Team Preview: Wood Brothers Racing
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone on February 4, 2012 | 10:17 A.M. EST
Bayne: "We’re all excited to be back together." (Photo: Getty Images)
MotorRacingNetwork.com counts down to the start of Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway with a series of team previews. Next up is a look at Wood Brothers Racing.
The 2011 season couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the legendary Wood Brothers Racing team when rookie Trevor Bayne scored a very popular win in the Daytona 500.
The storied organization went about its business the remainder of the year on a limited schedule and enjoyed varying degrees of success along the way.
As the new season dawns, Bayne and the Woods will again team up for a similar campaign hoping to build on the foundation put into place last year.
“I’m excited,” Bayne said. “It’s a big deal for me. It’s what I had hoped for. We’re all excited to be back together.”
The team is expected to field the No. 21 Motorcraft Ford in 13-15 Sprint Cup races this season as it did in 2011 with pending sponsorship perhaps making it possible for additional events to be added to the slate.
"You always want to do more," Bayne said. "We're trying our best. You'd think running good would do that, but it's not enough these days. It's hard to find sponsorship."
The offseason was a busy one for the team, which will again have an alliance with Roush Fenway Racing, putting its 2012 program together.
But in the end bringing back Bayne was the key priority.
“It’s taken a long time to get to this announcement, but it’s good to be back together,” team co-owner Eddie Wood said. “We all wanted to do what was best for Ford Motor Company and its young drivers, and to be sure everybody had a place to race.”
Bayne will run for RFR again in the Nationwide Series to fill out his schedule but admits there’s a challenge to improving on the Cup side when the opportunity to drive in the series is limited.
“It's a learning experience; that series is tough," Bayne said. "We've done good with what we have to work with…have really fast cars, but not working together every week holds you back. I want more top 10s and maybe a top five before the year is over. I learn every time I hit the track in that car."
Another thing Bayne learned last year was the deep history the Woods have in the NASCAR world and the contributions the team has made to the sport since it began.
Being part of the relationship the Woods have with Ford is something Bayne considers very special.
“There’s no question at all that since the beginning, the Woods and Ford were going to stick with each other,” Bayne said. “The Woods are such a great racing family, and it’s amazing that they’re the only one of the original teams that has survived since the beginning.”
As for what to expect when the season begins at Daytona, Bayne isn’t exactly sure what kind of racing will take place during Speedweeks as he tries for a second straight win in “The Great American Race.”
With the many rule changes and tweaks to cars imposed by NASCAR during last month’s pre-season test, just what kind of impact the modifications will have to the two car tandem or pack drafting is still up in the air according to Bayne.
“It’s going to be very different at Daytona,” Bayne said, referring to a rule change that will block off air to the car’s radiator and thereby limit the two-car tandem racing that Bayne so quickly adapted to. “It’ll be like starting all over again, but that’s OK.
“We’ll just go try to do it again.”
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