MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Wood Brothers Racing have revealed the No. 21 Ford Mustang that Paul Menard will drive during the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 1.
The car is inspired by the 1957 Ford Sunliner raced by the team’s late founder, Glenn Wood. The red-and-black paint scheme is patterned after the 1957 Sunliner that Glenn Wood raced in 1957 in his only Darlington appearance as a driver.
Wood, with relief from Fonty Flock, finished 17th in the Rebel 300 after blowing an engine.
Wood also raced the ’57 at Daytona in 1958 in the Convertible circuit’s final appearance on the beach-road course that preceded Daytona Int’l Speedway. He finished sixth in that race.
Wood, one of the top stars of the Convertible circuit, had his best season in 1957, winning four races and two poles and finishing in the top five in 23 of the 46 races that year.
For his 89-race Convertible career, Wood had five wins, 43 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes and nine poles.
He also raced the ’57 in the series now known as Monster Energy Cup, simply bolting on a top to make it legal for the elite division.
The original car had an interesting history. It started its life doing endurance testing at Ford’s proving grounds in the desert.
“They were going to scrap it once the endurance testing was over, but my Dad found out about it and called John Cowley, who ran Ford’s NASCAR effort back then,” said Eddie Wood, Glenn Wood’s son. “He gave the car to my Dad and they made a race car out of it.”
“They kept the red-and-black paint scheme that was on the car during the endurance tests.”
Wood said he, his family and the entire Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are thankful for the chance to honor his father, who died Jan. 18 of this year.
“You want to honor your dad the best way you can,” Eddie Wood said. “And for racers, the throwback weekend at Darlington provides the perfect opportunity to do that.”
Wood said his family and the race team considered honoring Wood at Darlington last year, but chose to recognize former driver Cale Yarborough on the 50th anniversary of his first Southern 500 triumph, which came aboard the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Mercury. It also was the first Southern 500 win for the Woods.
“It would have been nice to do it last year, but it’s nice to do it now,” Wood said. “It’s really a special paint scheme, for sure.”