Even though the Wood Brothers race team runs a partial Sprint Cup schedule, the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway is a race the team eagerly anticipates.
There are the connections with their sponsor, Motorcraft/Quick Lane, and the race‚Äôs sponsor, Ford Motor Company. Just being able to participate in one of NASCAR‚Äôs showcase events is very important.
Assuming Trevor Bayne qualifies for Sunday‚Äôs Ford EcoBoost 400, it‚Äôll mark 16 points-paying race appearances this season for Bayne and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane crew, a stretch that has seen them post four top-10 qualifying efforts and two top-10 race finishes. Sunday‚Äôs race also will be the last time Bayne and the Wood Brothers will compete using the current NASCAR version of the Ford Fusion.
Beginning next season, NASCAR‚Äôs Ford teams will begin racing a redesigned 2013 Ford Fusion. Fans and drivers can get a sneak peek at how that car will look this weekend as the 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium will serve as the official pace car.
Eddie Wood, co-owner of the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion, said he‚Äôs looking for one more good run from his team‚Äôs 2012 Ford Fusion then the focus will shift to the 2013 model.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs going to look like the Fusions in the dealers‚Äô showrooms and on the street, and that‚Äôs something NASCAR hasn‚Äôt had in a while,‚ÄĚ Wood said. ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs going to be lots of identity for Ford Motor Company and for all the other manufacturers.‚ÄĚ
Wood said the new cars take NASCAR racing back to a time when fans and competitors paid close attention to every detail of the race cars, such as the shapes of the bodies and the designs created by the manufacturers.
Bayne and the Wood Brothers already have participated in two on-track tests with the 2013 Fusion, at Martinsville Speedway and Kansas Speedway, and Wood said those tests indicate that the new models also have the potential to make NASCAR‚Äôs on-track product even more exciting.
‚ÄúThe new car has a lot of adjustability in it, which NASCAR can use to help make the racing better,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm really impressed with its capabilities.‚ÄĚ
The downside of bringing out a new car for the Wood Brothers and other race teams is that it‚Äôll mean some long hours at the shop preparing new cars, but Wood said that‚Äôs really nothing new.
"It's normal for race teams to work long hours getting ready for Daytona and the upcoming season,‚ÄĚ he said.
Wood Brothers Racing PR