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Wood Brothers To Return To Full Schedule In 2016

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, November 20 2015
The famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford will be on the track full time next season. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)

The famed No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford will be on the track full time next season. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Harold Hinson)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor

The historic Wood Brothers Racing team announced Friday that it is returning to full-time competition in the Sprint Cup Series next year.

Driving the iconic No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford in all 36 races in 2016 will be Ryan Blaney. Jeremy Bullins will serve as crew chief.

Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Ford Performance will serve as sponsors of the car. Additional sponsors are being sought.

“We are beyond excited to make this announcement about going back to full time competition,” said team co-owner Eddie Wood. “It has been something we’ve worked toward since 2009 when we started running limited schedules.”

In 2015, Blaney and the Wood Brothers’ best finishes were fourth in the spring Talladega race, 12th at the Brickyard, 14th in the fall Charlotte race and seventh in the most-recent Kansas race.

“This is every driver’s dream come true,” Blaney said, “Getting a chance to run for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. I’m really looking forward to running a full schedule with this historic Wood Brothers team and hopefully get them their 99th and 100th wins sooner rather than later.”

Wood Brothers Racing was formed in 1950 in Stuart, Va., by Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Wood Brothers Racing is the oldest active team and one of the winningest teams in NASCAR history.

Since its founding, the team won 98 races (including at least one race in every decade for the last seven decades) and 117 poles in NASCAR’s top-tier series. Fielding only Ford products for its entire history, the Wood Brothers own the longest association of any motorsports team with a single manufacturer. Glen’s brother, Leonard, who still can be found in the team’s pit, is known for inventing the modern pit stop.

At the end of 2008, the Woods announced they were trimming back to a part time schedule. On Friday, during a press conference at Homestead-Miami Speedway, co-owner Len Wood was asked about the switch back to full time.

“In 2008,” Len Wood said, “we stood here with Edsel Ford and Brian Wolfe who was the Ford Director at the time and talked about how our performance was not where we wanted it to be and the suggestion was made to go to a limited schedule and get our performance back and then try to get back full time. We have done that as hard as we could the whole time. I think this past year our performance has been where it needed to be and I think we are ready to make the next step with Ryan Blaney and Jeremy as our crew chief.”

The team will continue its relationship with Team Penske.

“I told somebody the other day that if you walk in the door over at Team Penske,” Eddie Wood said, “Len and I run into people that were working there when we were racing in the ‘70’s that are still working there and we are still friends with them. It just feels like family with those guys. We will get into all that later but I don’t see it as that will be a problem at all.”

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Friday, November 20 2015
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