Jon Wood and Wood Brothers Racing Persevered To Finish Coke Zero 400 Daytona Beach, Fl (July 5th, 2008)-Jon Wood and Wood Brothers Racing brought the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion home in tact after Jon Wood ran the duration of the 400 mile...
Jon Wood and Wood Brothers Racing Persevered To Finish Coke Zero 400
Daytona Beach, Fl (July 5th, 2008)-Jon Wood and Wood Brothers Racing brought the no. 21 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion home in tact after Jon Wood ran the duration of the 400 mile race at Daytona International Speedway. With no involvement in the late race cautions, the no. 21 finished in the 3rd position.
Wood took the green flag in the 22nd starting position. However, he went to the garage on lap two to remove the qualifying package and replace it with the racing setup in order to run the 400 miles. The 21 team took eight laps to make the adjustments and sent Wood back to the track on lap 10 in the 43rd position. There were still 152 laps left to complete and the team expected to gain some laps back.
On lap 20, the first caution of the evening fell. Jon was the only car at least one lap down and was granted the "lucky dog" free pass gaining one lap back. The 21 team came into pit and put on four fresh tires and fuel.
Within the next several laps, Jon assessed the handling conditions of the car and reported that the car handled tight when it was behind another race car, but loose in the turns. As he drove with the condition for several laps, running decent lap times, he held off the leaders to keep the lap he gained. The yellow flag flew again on lap 44 which gave the team the opportunity to make adjustments to the no. 21.
Crew Chief, Mike "Andretti" Smith called for front shock adjustments, four tires and fuel. The 21 team quickly made the changes and sent Jon back to the track. Wood restarted the race on lap 47 in 42nd. Within the next 10 laps, Jon noticed the handling was much better. He said, "The shock adjustment was the biggest improvement but could use a little more, it's still a little loose." However, under a long green flag run, the 21 car started to lose its handling once again.
The 21 Team had another chance to make changes when the caution flag flew on lap 70. The team made more front shock adjustments, a chassis adjustment and took on four tires and fuel. Jon restarted the race in 42nd on lap 74.
Halfway through the race on lap 80, Jon reported that the race car was finally driving decent. He said, "Okay, now this thing is driving like a race car." He moved to the 40th position as other teams retired from the race early due to accidents.
Caution flew again on lap 113 and the 21 team came in for 4 tires and fuel. When they sent Jon back to the track, Wood was not responding to any radio communication. As the race resumed on lap 116, the team tried to get radio transmission to the driver but Jon made laps on his own with no spotter until lap 119 when he got his radio working again. Jon continued to relay information about the handling conditions, stating the no. 21 was still loose and getting worse.He felt that the last adjustments went too far and needed to be reversed. The team did just that when caution came out on lap 124.
Wood restarted the race on lap 128 in the 38th position. As cautions continued and the attrition rate increased, the 21 stayed out of trouble and made laps until the end. Jon brought the U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion home with a 33rd place finish under a yellow/checkered flag scenario.