Indianapolis: Wood/JTC Racing - Ford Friday interivew

When Ginn Motorsports and DEI merged earlier this week, Wood Brothers/JTG Racing went from 36th place to 35th in the owners' points standings -- and a guaranteed starting position for Sunday's race. Co-owner Len Wood says the team's preparation...

When Ginn Motorsports and DEI merged earlier this week, Wood Brothers/JTG Racing went from 36th place to 35th in the owners' points standings -- and a guaranteed starting position for Sunday's race.

Co-owner Len Wood says the team's preparation for the race changed when the two other teams merged.

LEN WOOD -- co-owner, No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion

"This is the second most important week of the year, so it happened at a good time. Obviously, we have to perform better than we have in the past several months, and hopefully stay in the top 35. Being in the top 35, the changes we're making -- we came here from the shop in qualifying trim, but when we got here and found out that, for real, we're in the top 35, we made changes, so we're going to race practice. That's what we've been missing. If you're out, you've got to do everything you can to qualify, no matter what sacrifice you have to make. And when you get in, you have to take what's left, basically -- what time is left -- and make the best of it. Hopefully, this will allow us to prepare better, run better and stay in the top 35."

BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT GUARANTEED A SPOT -- EVEN WITH THE PAST CHAMPION'S PROVISIONAL -- YOUR FOCUS MUST'VE CHANGED 180 DEGREES. "It changed, and it changed again. We knew a couple of weeks ago that Terry Labonte was going to be here, so that didn't change our strategy any -- we knew we had to get in on time. With the timing of the qualifying here, the draw can make you or break you. You can take a car that would get in, qualify last and miss it. Weather is so important here, as it was in Phoenix earlier in the year. The example at Phoenix is we qualified 11th in line and by 20 cars had gone, we'd beaten six of them, and we needed to beat seven. All of a sudden it cooled off and it was 20 degrees cooler at the end of qualifying, and we finally beat two right toward the end by no more than three-hundredths of a second. So, it was really close, and if everybody got to qualify together -- I don't know what's fair, maybe the middle, that would be fair to everybody -- and that would even the playing field. But here, qualifying starts at 10:10, if you draw last, it's not good."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Terry Labonte