The Woodchopper at NASCAR Hall of Fame

The Woodchopper Is Well Represented at NASCAR's New Hall Of Fame The NASCAR Hall of Fame that opened this week in Charlotte tells the history of the sport from its dusty beginnings on the makeshift dirt tracks of the South to the gleaming ...

The Woodchopper at NASCAR Hall of Fame

The Woodchopper Is Well Represented at NASCAR's New Hall Of Fame

The NASCAR Hall of Fame that opened this week in Charlotte tells the history of the sport from its dusty beginnings on the makeshift dirt tracks of the South to the gleaming superspeedways of today. And no history of NASCAR would be complete without telling the story of the "Woodchopper" from Stuart, Va., and his family race team that have been major players in the sport for 60 years.

Visitors to the Hall get several chances to learn about Glen Wood, the one-time sawmiller who went on to have a distinguished career as both a driver and team owner. And they can see the contributions of the Wood Brothers race team that began with Wood himself doing the driving and continues today with Bill Elliott driving the famed No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion.

In the museum are Wood's helmet, trophies, a well-worn pit board, race car seats and the team's most famous car, the 1971 Mercury Cyclone that dominated the speedways in the early 1970's with David Pearson and A.J. Foyt winning races in it, and Donnie Allison and Parnelli Jones also driving it at one time or another. Pearson drove that car to 11 wins in just 18 starts in 1973, the last season that car was run. In that era of NASCAR, teams didn't have fleets of identical cars.

The Woods had just two '71 Mercury race cars. The second was destroyed in a crash with Charlie Glotzbach at Charlotte in the fall of 1973. The car in the Hall of Fame won its last race at Rockingham in October of '73 with Pearson leading 396 of 492 laps. Its final run was at Riverside International Raceway in January, 1974, where Pearson finished third after starting on the pole. That '71 Mercury was one of the last cars to compete in NASCAR's elite division with a leaf-spring suspension in the rear. By 1974, NASCAR mandated the use of the truck-arm suspension that is still in use today. Wood said he's proud that Hall officials chose his car, which, except for some cleaning and maintenance, is just as it was when it rolled off the race track for the last time, to be a part of the Glory Road exhibit. "What better place could it be?" he said. "I was happy to oblige them when they asked if we would put it down there."

Also on display is a jack once used by his brother Delano. The pit board and the jack illustrate the Woods' role as pioneers on pit road, as they're credited with being the first team to make quick pit stops a regular part of their race-day game plan. Wood, who got his first look at the Hall during a "soft opening" a few weeks back, said he was taken back by what he saw. "It's sort of unbelievable," he said. "It's really an impressive showcase." Wood said he especially liked the way the trophies were laid out. "You can see my name on mine," he said of his trophy from a win at Soldier's Field in Chicago. "Most of them you can't."

Eddie Wood, Glen's son and one of the middle generation Wood family racers, compares the NASCAR Hall of Fame to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and to The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich. "My brother Len and I have season passes to the Henry Ford Museum, and every time we go there, we see something different," he said. "The NASCAR Hall will be the same way." Eddie Wood said he and his team will be able to use the new NASCAR Hall to help people -- including potential sponsors -- better understand his family's role in NASCAR. "It's hard to tell the story from 1950 to now in a meeting with just sheets of paper to show them," he said. "Now we can just walk people through the Hall of Fame, and they can see it for themselves. "It's going to be a huge benefit for everybody."

Wood also expects the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame to drive more visitors to the Woods' museum in Stuart, as well as to museums operated by others in NASCAR like Richard Petty and Richard Childress. But there's much more to Wood family's representation at the Hall than the business side of the sport or their 97 victories on the Sprint Cup circuit. It's more personal. The cars and trophies and helmets that they have on display at the Hall mean much more to them than most visitors will ever know. "These are the kinds of things that you or your mom would keep," Eddie Wood said. "And the '71 Mercury represents our family's tradition more than any other car we've ever had. It's the most recognized -- white, with a candy-apple red top and the gold number 21. "It's a huge honor to have anything of ours in the Hall of Fame."

-source: wbr

shares
comments
Michigan Int'l Speedway news 2010-05-13
Previous article

Michigan Int'l Speedway news 2010-05-13

Next article

Dover: Harvick - Friday media visit

Dover: Harvick - Friday media visit
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Prime

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, but his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines...

NASCAR Cup
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 13, 2021