Wood Bros. First To Test Under New Ford Racing Agreement With Kentucky Speedway
Wood Bros. Racing became the first NASCAR Winston Cup team to test at Kentucky under its new agreement with Ford Racing that allows any of the manufacturer's sanctioned race teams exclusive access to the 1.5-mile tri-oval each Tuesday through 2004.
Wood Bros. tested two new chassis on Sept. 10 with its 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Driver Ricky Rudd and also worked on race set-ups that will benefit current driver Elliot Sadler.
"We're testing with Ricky Rudd to find out what kind of chassis he likes," Wood Bros. Owner Len Wood said. "One car is brand new and one has a couple races under it, but they're different styles. We'll have new rules on the body next year so we're talking about building a lot of new cars so we wanted an idea to try to get a jump start.
"Next year will be a little different because they're (NASCAR) going to more common templates for the cars. Each will have their own noses and tails and side glass, but the contours of the hood, roof and back glass will basically be the same. The main change for next year is the body location (on the chassis). The Daytona cars the body will move forward for better aerodynamics and less drag, and it will be the opposite when you go to the speedways. The shorter the track, the farther back you would put it (the body)."
Wood said he looks forward to visiting Kentucky Speedway on Tuesdays over the next several years, as it provides an ideal testing situation for several tracks on the Winston Cup circuit.
"This a super place to come test because we can fly up in the morning, run all day, and be home at night, " Wood said. "You don't have to test for two days, we can get a good plan and knock it out quick. Ford has the track on Tuesdays, so we can almost come on a days notice. The track is a mile and a half, banked and seems to be a lot more like Kansas and Chicago more so than Charlotte, but you basically get the same effect. We can test here and cover anything from Rockingham through Michigan."
Wood also commented on the unique situation of testing a new driver for the 2003 season while preparing to finish the current season with a different driver.
"It's a new situation for us," Wood said. "Our race team was kind of 'spun out' and shocked when Elliot asked out (of his contract) early in the season. We tried to put that behind us and focus on racing because we still have to keep going 100 percent for Elliot Sadler. We may be back here in a week or so with Elliot to try to figure something out. We're not giving up on him at all, but we decided to use this opportunity to test Ricky for next year."
Visit www.kentuckyspeedway.com for the latest speedway news and information about the 2003 season.