Friday, January 18, 2019

NASCAR Pioneer Glen Wood Passes Away

NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood. Taken on January 20, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (John Harrelson/ Getty Images)

STUART, Virgina (January 18, 2019) -- The NASCAR community has lost another icon of the sport, as Wood Brothers Racing co-founder Glen Wood has passed away.

Wood had been placed in hospice on January 10th.

Reports of his passing began surfacing on January 12th, however those reports were premature. Wood was able to spend his remaining days at home among family before ultimately passing on January 18th.

Wood Brothers Racing Statement:

“It’s with profound sadness that we mourn the passing of team founder and family patriarch Glen Wood this morning. We want to thank family, friends, our small-town Virginia community of Patrick County, as well as everyone in the NASCAR community for their unwavering support of him, his life, his legacy and everything “Pa” represented. We’ve had some very challenging days but the uplifting words you all have sent truly meant a lot and we thank every one of you for thinking of our family during this difficult time. Funeral arrangements are still pending but it will be a small family service.”

As the co-founder of a team that has seen victory lane at the Daytona 500 five times, Wood had been to every single running of the “Great American Race” up until the 2018 running, wherein Wood opted to stay home amid concerns of a flu virus that was sweeping the country at the time.

Glen Wood was one of NASCAR’s true pioneers of the sport. A former driver from Stuart, Virginia, Wood and brother Leonard founded Wood Brothers Racing in 1950. Wood raced in NASCAR for eleven years from 1953 to 1964, claiming one win in a 50 miler in Winston-Salem in 1963.

Wood shared his memory of the beginnings of the Wood Brothers Racing team on the team’s website. He tells the story of his first race, at Morris Speedway in 1950.

“In 1950, at Morris Speedway, near Martinsville, VA, I was running along pretty good about the middle of the heat race, when they had a wreck in front of me. I was trying to go through a little narrow opening and hooked my left rear wheel on the bumper of one of the other cars. It bent the rear end housing, forcing us to quit. We were towing it behind another car, and got up the road about 10 miles. The wheel was wobbling from being bent and finally broke the axle. That, in turn, let the brake drum down on the pavement. As the wheel came out, it jerked the gas neck out of the tank and the gas spilled down and caught fire. Then, it caught the car afire, and it burned right there in the middle of the road. Finally, we got the car unhooked from it, but we didn’t have fire extinguishers. We had some extra gas cans and extra tires and tools that we were carrying in the racecar. And once in a while, a gas can would blow up in there. We were scared to get close to it because of that. So we let it burn until it burned up about everything. That was the first race I’d ever got to start. So we figured it all might be over.”

Glen Wood is survived by a large family including friends and colleagues throughout the motorsports world.

As part of the the iconic Wood Brothers Racing team, Wood played a vital role in the development of the sport over a sixty plus year career.

Legendary names including Pearson, Waltrip, Bonnet, and Elliot all played a role in the success of the team under Wood’s view.

PixelatedSPEED would like extend sincere condolences to the entire Wood family during this time.

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