Glen Wood, Patriarch of the Wood Family and Wood Brothers Racing Dies at 93
Glen Wood, the founder of Wood Brothers Racing along with brothers Leonard and Delano Wood passed away early this morning. Wood was a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. A former driver – he won four times at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. – Glen Wood founded the Wood Brothers Racing team with brothers Leonard and DelanoIn Wood’s first win at Bowman Gray Stadium in April 1960, he beat a field that included former champions Richard Petty, Rex White, Ned Jarrett and Lee Petty.
Wood Brothers Racing, which has 99 Cup victories, remains the oldest continuous racing team in NASCAR. Among the drivers that have raced for the team are Hall of Famers David Pearson, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Joe Weatherly, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, Dale Jarrett and Bill Elliott.
Born on July 18, 1925, Glen retired as a driver at the age of 39, assuming full-time duties as the team’s chief administrator, a role that he handled for nearly 30 years before relegating the role to sons Eddie and Len. Often times, he would attend the Cup races at Martinsville Speedway to watch his famous No. 21 Ford race, and always came to Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona until recent years.
Wood received the colorful nickname of “Wood Chopper” early on for how he used to cut timber at a Virginia sawmill. But when Glen started racing, that nickname followed him and became somewhat of a calling card for his winning ways.
Brother Leonard often gets credit for the fast and accurate pit service the Wood Brothers always had, but Glen must get credit for the communication skills the two had. At one time the pit crew was called to pit Fords in the Indianapolis 500.
Ford board member and longtime supporter Edsel B. Ford II, summed it up in a statement.
In a statement, Edsel B. Ford II, member of the Board of Directors for Ford Motor Company, said of Wood’s passing:
“This is a difficult day for all of us at Ford Motor Company. Glen Wood was the founding patriarch of the oldest continuously operating NASCAR Cup Series team and we consider Wood Brothers Racing a part of our family, the Ford Family. The Wood Brothers race team, by any measure, has been one of the most successful racing operations in the history of NASCAR. Most importantly for our company, Glen and his family have remained loyal to Ford throughout their 69-year history.
“Glen was an innovator who, along with his family, changed the sport itself. But, more importantly, he was a true Southern gentleman who was quick with a smile and a handshake and he was a man of his word. I will cherish the memories of our chats in the NASCAR garage, at their race shop in Mooresville or the racing museum in Stuart. My most memorable moment with Glen was with he and his family in the #21 pit box watching Trevor Bayne win the 2011 Daytona 500 and the celebration that followed in victory lane.”
Arrangements are pending.
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.