Wood Brothers’ Matriarch Bernece Wood Dies At 90

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Bernece Wood, the matriarch of Wood Brothers Racing, died Tuesday. (Wood Brothers Racing photo)

STUART, Va. — Bernece Wood, the wife of NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood and the matriarch of Wood Brothers Racing, died Tuesday. She was 90 years old.

Wood’s passing was confirmed by officials from NASCAR’s oldest team on social media and by NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley.

“We often times are told how incredible it is that our family all gets along. We owe the credit to family matriarch Bernece Wood so it’s with profound sadness that we had to say goodbye to her today,” WBR social media manager Jon Wood wrote on the team’s Twitter account. “These things are never easy and we all experience grief, but it’s still hard.

“The indisputable fact is that everything our team stands for and has stood for are the values that originated from her and my grandpa Glenn. Please keep Eddie, Len and Kim in your thoughts.”

Bernece Wood was born Jan. 28, 1931, and grew up in Charity, Va. She and Glen Wood were married for 68 years prior to Glenn’s passing in January of 2019.

Bernece helped oversee the rise of the Wood Brothers’ family-operated organization from its fledgling roots into NASCAR’s longest-running establishment from its inception in 1950.

Glen and his brother, Leonard, founded the team which still competes at NASCAR’s premier Cup Series level with Matt DiBenedetto driving the iconic No. 21 Ford.

Of note, Bernece’s great-granddaughter — Giselle Hicks — raced to victory on March 23 at the sixth-mile Millbridge Speedway dirt track, piloting the family’s familiar No. 21 in the Cadet class for outlaw karts.

“On behalf of the entire NASCAR Hall of Fame team, I would like to offer our most sincere condolences to Eddie, Len, Kim and the entire Wood family on the passing of Bernece Wood,” Kelley said in a statement. “Ms. Bernece — as she was affectionately known throughout the NASCAR industry — was so much more than the wife of NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Glen Wood and the matriarch of the Wood family. She was truly the family’s rock and north star. She was a very active and integral part of NASCAR’s longest, continually operating team.

“In addition to being a loving and devoted wife to Glen, she was an incredible mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. The respect and love she had for her family and they for her is matched only by the respect and love the NASCAR industry has for this truly special and remarkable lady,” Kelley added. “Ms. Bernece will be dearly missed, but her legacy and the impact she had on so many will live in our hearts and minds forever.”