Jon Wood, driver of the No. 21 Air Force Ford F-150, makes his final NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearance of 2008 at Phoenix International Raceway. Wood has one top-10 finish in five starts at the one-mile flat track. "I'd like to start...
Jon Wood, driver of the No. 21 Air Force Ford F-150, makes his final NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series appearance of 2008 at Phoenix International Raceway. Wood has one top-10 finish in five starts at the one-mile flat track.
"I'd like to start by addressing something that happened last week in Texas. I hit the caution truck after the multi-truck incident approaching lap two. But something good did come out of last week. I think it was a valuable lesson both on NASCAR's behalf and myself and any other driver that knows about it. Those caution trucks and safety workers are very vulnerable, particularly when you've been in a crash. The only thing that you're thinking about after being in a wreck is what just happened and not what could happen. There's no reason that there hasn't been an incident prior to this one, where somebody on the safety team or some part of the safety had a problem or run in with a race car. I want to clarify what happened. I was in that wreck early in the race and my hood was crumpled in such a manner that I couldn't see where I was going. If you think of the front of the truck as a clock, I could see from nine o'clock to 12 o'clock, but from 12 to three [o'clock], I couldn't see. That caution truck was right in that 12 to three part of the race track for me. My spotter couldn't see me and I didn't know he couldn't see me. And the next thing I know, I felt a little thud, like a little bump. It startled me for a minute because I was afraid it might have been a person. And I looked back as I drove on and saw the yellow lights flashing and realized it was a safety truck that I hit. I had hit the door. No one was hurt. There was no one single person to be blamed because it wasn't a matter of who was at fault. I think NASCAR learned that that is a likely event that could happen again. I would like to see something done to make sure that something like this doesn't happen again. I talked to the safety worker a couple of days ago. He had the same feelings about it that I did. I'm glad there was no serious issues other than the truck needed a new door."
SINCE YOUR RACE WAS CUT SHORT IN TEXAS, ARE YOU EAGER TO BE HERE IN PHOENIX RACING? "Yes, I'm eager to be here in Phoenix. It's a shame that we finally developed a good baseline set-up each week to practice and start the race as a top-10 truck. We've been top-10 in everything that we've done, except the bad luck that we've had and that's what got me at Texas. We qualified sixth and there was no way around that wreck. Everything falls in place and takes care of itself if you can stay good enough, long enough. Hopefully our bad luck will turn around this weekend in Phoenix."
THE TRACK SEEMS A BIT TRICKY -- IT'S FLAT, FAST, DOGLEGGED AND NARROW DOWN THE FRONT. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WIN HERE? "It's simple to win here -- you need a fast truck, literally. Does pit strategy help? It's a little bit of it. Trickery will not win the race here; it never has. Fuel mileage will not win the race here. It's always the driver with the fastest truck. It follows that trend in all three series. It doesn't take any hocus-pocus to make a fast truck. It's just all about sticking to the basics."
-credit: ford racing