STUART, Va. (July 13, 2000) -Jon Wood returns to New River Valley Speedway this weekend for a 200-lap late model stock NASCAR main event. New River is where Wood cut his teeth as a stock car driver and is also the place of his first win in ...
STUART, Va. (July 13, 2000) -Jon Wood returns to New River Valley Speedway this weekend for a 200-lap late model stock NASCAR main event. New River is where Wood cut his teeth as a stock car driver and is also the place of his first win in NASCAR competition.
Jon Wood scored his first victory in the Late Model Stock Division at New River Valley on June 26th last year. The win came in just the fifteenth race of his rookie season. His famed racing genes have obviously been accompanied by the driving force of Wood Brothers Racing - the strong will to win.
How confident is Wood returning to his home track? "It'll be great to see all of the familiar faces from last year," stated Wood. "I know a lot of the fans and in between races I would actually go up and sit in the stands with them. I'd watch the other races from there so it'll be great just to be home. New River is my favorite track of all the places I've been. It's fast and for the most part the racing is clean."
Compared to other tracks where Wood has competed, he describes New River Valley Speedway as, "The track has more banking than most of the other places I've been. The corners are tight and the asphalt is newer so the racing is closer and the fans can expect a lot of passing."
This week's format will not be the typical race format. The competitors will race until the halfway point, 100 laps, then break for a two tire stop and a chance to re-fuel. The field will be inverted at that point based on the number a fan draws from a hat. The number of cars to be inverted will depend on whether the selected race fan draws an 8, 10 or 12. The race will resume with a double file restart for the remaining 100 laps.
"I think the format is great," stated Wood. "That way the fans will get the most for their money. There will be a pay out at halfway so that should keep everyone from sandbagging. Then, the last 100 laps will be exciting after we've all been mixed up in the field."
Wood competes weekly in the Hooters Pro Cup touring series and believes the experience he has gained thus far will benefit him greatly this weekend.
According to Wood, "By racing at a different track every week I've learned to change my line depending on how many laps I have on my tires. I may run anywhere from three to five lines in one race to try and maintain fast lap times."
While most would view the third generation Wood with added pressure because of his heritage, Wood perceives the conditions as opportunity. "I have good equipment and great people working on my cars. I do feel pressure sometimes because if we're not running as well as we should then people view it as me not taking advantage of my resources. And, sometimes if I run well they view it as I'm supposed to run well because of my resources. I'm just out here to race and have fun. We want to be competitive and we want to win races. The competition is very tough and I'm just happy that I have a chance to do something I enjoy."
Jon Wood has a racing heritage that stretches back to the roots of NASCAR. Jon's grandfather, Glen Wood, founded Wood Brothers Racing in 1950 and his father, Eddie Wood, is co-car owner and team manager of the No. 21 CITGO Ford.
According to Jon's father, Eddie Wood, "Racing is what Jon loves and as a parent I get joy out of watching him do what he enjoys. We've never pushed him to race and if he stops having fun or decides he's tired of it then that'll be fine with us too. He's enjoyed success so far in his career and we believe he has what it takes to make it to the big leagues. Only time will tell but he's definitely progressing every week as a racecar driver."
The race will broadcast live on the Roanoke, VA CBS affiliate - WDBJ 7 at 7:00 p.m.