Motorsport News

Jon Wood Looking for Wood Brothers Improvement

NASCAR Cup Series

If you reflect back on the 2000s, you will probably remember the name Jon Wood. The grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood and son of Eddie Wood spent time between all three series from 2001-2008, with two wins in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

Now, he is a father, baseball coach, and serves as the Senior Vice President and Co-Owner of Wood Brothers Racing, who fields the famed No. 21 in the NASCAR Cup Series for Harrison Burton.

Frontstretch caught up with Wood following the April 16 race at Martinsville Speedway, where he discussed the team’s performance, the state of the NASCAR economy, and how he would like to see the team get that elusive 100th victory.

Luken Glover: When you look at the season so far for your group, you had good speed at the Daytona 500 and a couple of top 15 finishes. What are your thoughts so far?

Jon Wood: [Eddie Wood, Wood’s father] says that I dig myself in a hole and then spend the rest of my time on the call-in [to a radio show in Stuart, VA] trying to dig out of it. Basically, I’m too critical, too negative, so I’m trying to be a little more positive and not be so much doom and gloom.

I would not say our season so far has been remotely close to what any of us expected or hoped for. We’re not supposed to be running 30th, we’re not supposed to be qualifying close to the 30s. I have to be very careful because I’m not pinning this on Harrison. We wind into a period of time, and in that period of time was Matt Dibenedetto, right before that would have been Paul Menard, and shortly before that would have been [Ryan] Blaney. With those three, moreso with Blaney than Matt or Paul, we got to where we were disappointed with a 10th-place finish or 12th. If we finished 12th, I’m not going to call it a bad day but we weren’t over the moon about it. Certainly, if we were in the high teens to 20s, that was like, “we messed up.”

You expect that sort of thing with a rookie, and we haven’t had that except, again going back to Blaney, his first season in 2015. We went full-time in 2016, he had some days that were similar to the ones that we’re having. But what we look for now in Harrison’s second season and Brian Wilson’s [crew chief] second season, you kind of want to see some improvement … If I had to make an assessment right here today, up to this point in 2023 has not even been where we were at the end of ’22. I can’t imagine Harrison just forgot how to drive. I…

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