Even though the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion of Trevor Bayne suffered body damage in Thursday's last-lap accident of the second Gatorade Duel race, the team has decided to try and fix their primary car. Bayne will not participate in today's practice sessions as repairs continue. Co-owner Len Wood talked about what went into that decision this morning at Daytona International Speedway.
LEN WOOD, Co-Owner - No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion
WHAT WENT INTO THE DECISION TO TRY AND REPAIR THIS CAR AS OPPOSED TO GOING TO A BACK-UP? "We were standing there looking at it yesterday and some of the guys in Jack's fab shop that helped build the car to start with said they could fix it. They said they had the parts to do it, so Donnie was trying to weigh out whether we needed practice or not and how much time we could allot to fixing it, so the decision was made to fix it. They had more parts that came down on a truck this morning. They were swapping the 6 out, bringing him another back-up car, so they brought a few more parts. They're moving along really good on it. We won't run today. We'll put the race engine in it probably this afternoon and get ready to hopefully run some tomorrow and then be ready for the 500."
IS THERE ANY CONCERN ABOUT POSSIBLE DAMAGE TO COMPONENTS UNDER THE CAR THAT YOU CAN'T SEE? "That's what we did first. We looked around to see if there was any frame damage. Did we bend the front clip? We didn't hit anything with the wheels, so nothing appears to be wrong with any of that, so that was one of the decisions. There was grass everywhere. Sometimes you see cars almost fold the front end under when they go through the grass. You can bend a front clip really easy like that. Well, when all the grass came he was backwards and he was catching it with the back of the splitter, so he didn't tear any of that off. When you put the hood down, the hood still fit, so all of that was still good."
WHAT ARE YOU REPAIRING? "We're putting a left side on the car from the rear tire forward, and then there's a little piece on the left-front of the nose that had to be patched and a piece over the right-front fender. On the right side, they had to beat it out just a little bit, but they didn't cut anything. We'll probably do some wrapping and painting. We'll do a combination. We may not have that part finished until after we run tomorrow. The main thing will be getting it back together and get out there to run a few laps tomorrow. What you've got down here is what you've got. It's not like we're gonna go out there and pick up another quarter-of-a-second by trying this or that. It's gonna be a lot about who your partner is on Sunday."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TREVOR'S PERFORMANCE YESTERDAY? "We were really impressed because on Wednesday I don't think anybody wanted to draft with a rookie. It was a little bit frustrating to start because we couldn't get going, but then late in practice Kyle Busch said he would run with us. They ran about six laps and did the swap and Kyle told him what to do on the exchange and how to drag the brake. He helped Trevor out a little bit, but he only had about six laps of two-car drafting before that race yesterday. In December, we ran 400 miles of drafting practice in that tire test, but none of it was touching anybody. Nobody did that until we came back for the January test. At that test, we were doing single-car runs trying to get speed in the car, so we'll see what he's got on Sunday."
The Wood Brothers have been racing since 1950, but founder Glen Wood has been coming to Daytona since 1947 and has been to every Daytona 500. Ford Racing reminisced with Wood earlier this week about what racing was like on the beach and how he got started coming to Daytona every February.
GLEN WOOD, Owner - No. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN COMING TO DAYTONA? "I started coming here in 1947 and this makes the 65th straight year I've been down here. I came here for the first time with Bernice's dad and brother in 1947 in a little '44 Ford. We just sort of started going to races back at home after the war, and I asked them about going down to Florida and they agreed. That was the start and we decided to go back the next year and I've done it every year since then. I'm lucky that I've felt good and haven't been sick to where I couldn't go during this time, but the other thing about coming down here is I've always driven. I've come down here before by plane for the Fourth of July race. I haven't been to every one of those, but I have been here for all of the 500s."
HOW HAS THIS AREA CHANGED? "I remember when there wasn't a track here and you'd come by 92 and see stumps rooted up out of the ground because it was just wilderness out here. It's just like you see in a lot of places where there are swamps, palm trees and water. I'm sure Big Bill noticed that it was getting built up on the beach with houses right along where the track was, and that was a big change. There got to be several houses in that last two miles down to the lighthouse and it got so that they would have to tell them, 'You can't go out. If you've got to go anywhere, get out of here now and don't come back until tonight.'"
YOU RACED ON THE BEACH. WHAT WAS IT LIKE? - "You would start down by the lighthouse and I can remember the first year I ran it there were more than 100 cars in the race. Can you imagine that many starting and then realizing that we've all got to slow down and make that turn at the North Turn (where the North Turn Restaurant is now). What they'd do is they would turn off the ocean and get back up on the highway right there and go two miles down toward the lighthouse. I don't know how many of us ran over the bank down on the other end. One of the guys asked me one time, 'How do you keep from running over the bank?' First thing, when you would come over the last rise, you could see the turn so I would pump my brakes a little bit to see if I've got some. Back then, it was common to have a vibration break a brake line and you wouldn't have any brakes, so that was the worst thing you could do going down in there without any brakes. So, I would pump the brakes and realize the turn was coming up and just slowed down. Curtis Turner was the best that ever was on the beach. I'd say he would throw it sideways for at least 100 feet and it was the prettiest drift you ever saw coming into the North Turn and he never did go wobbling out like a lot of them. He went out of there just as pretty every time. He is one of the legends over here from the very start. I didn't drive quite like Curtis did and even though I'd have some drift once you got into it, he was just the one you had to watch. He enjoyed doing that on every dirt or half-mile track, but when it got serious and he needed to tighten up to keep things together, he'd drive it a little more stable."
-source: ford racing