This Week in Ford Racing March 29, 2005 NASCAR Busch Series Jon Wood, driver of the No. 47 Taurus, has shown glimpses of what his ST Motorsports team is capable of with strong runs the past two races, but the end results have been marred...
This Week in Ford Racing
March 29, 2005
NASCAR Busch Series
Jon Wood, driver of the No. 47 Taurus, has shown glimpses of what his ST Motorsports team is capable of with strong runs the past two races, but the end results have been marred by pit-road penalties and on-track incidents. A rookie in the NASCAR Busch Series, Wood is currently in 11th place in the driver point standings, 51 points out of the top 10, heading into this weekend's Sharpie Professional 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wood shared his thoughts on the progress of his team and the strength of this year's rookie class.
JON WOOD -47-Clorox/Wisk Ford Taurus
YOU'VE RUN IN THE TOP 10 THE PAST TWO RACES, BUT YOUR FINISHES HAVEN'T BEEN REFLECTIVE OF THAT?
"The best way to sum it up is that with getting fast race cars and cars that can run up front, that brings a whole new set of problems. I look at this race team as a brand-new race team, and now that we have fast cars we're just getting those problems that come about for a new race team. We're just trying to get all of the bugs worked out. I'm getting penalties on pit road and we're cutting tires and stupid stuff is happening. The main thing is every week that car is in the top seven."
HOW DIFFICULT IS IT FOR YOU AS A DRIVER TO TURN YOUR LUCK AROUND WHEN THE NEXT STOP ON THE SCHEDULE IS BRISTOL?
"I can't pick a worse place to go to try to change my luck. I'm just going to look at Bristol the same way I did the road-course race - I just want to finish it. I don't have a lot of experience at Bristol but I have some, and I have enough to know that no matter where you are on the race track anything can happen."
THIS WEEKEND'S RACE AT BRISTOL MARKS THE SEVENTH RACE OF SEASON FOR THE BUSCH SERIES. COMING FROM THE TRUCK SERIES THAT HAD A 25-RACE SCHEDULE, HAVE YOU MADE THE ADJUSTMENT TO RACING EVERY WEEK?
"Doing it every week forces you to get into the groove of things and it makes the weekdays - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - seem to last a lot longer. You have more of a week because you're in more of a routine. I kind of dreaded the schedule going into the season because I didn't know what to expect, but it really hasn't been all that bad."
YOU ARE PART OF A TALENTED ROOKIE CLASS THIS SEASON THAT INCLUDES YOUR FORMER TRUCK SERIES TEAMMATE CARL EDWARDS. DO YOU COMPARE YOUR RESULTS AGAINST THE OTHER ROOKIES?
"What I like to see is Carl winning races and running up front, and every week I'm running around that 60 car. We're not having the finishes to reflect where we are on the race track, but we're running up front and that's such a hard thing to do in the Busch Series or in any NASCAR series for that matter. You can ride around in 15th all day and bust off a 10th-place finish every now and then, but to run around in second to fifth all day and then have some unlucky thing happen and finish 12th, I'll take those finishes over the lucky ones any day. Eventually the luck is going to turn around, and we're still going to have these fast race cars and we're going to get the finishes that we deserve."
ARE YOU COMFORTABLE WITH THE DECISION YOU MADE TO LEAVE ROUSH RACING AND ITS RESOURCES BEHIND?
"I definitely am. Like I was just saying, I'm running fender to fender with the 60 car, and that's got all of the resources in the world. I think it surprises a lot of people that the 47 car is able to run where it's running. It's certainly surprised me, not to say that I didn't think it would be any good, but I didn't think it would be this far along this early in the season."
THIS SEASON MARKS THE INTRODUCTION OF THE FORD D3 CYLINDER HEAD TO BUSCH SERIES COMPETITION. HAS IT MADE A NOTICEABLE IMPACT IN LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD TO THE OTHER MANUFACTURERS?
"We're comparing apples to apples now instead of comparing apples to grapefruits. There's a substantial difference in the horsepower. You don't really notice it when you're by yourself in qualifying. You notice it when you're trying to race somebody and get past them."
YOU COMMENTED IN MEXICO CITY THAT YOU FELT LIKE JED CLAMPETT IN BEVERLY HILLS. WITH THE MAJORITY OF THE SEASON'S FIRST FIVE RACES BEING HELD WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI, ARE YOU HAPPY TO BE RACING BACK EAST?
"I am. It's tough going to these West Coast races because it seems like racing to the West Coast is like movie stars to the East Coast. It's backwards and you kind of feel out of place out there. Being on the East Coast is more like home. The sport is more recognizable and it's just easier on you from travel to staying in your weekly routine."