NASCAR team owner Glen Wood has died at age 93
Glen Wood: July 18, 1925 – January 18, 2019
Glen Wood and his brother Leonard Wood co-founded Wood Brothers Racing over fifty years ago in 1953.
The team is one of the oldest teams on the grid today. They’ve run 1546 races over 65 seasons and collected 99 wins along the way, most recently with Ryan Blaney.
David Pearson drove the Wood Brother Racing machine to a 3rd place finish in the championship in 1973. To date, that’s a career best for the organization.
Glen Wood: His first race
This team is one of the most historic teams in the sport today. But, it could have been all over before it even got a chance to get on it’s feet.
Wood ran his first NASCAR Cup Series race that year at Morris Speedway. The first race ended in a crash for the Virginia native. However, it’s what happened on the way home which could have changed history.
“I was trying to go through a little narrow opening and hooked my left rear wheel on the bumper of one of the other cars. It bent the rear end housing, forcing us to quit,” Glen Wood formerly recalled his first race.
“We were towing it behind another car, and got up the road about 10 miles. The wheel was wobbling from being bent and finally broke the axle. That, in turn, let the brake drum down on the pavement. As the wheel came out, it jerked the gas neck out of the tank and the gas spilled down and caught fire. Then, it caught the car afire, and it burned right there in the middle of the road.”
“Finally, we got the car unhooked from it, but we didn’t have fire extinguishers. We had some extra gas cans and extra tires and tools that we were carrying in the racecar. And once in a while, a gas can would blow up in there. We were scared to get close to it because of that.”
“So we let it burn until it burned up about everything. That was the first race I’d ever got to start. So we figured it all might be over.”
In the next 11 years, he ran 62 races and collected four wins but never completed a full season.
Glen Wood was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.
Wood Brother Racing statement on Glen Wood
On January 12, 2019, Wood Brother Racing issued the following statement:
“We want to thank everyone for their messages of concern and support. As was mentioned yesterday, our Pa (Glenn Wood) isn’t in the best of health at present.”
“He’s at home resting and we again just wanted to thank everyone for their kind words. It means the world to us!”
This morning, Wood Brother Racing posted another update:
“It’s with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of team founder and family patriarch Glen Wood this morning.”
“We want to thank family, friends, our small-town Virginia community of Patrick County, as well as everyone in the NASCAR community for their unwavering support of him, his life, his legacy and everything “Pa” represented.”
“We’ve had some very challenging days but the uplifting words you all have sent truly meant a lot and we thank every one of you for thinking of our family during this difficult time. Funeral arrangements are still pending but it will be a small family service.”
NASCAR statement on Glen Wood
“In every way, Glen Wood was an original. In building the famed Wood Brothers Racing at the very beginnings of our sport, Glen laid a foundation for NASCAR excellence that remains to this day.”
“As both a driver and a team owner, he was, and always will be, the gold standard. But personally, even more significant than his exemplary on-track record, he was a true gentleman and a close confidant to my father, mother and brother.”
“On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I send my condolences to the entire Wood family for the loss of a NASCAR giant,” the statement from NASCAR concluded.
NASCAR community reacts to the passing of Glen Wood
Ryan Blaney: “Tough phone call this morning hearing about Glen. Was a special honor getting to know him and drive the 21 car for a few years. My best to the Wood family.”
Roger Penske: “Glen Wood was one of NASCAR’s true pioneers and leaders. From our earliest years in the sport, Wood Brother Racing set the gold standard of NASCAR teams, and that was a results of the vision and dedication of Glen and Leonard.”
“Glen established himself in the sport first as a driver then as an innovator and a team owner. Glen helped me and our team when we first became involved in NASCAR, he has been a trusted friend throughout the years.”
“All of us at Team Penske are proud to be associated with the Wood Brothers organization to the day. Glen’s work ethic and his focus set the example for all of us to follow and he will certainly be missed by so many in our sport. Our thoughts are with Leonard, Eddie, Len, Lim and everyone with the Wood Family.”
Ford Performance: “Legend. Innovator. Loyal friend. We join the family and the sport in mourning the passing of Wood Brothers Racing founder Glen Wood this morning. The Woods are the longest running Ford team in our history. More important, Glen was a true gentleman and a important part of our family.”
Ray Evernham: “Sorry to hear about the passing of Glen Wood. One of the most respected men ever in our sport. The captain of the incredible Wood brothers legacy. Always a smile , a handshake and a word of wisdom Thank you for setting the standard of excellence in racing. RIP”
Dale Earnhardt Jr: “Glen Wood sure lived a full life, a remarkable journey. His contributions to motorsports are tough to measure. My thoughts are with my dear friend, his brother Leonard and the rest of the family.”
Dale Jarrett: “Very sad to hear about the passing of Glen Wood. Great memories of the Wood Brothers and everyone on that team.”
Jeff Burton: “Glen Wood was a legend and a great racer. More importantly he was a good man and respected by an entire community. His impact on the sport was huge and he helped pave the way for the sport to grow and be successful. My thoughts and prayers are with the Wood family.”