By David Morgan, Associate Editor
Glen Wood, who co-founded the Wood Brothers Racing Team in 1953, passed away Friday morning at the age of 93. The team confirmed the loss of the legendary NASCAR Hall of Famer via a statement on social media.
“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.”
Wood started his career as a driver himself, winning four races in 1960 and 1963 before hanging up his helmet and transitioning into being a full-time owner and leading Wood Brothers Racing well into the future.
Voted as one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, Wood added to his accolades with induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.
Though Wood retired in the late 1980’s, handing the team off to sons Eddie and Len, he was still a constant presence at the track, making it to Daytona every year from 1947 to 2017 – a streak of 71 years.
Serving as the longest active running NASCAR team, Wood Brothers Racing has employed a number of future Hall of Famers including David Pearson, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Joe Weatherly, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, Dale Jarrett, and Bill Elliott.
In the years since its founding, Wood Brothers Racing has amassed 99 wins, including five Daytona 500 victories with Tiny Lund (1963), Cale Yarborough (1968), AJ Foyt (1972), David Pearson (1976), and Trevor Bayne in 2011.
The team’s most recent win came at the hands of Ryan Blaney in 2017. Currently, the team employs Paul Menard as their driver.
“This is a difficult day for all of us at Ford Motor Company, said Edsel B. Ford II, a member of Ford Motor Company’s board of directors. “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.
“Glen was an innovator who, along with his family, changed the sport itself. But, more importantly, he was a true Southern gentleman who was quick with a smile and a handshake and he was a man of his word. I will cherish the memories of our chats in the NASCAR garage, at their race shop in Mooresville or the racing museum in Stuart.”