EDDIE WOOD: "WE JUST NEED TO HAVE A GOOD SOLID RUN, A CLEAN, NORMAL RACE, MAKE UP SOME POINTS." At the start of 2005, the rules for qualifying on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit were changed. This year the top 35 teams in the ...
EDDIE WOOD: "WE JUST NEED TO HAVE A GOOD SOLID RUN, A CLEAN, NORMAL RACE, MAKE UP SOME POINTS."
At the start of 2005, the rules for qualifying on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit were changed. This year the top 35 teams in the points are guaranteed starting spots at each event. The top 35 in the first five events on this year's schedule are based on 2004 owner points. Bristol represents Wood Brothers Racing's final opportunity to get into the top 35 before having to rely solely on qualifying speed to make the race, unless the team can move into the top 35 following Sunday's event at the historically difficult high-banked half-mile Tennessee track. The team is currently 39th in points. Co-owner Eddie Wood talks about this coming weekend and testing at Martinsville this week.
EDDIE WOOD - #21 Motorcraft Genuine Parts Ford co-owner: ARE YOU FEELING PRESSURE GOING TO BRISTOL? "It's no different than the last race (Atlanta). It's the same every weekend. We need to have a good run and make some points. I'm not saying we have to win the race. We just need to have a good solid run, a clean, normal race, make up some points. That's our biggest goal right now, to get to the end and have nothing happen. It's not like we can't get into the top 35 in one race. You could do it. Other people would have to have the wrong thing happen to them and the right thing happen to you, which has not been the case for us this year."
WILL YOU CONCENTRATE ON QUALIFYING SETUP AT MARTINSVILLE WHEN YOU TEST THERE THIS WEEK OR WILL YOU WORK ON RACE SETUP?
"You'll do both. You'll take 12-15 sets of tires over there and every time you put on a set of stickers you'll probably make a qualifying run. We'll concentrate on both. Obviously, we'll probably have to use qualifying to get in so we'll be looking at that, too. You do it all. We'll have to.".
IS THERE ANYTHING AT MARTINSVILLE THAT CAN TRANSLATE TO BRISTOL? "Probably not. Martinsville is one of the flattest tracks we go to and Bristol is one of the steepest. They are both short tracks, but there is probably not a lot that relates. At Bristol you are driving down into a bank, into a hole. At Martinsville you are driving down a drag strip, turning left and coming back. They are quite a bit different."
WOULD A MULTI-CAR OPERATION HELP THE SITUATION YOU FIND YOURSELF IN NOW? "I don't know. We're going to Martinsville and Texas both to test. With the way they have testing now, even if you have more than one car, the team you are taking to the test is all you can take. You can't take other team members. I don't know that it would help. Maybe the date you could pull from if your teammate went to test and you couldn't go; you would have that. But, I'm not sure that would help the situation we're in. We haven't had the results, but we've had fast cars every week. We didn't get a chance to know at Fontana or Vegas how good we were gonna be. Based on Atlanta, and that was the Fontana car, we ran top five there and based on that we're not running like we are in points. But, we are where we are in points because of the way things have unfolded. Here we are. We have to make the best of it, race as hard as we can and get back up in there."