Daytona Duel: Eddie Wood - Ford interview

The Wood Brothers No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion is not guaranteed a spot in Sunday's Daytona 500, so driver Bill Elliott will have to race it into the field during Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150. Car owner Eddie Wood spoke about his...

The Wood Brothers No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion is not guaranteed a spot in Sunday's Daytona 500, so driver Bill Elliott will have to race it into the field during Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150. Car owner Eddie Wood spoke about his team's situation before Wednesday's practice.

EDDIE WOOD, Co-Owner -- No. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion

WHERE ARE YOU GUYS AT AS FAR AS CARS FOR THIS WEEK? "The car we wrecked in Shootout is back. They replaced the nose and the front horns and everything. They worked non-stop to get that done, so it's already here in the hauler and already wrapped in Little Debbie colors, so its already for the 500, if need be. As far as our 500 car, we burned a gear up in qualifying. I'm not sure yet exactly what happened, but we practiced really, really well and were deliberate in how we scheduled our practice. We went out one time -- cold -- just like you do for qualifying in each practice on Saturday. Then we went out to qualify and had a problem with the gear. So now we've got to race in and do all the right things tomorrow and that's just the way you've got to do it."

WHAT ARE YOU EMOTIONS? "It is what it is. I've been down here the last couple of years and our cars really weren't that fast, but at least we had the top 35 thing to rely on and they raced well. I guess the really aggravating thing about it is that we've got a fast car and we just didn't get to use it in qualifying because something went wrong. Now whether that was our fault, it is what it is. I don't really have an answer for what really happened to it, but a lot of times when you're out of the top 35 and you've got to do everything you can do, you do more than you normally would. If we were in the top 35, we wouldn't be standing here having this conversation. You wouldn't have gone to extremes on friction and speed. Let's say there are 10 things you can do to make a difference over and above a guy that's in the top 35. If you do all 10 of them and all 10 of them work, that's great but sometimes they'll bite you and that's pretty much what happened to us. It's almost like trying to hard. But if you hadn't gone through that and you missed the race by half-a-tenth of one-one-thousandth, then you would have been like, 'Man, if I had only done that.' It's a stick of dynamite with a fuse on each end and both of them are lit and you're the one standing there holding it. But I'm really happy with the progress we've made in our program. I realize we don't have a lot to show for it this time, but from where I am I see it all and I'm really happy with all that."

YOU DIDN'T SIT STILL MONDAY AND TUESDAY DI YOU? "No, we're also looking ahead to the next two weeks at California and Vegas. Our entire crew flew home Sunday night after qualifying and then flew to Kentucky on Monday morning and tested all day with Bill. I think it was something like 10 degrees, but Gene Nead and the whole crew is going the extra mile to do everything we can. We had some Ford engineers go with us to help and that test went really well. Then we got back and loaded up to come down here this morning, so it's really non-stop but when you're struggling with the top 35, it's everyday all day long. You can go ask anybody else in here about it. Until you live it, you can't imagine what it's like."

IS THERE COMFORT IN HAVING BILL IN THE CAR TOMORROW? "Yeah, that's good. There's none better than Bill Elliott, so, hopefully, we can race our way in. If we don't, we'll see what happens after that. This is really a hard thing being where we are and we're not alone. There are eight or 10 more of us in the same position. It's not a good position to be in, but here we are. I'm just thankful to all my sponsors that they signed on to be with us again this year. You've got Little Debbie and the McKee family, the U.S. Air Force, Ford Motor Company, Motorcraft, everybody knew going in that we were out of the top 35 and they still were loyal and confident that we would get things turned around to stay with us, so I'm really proud of that. We will get it fixed and do our best."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott