The Wood Brothers Racing team are famous for winning races and having a great pit crew. The way they maintain this is by running a limited schedule. During the 1990′s and early 2000′s, they attempted to run full schedules, but it didn’t work out too well.
After realizing that the team didn’t have the resources to be competitive throughout the entire NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule, the Wood Brothers scaled back their operation in 2010 after missing several races since the 2007 season. At first, it sounded rather dumb. Think about it, a team that had been running the full schedule since 1985 with Kyle Petty, just put a stop to their program.
However, the move hasn’t done anything but make the team better. With a partnership with Roush-Fenway Racing, the team uses Roush-Yates engines which gives them an advantage as a smaller team. Their pit crew is still as strong as it ever was. Their only problem is that they don’t have enough sponsorship to run more races.
As of now, Motorcraft/Quicklane, is only on board for 12 races. That could of course change depending on the team’s effort. Trevor Bayne won the 2011 Daytona 500 in just his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start with the team. It brought the attention that they needed to run more races and has slowly continued to do so. By no means necessary are they as strong as they used to be when they ran a part-time schedule, but they’re getting there.
The Wood Brothers usually run within the top-20 or 25 each race weekend. It isn’t too great, but it’s not bad for a team that doesn’t have too many sponsors and had to lay off key people from their organization. Eventually, once Bayne is ready to run a full-time schedule in NASCAR’s toughest series, the team could likely be like a fourth Roush-Fenway car and run a full schedule with Roush’s help. It could propel the Wood Brothers to be back competing within the top-10 on a weekly basis and give Bayne the chance he deserves at winning races.
A team that’s only running 12 races this year isn’t that fun to see. With the amount of competitiveness within the Wood Brothers’ life style, it’s sad to see their team have to step back such as how they are. Hopefully, Bayne will be able to attract more sponsors as the team returns to the track in April at Texas.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.