Phoenix: Ford - Jon Wood pre-race interview

This Week in Ford Racing October 28, 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Jon Wood, the most recent winner on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour, drove an unsponsored truck to victory lane at Martinsville for his second career victory and his...

This Week in Ford Racing
October 28, 2003

NASCAR Craftsman Truck

Jon Wood, the most recent winner on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour, drove an unsponsored truck to victory lane at Martinsville for his second career victory and his second win of the 2003 season. The win solidified Wood's fifth-place standing in the points, and with two races remaining in the season it appears that the 22-year-old must survive the challenges of a veteran pair to retain his top-five points finish. Wood trails fourth-place Dennis Setzer by 151 points, but both Bobby Hamilton and Rick Crawford are within striking distance of Wood as the series heads to Phoenix International Raceway this weekend.

JON WOOD -50-Roush Racing Ford F-150

YOU ARE CURRENTLY FIFTH IN THE POINT STANDINGS, BUT WITH JUST TWO RACES TO GO YOU TRAIL FOURTH PLACE BY 151 POINTS. WHAT IS THE FOCUS FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE YEAR? "The only place I can go is backwards. The momentum we're carrying to Phoenix we need to continue on to Homestead and that way we'll solidify a top-five finish. We want to try to win the last two races, but we also want to make sure we keep that fifth-place spot. We've been real competitive the past six races. Midway through the season we went through a little slump, but now we're kind of back going again. Carl got his momentum after I lost mine right after Kentucky. He won three out of five and then he kind of slowed up and I started going again. It's good that both trucks have been competitive throughout the whole entire year, we just have to work on making sure both of us are up front all of the time instead of just most of the time."

YOU WON YOUR SECOND RACE OF THE SEASON TWO WEEKS AGO AT MARTINSVILLE. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE THAT HAS TO OCCUR IN THE NEXT TWO RACES FOR YOU TO CONSIDER THE YEAR A SUCCESS? "Phoenix is a good track for me because I've tested there a lot of times and have had some pretty decent finishes. I'm kinda looking forward to Phoenix, but I really don't know about Homestead because it's new. I'm just really pleased with what's happened looking back on the whole year. There are only two races left so I can go ahead and say that it's been a successful year for us, especially with the reconstruction that took place in the wintertime. With moving the shop and all of the equipment from Michigan to North Carolina, it's kind of hard to believe that we ran as well as we did."

IS IT BOTHERSOME THAT YOU'VE WON RACES THIS YEAR AND ARE IN THE TOP FIVE IN THE POINT STANDINGS, YET YOU DON'T HAVE A SET PLAN FOR NEXT YEAR? "What's cool is that I have options. If the Roush thing doesn't work out there seems to be a lot of other places I can go. It's a big improvement over where I was last year. I could have been one of those people that brought money and got a ride somewhere this year, and now we've run so well it's fun to have people wanting you to drive their stuff."

DID YOU FEEL YOU HAD TO PROVE YOURSELF THIS YEAR AND SILENCE ANYBODY WHO THOUGHT YOU GOT THE RIDE WITH ROUSH BECAUSE OF YOUR FAMILY CONNECTIONS? "That wasn't the original reason I got that ride and now I've proved it. Last year we really didn't have the equipment to keep up with everybody and it made me look bad more than anything because you had the Roush name and all of the glory and glamour that goes along with that, but the bottom line was that the trucks weren't competitive. Now we've made them that way, my crew chief has and my team has. With the help of Ford and everyone else it seems to really be a good deal now."

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."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Dennis Setzer , Rick Crawford , Jon Wood