Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion Finishes Daytona 500 Despite Early Crash
February 28, 2012 - Leonard Wood; the legendary crew chief, barely finished giving the command to start engines for the 54th Daytona 500 before his family’s famous No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion was involved in a crash that effectively ended any chance it had of defending its 2011 victory.
Driver Trevor Bayne was swept up in a Lap 2 crash, and spent 35 laps in the garage before returning to the track and finishing 35th.
NASCAR’s first Monday night race on prime time TV saw three generations of the Wood family – Leonard; nephew Eddie, and his children, Jordan and Jon – honored as Grand Marshals. Although that turned out to be the highlight for the family, it was important to Eddie Wood and the entire Wood Brothers team that their No. 21 Ford Fusion was running at the finish.
“It’s the Daytona 500,” Wood said. “It’s NASCAR’s biggest race. It’s an honor to be in it, and you want to run as well as you can and complete as many laps as you can.”
Wood praised the work of his Donnie Wingo-led crew in making the necessary repairs.
“The splitter and the bottom half of the nose were wiped out,” he said. “Donnie and the crew did a good job putting it back together as fast as they did.”
Unlike other crews that made repairs in the interest of salvaging as many points as possible, the Wood Brothers team was motivated only by pride and exposure for Motorcraft and Quick Lane, as points aren’t a big issue for a team running a limited schedule.
Although the No. 21 team lost its claim to the title of “defending Daytona 500 winner” the designation did remain in the Ford family, as Matt Kenseth from Roush Fenway Racing won his second Daytona 500.
“It was a good night for Ford Motor Company and that is the most important thing to us,” Wood said.
Bayne and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team return to the track in two weeks for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 11.