MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Glen Wood, a founding member of Wood Brothers Racing and an inductee into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has died. He was 93 years old.
Wood Brothers Racing announced Wood’s passing on Twitter Friday morning.
“This is a difficult day for all of us at Ford Motor Co.,” said Edsel B. Ford II, member of the board of directors for the Ford Motor Co. “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.”
From Stuart, Va., Wood started his career in NASCAR has a driver. Between 1953 and 1964 he made 62 starts in what would eventually become the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, winning four times at North Carolina’s Bowman-Gray Stadium.
He eventually hung up his helmet and alongside his brother, Leonard, would go on to field race cars for some of NASCAR’s most legendary drivers.
Of those drivers, there was none better than David Pearson, who won 43 times while racing for the Wood Brothers between 1972 and ’78. The biggest of those wins was the 1976 Daytona 500, which saw Pearson and his long-time rival Richard Petty crash on the final lap. Pearson was able to re-fire his car and limp across the finish line to win the race.
The Wood Brothers have won the Daytona 500 five times. In addition to Pearson, Tiny Lund won the race in 1963, Cale Yarborough won in ’68, A.J. Foyt drove to victory lane for the team in ’72 and Trevor Bayne won for the team in ’11.
All told Wood Brothers Racing has earned 99 victories at the top level of NASCAR with drivers like Pearson, Yarborough, Foyt, Lund, Neil Bonnett, Buddy Baker, Donnie Allison, Dan Gurney, Marvin Panch, Curtis Turner, Speedy Thompson, Kyle Petty, Dale Jarrett, Morgan Shepherd, Elliott Sadler, Bayne and most recently Ryan Blaney.
Wood inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012 and his brother Leonard, who served as the team’s crew chief for many years, joined him the following year.
“In every way, Glen Wood was an original,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Jim France. “In building the famed Wood Brothers Racing at the very beginnings of our sport, Glen laid a foundation for NASCAR excellence that remains to this day. As both a driver and a team owner, he was, and always will be, the gold standard. But personally, even more significant than his exemplary on-track record, he was a true gentleman and a close confidant to my father, mother and brother. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I send my condolences to the entire Wood family for the loss of a NASCAR giant.”
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. pic.twitter.com/vadN1NKgTV
— Wood Brothers Racing (@woodbrothers21) January 18, 2019