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DEARBORN -- In honor of Wood Brothers Racing celebrating 60 years racing of Ford products in NASCAR, Ford Customer Service Division will feature the winning design of the “JDRF Design a NASCAR Car Contest” on the No. 21 Ford Fusion at the October Sprint Cup race in Charlotte. Co-owner Eddie Wood talks about his involvement in the contest and heading to Indianapolis for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Fans can vote for their favorite car design at www.jdrf.org/ford.
Eddie Wood – co-owner, Wood Brothers Racing
Q. THIS YEAR THE FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE DIVISION JDRF CONTEST WINNER’S DESIGN WILL BE ON THE NO.21. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE DESIGN CONTEST THIS YEAR?
A. We’re really excited about being involved with the JDRF program this year. It’s the first year for us. I know Bob Tasca did it last year. We actually went to the unveiling of the car and it was a very neat deal to see the design and see the kid that did it. It was pretty emotional for that little boy. I’m looking forward to that. We’ve seen some of the designs that have been sent in and we’re looking forward to the fans picking their favorite. I’ve already picked out a couple that I’ve liked. We’ll see if I’m way off base or if I’ll be right and lined up with what they think. Fans who would like to vote can go to www.jdrf.org/ford and pick out their favorite design. We’re going to run it at the fall Charlotte race. It’s a Saturday night race which is always exciting. It’s always a big weekend there in Charlotte. I think everyone will have a good time with it. We’re going to unveil it at the shop as well and a do a lot of exciting things around it.
Q. THERE’S A LOT OF HISTORY AT THE TRACK IN INDY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU TO GO AND RACE THERE?
A. Going to Indy is really special, especially for my family because we have some really cool history there in 1965 with Jimmy Clark and the Indy car and the Lotus with Ford Motor Company. Going there every year is a big thing for us just because of all that history and things that have happened there in the past. Bill Elliott has also had some success there. He’s actually won a race there. We’re looking forward to it. We’re taking a new car there.
Q. WHEN YOU TAKE A NEW CAR THERE, DO YOU JUST HIT THE GROUND RUNNING AND SEE HOW THE CAR PERFORMS OR IS A PRESET SET-UP THAT YOU TYPICALLY RUN?
A. Our crew chief David Hyder usually keeps up with that, but from what I’ve been told we’re going to start with the same set up we ran there last year. We had a really good car there last year. It qualified well. I think we’ll start at that point. It’s a new race car. It’s been through the wind tunnel and through the shaker and all the pre-race stuff that you can actually do, so I think we’ll be okay.
Q. DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE INDIANAPOLIS MEMORY?
A. The first time I went there. In the mid-90s was the first time we went up there. It was the first time I saw the race track. I never had seen an Indy car run on it. I never had been to that race track because we had always been racing in Charlotte for Memorial Day racing. For all the umpteen years that I had been involved in racing, we never had the chance to go there and test. When we got the chance to go there and test it was a really big deal for me because the first thing Len and I did was go and have our pictures taken at the start/finish line. There was actually a fan out there so we handed him our camera and got our picture taken.
Q. WHAT WOULD IT MEAN TO WIN INDY?
A. Going anywhere right now and winning would be a big deal for us. To be able to tack onto the history and winning in Indianapolis would be a big thing for us. Just the word Indianapolis means racing, just as Daytona means racing. Those are the two biggest races of the year for NASCAR and I’m looking forward to it.