the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion team next season to serve as the crew chief for Ryan Blaney in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2015 Daytona 500. Bullins returns to the Wood Brothers organization following a successful three-year tenure with Team Penske's #22 NASCAR Nationwide Series team that produced 21 wins and two consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series Owners' Championships. Bullins first worked with the Wood Brothers in 1999 on the Pro Cup and Late Model cars driven by Jon Wood. In 2000, Bullins became race engineer for the iconic No. 21 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, a position he held until June of 2002. Bullins moved on to work with ST Motorsports, Robert Yates Racing and Richard Childress Racing, where he helped drivers Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer claim a total of nine Sprint Cup Series victories as a race engineer. A native of Walnut Cove, NC, Bullins joined Team Penske in 2012 to serve as the crew chief for the #22 car in the Nationwide Series, earning three wins in his first full season at the helm. In 2013, Bullins led the team to 12 wins with four different drivers and the team's first Nationwide Series Owners' Championship. The #22 Ford team won the Owners' Title again this season behind six series victories. In total, Bullins earned 21 wins, 14 poles, 57 top-five and 79 top-10 finishes in 99 starts with the #22 Team Penske Nationwide Series program.(Wood Brothers Racing)(12-22-2014)
Wood Brothers forms alliance with Penske; names Ryan Blaney as driver: Wood Brothers Racing announced that it has formed a technical alliance with Team Penske and will race a partial-season schedule in the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with up-and-coming driver Ryan Blaney. Blaney, who has raced as a Team Penske development driver since 2012, will compete in at least 12 races for Wood Brothers Racing next season in the iconic #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion as he continues his rapid NASCAR development. Blaney will also practice and qualify the #21 this weekend at the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway while current Wood Brothers driver Trevor Bayne competes in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Bayne will return in time to start the Sprint Cup race at the back of the field. Blaney is scheduled to make his official debut for Wood Brothers Racing in the 2015 Daytona 500. He will race for the team in events at Daytona, Las Vegas, Texas, Talladega, Charlotte, Michigan and Indianapolis, among others. In addition to driving the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion for the Wood Brothers, Blaney will drive a Team Penske Mustang in the 2015 Nationwide Series.(Wood Brothers Racing)(8-14-2014)
Happy Hour Practice:
Saturday, October 29, 2016, 12:00pm/et
TV: NBCSN 12:00pm/et
Born in OCTOBER
24 Dave Blaney, Jim France, Brian Vickers, Tracy Leslie, Jeff Price, Bill O'Dea, Andrew Turner, Patrick Lawler
25 Mike Hofmann, House, Ward Burton, Jon Wood, Ryan Preece, Taylor Lane Stricklin, Maggie Martin, Eric Maycroft
26 Jimmy Pardue
27 Anne B. France, Robin Miller, Dick Trickle, Tommy Baldwin Jr., Butch Hylton, Richard Brickhouse, Michael Lance
28 Joe Ruttman, Deborah Renshaw, Krissie Newman
29 Teresa Earnhardt, Chris Buescher, Billy Woodruff, Steadman Marlin, Joseph "Papa Joe" Hendrick, Bob Dotter, Coleman Dollarhide, Roseanne Adamczyk, Nicole Belber, Sandy Adamczyk
30 Linda Rudd, Al Pearce, Tony Bettenhausen Jr.
31 Rodger Brane, Mike Casto, Kip Childress
Born in NOVEMBER:
1 Jay Adamczyk, Joshua Marco, Doug Ingerson, Eric Vance, Larry Flynt
2 Larry Pearson
3 Derrike Cope, Tony Gibson, Bryan Mullett, Steve O'Donnell, Greg Sacks
4 Jason Bowles, Charley Pressley, Destinee Zastrow, Boone Stutz
5 Elton Sawyer Jr., Doug George
6 Bryan Reffner, Clay Rogers. Rodney Orr
7 Judy Allison, Matthew Bodine, Gilbert "Pops" Gentle, Andy Houston, Dick May, Cody Ware
8 Jason Burdett, Ed Berrier, Jim Inglebright, Teri MacDonald, John Bisci, Donny Lia, Ingrid Vandebosch, Joey Elliott
9 Rick Carelli, Nancy Sterling, Bill Kimm, John Holman, Ed Otto
10 U.S. Marines , Britt Goodrich
11 Mike Hembree, Barry Bodine, Chris Horn, Rob Morgan, Loni Richardson
12 Ryan Buscaglio, Tom Ehret, Wally Dallenbach Sr., Larry Hedrick, Gene Haas
13 Drew Blickensderfer, Karen Friddell, Katie Wallace, Tim Kuhn, Jeff Hallowell
15 Gene Haas, H.B. Bailey, Steve Lane, Sean Cotten