USAR: Wood set for Lakeland final

STUART, Va. -- Jon Wood never dreamed his rookie season in the Hooters ProCup Series would go by so fast. In less than a year, the third generation Wood has elevated his racing career from a weekly racing series to one of the toughest, most ...

STUART, Va. -- Jon Wood never dreamed his rookie season in the Hooters ProCup Series would go by so fast. In less than a year, the third generation Wood has elevated his racing career from a weekly racing series to one of the toughest, most challenging touring series in the United States.

The 2000 season marked Wood's first attempt at a touring stock car racing series and the experience has been a learning experience according to Wood. He currently ranks 8th in the championship standings and the series comes to an end this weekend at one of Wood's favorite tracks on the circuit ? USA International Speedway in Lakeland, Florida.

"It's been a fun year and one I'll never forget," stated Wood. "I really didn't know what to expect when the season started. All I knew was that I wanted to go racing. We sat down and made goals for the team and we've been very close to reaching all of them. I mainly wanted to be competitive every week and for the most part we've done that.

"We haven't won yet this year and this is our last shot. If we can just get a little luck on our side we may be able to pull of a win at the last race of the season like (Jerry) Nadeau did last week in Winston Cup. Our seasons have been similar. He had led some races but seemed to always have bad luck that kept him from winning. This team has experienced some of the same things. We've sat on the pole, led laps and run up front but we just haven't led the lap that counts the most."

The lap Wood is speaking of is the last one and it's the one Jon Wood Racing has spent the past 20 weeks chasing. The team has tested several days during the off-weeks for upcoming races. The future of Stuart, Virginia's famous racing family is now driving the No. 116 Ford Taurus and is a lot closer to NASCAR's major series than he thought he'd be at the young age of 19.

"I think Casey Atwood, Kevin Grubb and Jamie McMurray are helping to pave the way for younger drivers," stated Wood. "If a driver is truly focused, it only takes one good opportunity to make it to the big leagues. That's why I'm here racing now. I want to be in NASCAR and I know the experience I gained this year has been good for me. I've been on the road traveling and racing. That's what racing every week boils down to. It's a lifestyle and I hope I carry our family heritage into the next 50 years just as my grandfather Glen has done for the last half a century."

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Series Stock car
Drivers Casey Atwood , Jon Wood , Jamie McMurray , Kevin Grubb