This Week in Ford Racing Keven Wood, driver of the No. 21 Air Force Ford F-150, makes his seventh career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearance this weekend at Gateway International Raceway. Wood talks about racing on the flat,...
This Week in Ford Racing
Keven Wood, driver of the No. 21 Air Force Ford F-150, makes his seventh career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearance this weekend at Gateway International Raceway. Wood talks about racing on the flat, egg-shaped track and how he prepares for racing at tracks on which he hasn't previously competed.
IT'S BEEN A FEW WEEKS SINCE YOU RACED IN THE TRUCK SERIES. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING AWAY FROM THE TRACK? "For the most part, I've been waiting around. I've raced a little bit with some Late Models here and there but nothing serious. I've been spending time in the shop and helping my dad [Len Wood] on the chassis dyno when they have cars ready to run. Other than that, it's just been a waiting game for me."
WHEN YOU'RE NOT RACING, WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT THE TRACK? "I spot for Jon [Wood] during practice and it's pretty much an observation thing for me. I'm watching and learning as much as I can and listen to the communications that he has with John Monsam [crew chief] and the rest of the team trying to relay what the truck is doing. Danny O'Quinn spots for both of us during the races. I'm listening and learning to everything they are doing to be a better race-car driver."
ON RACING AT GATEWAY. "This will be another first-time race for me. I'm ready to go. It's been a few weeks and I'm ready to get back in the seat."
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A TRACK WHERE YOU'VE NEVER BEEN? "I think John Monsam has all the races on DVDs, so I'll get with him probably this afternoon or tomorrow. I'll take the DVDs home with me and I'll watch it. I've been trying to watch races that have been run there and I talk to Jon and Danny O'Quinn. Between the two of them, they've run just about everything that I'll be running. Both Jon and Danny are great sources of information. I'll talk to them and see what their opinions are, what they recommend, how to adjust to a track like that. Other than that, I'll just go out there, get on the track and we'll see what happens."
DO NEW TRACKS INTIMIDATE DRIVERS? "I think it's another thing that's just going to be fun to learn. The only track that I didn't have fun racing at was ORP. Granted that was one in itself, but there are just a lot of variables there that hurt us. But I'm going to Gateway after running Nashville and we had a super run going there until things happened and took us out. That gave me a lot of confidence running that well up there. I'm just looking forward to going to Gateway and seeing what can happen."
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT YOU'VE LEARNED THIS SEASON? "You have to be aggressive but you still have to be patient, too. These guys, they are the best at what they do and they're not going to give you anything. You have to get out there and take it."
DID YOU SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS SEASON? "No, not so much as in 'I have to do this, I have to do that,' but just to run the best that I can and learn as much as I can. That was the biggest thing that I've set is just going out and learning absolutely everything I could."
MORE ON LEARNING IN THE TRUCK SERIES. "I've learned a lot but I know there is more to learn. I don't think you could say [Ron] Hornaday and [Mike] Skinner and the veterans are through learning. Everything changes each year and if they don't go back there with the same truck and stuff, NASCAR would do something different to make racing different. I don't think you'll ever stop learning."
-credit: ford racing