Martinsville: Len Wood - Ford interview

The Wood Brothers have 96 all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victories, including two here at Martinsville Speedway. However, those wins came in the sixties and seventies with Cale Yarborough (1968) and David Pearson (1973). Co-owner Len Wood...

The Wood Brothers have 96 all-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victories, including two here at Martinsville Speedway. However, those wins came in the sixties and seventies with Cale Yarborough (1968) and David Pearson (1973). Co-owner Len Wood spoke about how he felt yesterday with driver Ken Schrader needing to qualify on time and the impact the new Ford Fusion has had on his race team. Schrader qualified fourth for tomorrow's Goody's Cool Orange 500.

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

WERE YOU NERVOUS YESTERDAY KNOWING YOU GUYS HAD TO QUALIFY ON SPEED? "Nervous would probably be a good term. We went to Caraway and tested and were really good and we came here knowing we had to get in. I think I was more nervous for the first run in practice. When Schrader popped up high on the charts, I had a better feeling and then as everybody else started going out we fell down to what would have qualified about 40th or 41st. He went back out for his next run and he popped it right back up. I felt better then, but I kept saying to myself, 'You've got to do it when it's time.' He did a really good job. I was personally hoping to go early to kind of set the speed rather than have to beat somebody's speed. I think that was better for him."

LIKE MICHAEL WALTRIP YESTERDAY HAD A LATE DRAW AND KNEW WHAT HE HAD TO DO. "Yeah, you know what you've got to do to get in, but this way it's like, 'Just give me all you've got.' At Vegas, Schrader knew what he had to run and that was a little more than we had at that point."

DESPITE BEING DOWN IN THE POINTS, DOES HAVING A VETERAN LIKE SCHRADER MAKE YOU FEEL A LITTLE BETTER ON DAYS LIKE YESTERDAY? "Yeah, like last year, this was one of our better races. I think we were running sixth or seventh and got in a late-race wreck, but I think the car of tomorrow is a little bit different and right now, I think, comparatively to the other teams, we've got a pretty decent setup right now.

NASCAR WAS HOPING SOME OF THE SINGLE-CAR TEAMS LIKE YOU WOULD BE MORE COMPETITIVE. DO YOU FEEL AFTER QUALIFYING TWICE WITH THIS CAR THAT YOU'RE AS GOOD AS SOME OF THE TOP MULTI-CAR TEAMS? "I don't know about that, but we're better right now than we were with the other cars. We had a good car at Fontana, but several of the cars were able to run longer on gas and stopped later. We stopped three laps before the caution came out and lost a lap and never could get it back, and then we wound up having engine trouble, but we didn't have a bad car there. Then with Jon and his first race, we kept calming him down (at Las Vegas) and told him, 'Get us this.' Then at Atlanta we had a shock problem, lost five laps and then changed shocks and was almost as fast as the leader the rest of the day. We didn't get what we needed out of those races."

WITH SO MANY RACES WITH THIS NEW CAR COMING UP, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GETTING OUT OF THIS HOLE AND GETTING IN THE TOP 35? "That is a positive. We ran well at Bristol, but we made an error on pit road that cost us nine spots and that would have been the difference of coming here in 36th instead of 40th. We've addressed that situation, so hopefully we can make it through this race and not tear another one up and by Monday afternoon we'll have four of these done."

THE WOOD BROTHERS HAVEN'T WON HERE IN 34 YEARS. CAN THAT STREAK END TOMORROW? "I wouldn't rule it out. In practice yesterday they never made a change. It was good. Schrader kept saying the car turned really good and he didn't know what else to ask for, and then he went out and qualified fourth. There are obviously a lot of factors, like not getting torn up, getting in someone else's mess, and not making your own mistakes, but I wouldn't rule it out."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader , Cale Yarborough , David Pearson