This Week in Ford Racing September 7, 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Jon Wood, driver of the No. 50 Ford F-150, is in the midst of his third full season of competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and the 22-year-old son of...
This Week in Ford Racing
September 7, 2004
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Jon Wood, driver of the No. 50 Ford F-150, is in the midst of his third full season of competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, and the 22-year-old son of Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood is excited about returning to his home state of Virginia to compete in this week's Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway. Wood finished fourth in last year's race at Richmond, and he needs another good finish this year to bolster his current 15th-place standing in the points race.
JON WOOD -50-Roush Racing Ford F-150
YOU FINISHED FOURTH LAST YEAR AT RICHMOND, BUT WITH ALL OF THE CHANGES TO THE TRUCKS THIS YEAR, CAN YOU USE THE SUCCESSFUL SETUPS FROM LAST SEASON?
"It hasn't transferred over from last year. That's why we spent last week testing at Memphis to get a better handle on all of the changes from last year. I've been very surprised because things have been totally different. I really can't pinpoint one thing that has caused that. We are on a different tire, but we also have a different body configuration, as does everybody else. Alongside all of that, there has been a lot more factory support from all of the manufacturers and I think that has attributed to a lot more technologically advanced teams. We didn't have that last year, and so in a nutshell, last year's stuff won't work."
YOU ARE A VIRGINIA NATIVE WITH CLOSE TIES TO MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY, BUT IS IT JUST AS SPECIAL TO RACE AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY?
"It is. Any time you race in your home state it's pretty exciting. In past years we haven't been very successful at Richmond, so it wasn't always one of the races I looked forward to, but last year we had an awesome truck there and I'm just hoping that we can carry on the success we had last year with another good run this year and turn around our season."
YOU ARE CURRENTLY 15TH IN THE POINT STANDINGS, WITHIN 100 POINTS OF THE TOP 10. IS THE NUMBER OF TEAMS FIGHTING FOR A SPOT IN THE TOP 10 AN INDICATION OF HOW COMPETITIVE THE TRUCK SERIES HAS BECOME IN RECENT YEARS?
"Definitely so. Teams that were mid-packers last year have come out of the woodwork to become top-notch teams this year. It just makes it tough to run in top five every week. The truck series is definitely a lot more competitive now than it ever has been. Also, there seem to be more races with Cup drivers in them, and you know that for them to race in the series they're going to have be in good equipment, so that's another thing that has upped the level of competition this year."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HAVING YOUR TEAMMATE, CARL EDWARDS, COMPETE IN THE NEXTEL CUP SERIES?
"It's good to see that he's running well because that just backs up the fact that the truck series is a good proving ground for everyone. It also gives me a sense of well being because I know that I've run as well as Carl at any place we've been. It would be different if he wasn't very competitive right now, but I think I can keep up with him at most places, so I think that bodes well for my future as well."
WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT CARL GOT THE NOD TO DRIVE THE NO. 99 CAR THIS YEAR?
"Not really. It's been stated and backed up that Carl is Jack's driver, so to speak, and so I wasn't expecting an opportunity like that when it came down between he and I."
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE A CLEAR PATH IN YOUR RACING FUTURE?
"At this point, I'm not sure. Who would have thought a month ago that Carl would be driving the 99 car? I don't think in racing that there is a clear path. I've never seen anyone sit down and say, 'This is what I'm going to do and you're going to see me at this point at this time.' Racing is a lot like the lottery and most of it is based on chance. You just have to wait on your chance and your opportunity, and then when it comes everything has to work out right."