Sadler and Wood test at Kentucky
By Tim Packman
SPARTA, Ky. (Dec 7, 2000) Elliott Sadler had a surprise "co-tester" join him in a recent session at Kentucky Speedway.
Sadler, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford team owned by the Wood Brothers, tested on Tuesday and Wednesday at the new 1.5-mile facility. Joining him for the test was Jon Wood, the 19-year-old son of team owner Eddie Wood.
The two-day test by the NASCAR Winston Cup Series team was also the first chance for Sadler and his new crew chief, Pat Tryson, to work together. Tryson began his duties after the season finale in Atlanta. Eddie Wood liked what he saw from the team's first outing under its new pit boss.
"We had 16 of our crew members there," Wood said. "We were really pleased by the way everyone came together under the leadership of Pat Tryson."
Wood's brother and team owner, Len Wood, said even though the weather was not ideal for the session, he liked what he saw internally.
"The weather was really cold and it was hard for the car to get a good grip, but we were very pleased with the results," he said. "We were just as happy about the chemistry of the team with our new crew chief. The communication between Pat (Tryson) and Elliott (Sadler) was excellent and we're glad to see our crew coming together as a team this early."
Sadler's best lap was 29.60 seconds for a speed of 182.40 mph around the asphalt trioval. Then the youngest Wood family member took his turn behind the wheel of another car. His best lap was 30-seconds flat for a lap speed of 180 mph.
Jon Wood raced in the USAR ProCup Series this year. He finished eighth in points and third in rookie-of-the-year standings. The Wood Brothers are looking to place him in a limited NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or Winston West limited schedule, if they can find the appropriate sponsorship.
The team brought along an extra car for Jon to test because they are trying to get him as much experience as possible. Eddie Wood said his son surprised him with his effort.
'This was a last minute decision to take Jon along and bring the extra car," he said. "We want to keep Jon racing next year so we thought it was a good idea to give him experience wherever we can. He shook the car down at 32.5-seconds his first time out and worked it down to 30-seconds flat. I had no idea how he was going to do or how fast he could run. But, every time we've moved Jon up a level, and this was a big jump, he has surprised us." -nascar.com-