This Week in Ford Racing August 10, 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Jon Wood, driver of the No. 50 Ford F-150, is focused on turning around his season and making sure he leaves his Roush Racing truck team in good shape. Wood, who captured...
This Week in Ford Racing
August 10, 2004
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Jon Wood, driver of the No. 50 Ford F-150, is focused on turning around his season and making sure he leaves his Roush Racing truck team in good shape. Wood, who captured two wins and a fifth-place finish in the point standings last year in his second full season of competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, is currently 12th in the point standings, 421 points out of the lead as the series heads to Nashville Superspeedway this weekend. Wood spoke about his team's struggles this season and his racing future.
JON WOOD -50-Roush Racing Ford F-150
YOU ARE CURRENTLY 12TH IN THE POINT STANDINGS, 14 RACES INTO THE 25-RACE SEASON. HAVE YOU HAD TO ADJUST YOUR GOALS FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON? "I just want to get our team straightened out. We're way too far in the season to be worrying about the point standings or anything of that nature. Our team has just gotten way out of whack from last year to this year and that's basically my main goal is to get that straightened out. And, if I move on to a Busch car next year or whatever the case may be at least my truck program, the 50 truck will be back up and running for whoever may drive it."
WHAT HAS CAUSED YOU TO STRUGGLE AT TIMES THIS SEASON? "There's a lot of stuff, too numerous to mention. There's no need to really harp on what has happened, you just have to correct it and I think there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE MOVE TO THE BUSCH SERIES? "I think so. I want to. I've seen guys that I outrun every week that are very competitive in the Busch Series. I think the trucks are more competitive than the Busch cars are, but it's viewed as the next step in the a driver's development on your way to Winston Cup."
THERE ARE A LOT OF WINSTON CUP VETERANS RETURNING TO THE TRUCK SERIES EACH YEAR ON A FULL-TIME BASIS. HAS THE TRUCK SERIES OUTGROWN THE IMAGE OF BEING A DEVELOPMENTAL SERIES? "It seems to be that way. I just think that truck racing as a whole is not only more competitive, but it's just more exciting for people to watch. The Busch Series has more of the corporate image and corporate drivers as well, and the truck series is more of the grassroots racers, your Saturday night drivers and they're the ones really getting after it and putting on a show and that's what everyone likes to see. The truck series doesn't have the corporate appeal that the Busch Series does for some reason, but the racing is better so the fans like to see it."
YOUR TEAMMATE, CARL EDWARDS, IS IN THE MIDST OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE. AS THE SEASON PROGRESSES, DO YOU SEE YOUR ROLE CHANGING TO HELP SECURE ROUSH RACING THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "It's so far out that you can't count each individual position, but we both try to benefit each other as much as we can. If it means helping out with the championship chase, then that's a benefit of having a teammate."
TALK ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAMMATE, CARL EDWARDS. "Carl is a fantastic guy. We're close in age and we seem to like similar things. On and off the race track we're pretty inseparable. That's the best person to see on your bumper and the worst person to see on your bumper. The thing that motivates me the most is how competitive my teammate is. He's up front every week, and I think that accelerates both of us. You can push yourself so far and then you kind of get comfortable, but not when your teammate is in front of you; you just drive that much harder and harder. I owe a lot to him. We work very well together. I think the two of us have the same feel for a truck and it makes it to where we can go to a race track and kinda have opposite setups and one of us will hit and one of us will miss, and we combine and figure out what to do."
TONY PRICE WAS NAMED YOUR CREW CHIEF TWO WEEKS AGO. HOW DID THE DECISION TO PROMOTE TONY COME ABOUT? "Tony is going to do a great job. The way that Jack (Roush) works is that he tries to promote from within rather than go out and hire a crew chief and them having to learn the Roush way. He just takes a basic mechanic and grows him into a crew chief and that's what happened."
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE RACE IN NASHVILLE THIS WEEKEND? "I know it's a big Toyota sponsored race, and our main goal is to outrun a Toyota. They're gong to be gunning for good finishes for this race in particular. It was disappointing for them to win the race at Michigan seeing how it was the Big Three event. You had all of the Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge people from the Detroit area and the surrounding suburbs and they won our race. Now we need to return the favor."
NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY IS A CONCRETE RACE TRACK, A RARITY IN NASCAR. HOW IS THE CONCRETE SURFACE DIFFERENT FORM ASPHALT? "Concrete is more of a consistent surface to race on, so it helps out with our race-preparation stuff. You're going through your practices and things like that and it just makes it easier to know that once you finally get your truck right that it will stay right."
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF DRIVING FOR WOOD BROTHERS RACING DOWN THE ROAD? "If the opportunity was right I may end up doing that. But for now, I don't think it is. I drive for Jack Roush and Jack was the one that made people aware of who I was and what I can do. For that I owe a debt of gratitude to him. We've come a long way since I started driving in Memphis in 2001. The Wood Brothers name gives you credibility before you even get into a car, but there's also a little added pressure because you're expected to do good. I want to make sure that my next move is the right move, and I'm still learning in the truck series."