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Wood Brothers Putting The Past On Display

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 13 2011

Glen Wood circles the track in his 1956 convertable. (File photo courtesy of Wood Brothers Racing)

By Rick Minter | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Concord, N.C. – Three generations of Wood Brothers have combined to spend the past 62 years running a race team, but lately they’ve turned into museum curators.

With team founder Glen Wood being selected for the NASCAR Hall of Fame the second generation of the family – Glen’s children Eddie, Len and Kim Hall – have begun assembling memorabilia from the team’s years of NASCAR racing.

They’ve taken the working area of their shop in Stuart, Va., the one they vacated to move to the Charlotte area a few years ago, and are turning it into a display of Wood Brothers history.

There are racing parts from the earliest days to the present, among them a carburetor collection that starts with a Stromberg one-barrel from a flat-head Ford engine to the four-barreled variety that is on the No. 21 today but will be relegated to a museum piece at the end of the season as NASCAR is mandating fuel injection for 2012.

There are tools like a lathe, drill and band saw that were in the team’s old shop in Stuart, and thousands of photos of NASCAR legends and Wood Brothers drivers including Curtis Turner, A.J. Foyt, Marvin Panch, Cale Yarborough and David Pearson.

And there are plenty of pictures of the original generation of Wood Brothers – Glen, Leonard, Delano, Ray Lee and the late Clay Wood.

Recently a relative of Glen Wood’s original partner Clay Williams came up with an old

Glen Wood of the Wood Brothers. (Photo by RacingOne/Getty Images)

forklift the team once used. It’s gotten a heavy pressure washing but otherwise is in original condition. There’s also a 1963 Ford Galaxie, set to be made into a replica of the car that Glen Wood drove to his final victory as a driver and the same car that Tiny Lund used to give the Woods the first of their five Daytona 500 victories.

And Eddie Wood and his mom Bernece have been working to have photographs restored and often enlarged.

“They recognize me when they see me coming in to Costco,” Eddie Wood said of the store that is handling much of the photo work.

In one corner of the shop at Stuart, the Woods are recreating their original shop. Behind the actual lathe or band saw is a photo of the same tool, with one of the Woods at work with it.

There’s also the old wooden desk and filing cabinet.

“It’s got my initials engraved in it,” Eddie Wood said. “It’s actually got my full name —like I took a knife and just carved my name right on the front of it, right on top. Why I did that I don’t know, but I did it because it’s my name.

“It’s got old stuff in it, like, I just opened the bottom drawer and it’s got a checkerboard in it, a deck of cards in it, it’s got old box of Band-Aid’s.”

Eddie Wood said that while he’s disappointed at the amount of potential memorabilia that was tossed over the years, he’s also glad that so much of it remains.

“I guess one thing that kind of helped it stick around is we’re small, and we’ve always been

Tiny Lund won in suspensful fashion for the Wood Brothers at Daytona in 1963. (Photo courtesy of Wood Brother Racing)

small, and nobody really messed with any our stuff but us,” he said. “And if it got thrown away probably I threw it away or Len threw it away. Probably me more so than Len because dad doesn’t throw anything away.

“And fortunately, a lot of the things that we’re finding and have that we’re going to be able to display eventually is stuff he had.”

New to the collection next week will be a set of crew shirts that the current team will wear on Saturday night for the Bank of America 500. To honor Glen Wood’s induction, the team is running a paint scheme from 1963, one that was on the car when Glen got the final win of his driving career – at Bowman Gray Stadium on July 13, 1963, and some of the original crew will wear reproduced Hinchman uniforms just like the ones they wore in the ‘60s.

According to Len Wood, when the brothers called Hinchman Racewear, they still had the pattern. That shouldn’t be too surprising. Hinchman has been around for more than 80 years.

Officials from Joe Gibbs Racing and Dollar General confirmed one of the worst-kept secrets in racing by announcing a new alliance that will see Dollar General pick up 12 Cup races on the No. 20 Toyota driven by Joey Logano as well as a full-year deal on Brian Scott’s No. 11 Nationwide Series car and 10 races on either the No. 18 or No. 20 Gibbs entry. The retailer will continue to sponsor Kyle Busch’s Camping World Truck Series team for 10 races.

The Cup deal means that Home Depot will relinquish some sponsorship of the car, a move that team president J.D. Gibbs said was initiated by the race team after being approached by Dollar General.

– Rick Minter can be reached at rminter@racintoday.com

Rick Minter | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, October 13 2011
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