Wood Brothers to run full Sprint Cup schedule in 2016

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HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Wood Brothers Racing will  run a full schedule next season for the first time since 2008, the team announced Friday.

Ryan Blaney will be the team’s driver. Jeremy Bullins is the team’s crew chief. Motorcraft/Quick Lane and Ford Performance will return as anchor sponsors.

Blaney is in his first season with the team. He has two top-10 finishes in 15 starts this year.

“I think this past year our performance was where it needed to be and we’re ready to make the next step with Ryan Blaney as our driver,” co-owner Len Wood said.

The move comes as Ford does not have a team in the championship round Sunday after both Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano of Team Penske were eliminated last weekend. Also, the move comes as Roush Fenway Racing continues to struggle and Richard Petty Motorsports searches for sponsorship for its second car.

Dave Pericak, director of Ford Performance, defended moving the Wood Brothers to a full-time schedule even with struggles with other Ford teams.

“There’s no doubt we do have a lot going on,” Pericak said. “We have talked in the past that we are dedicated to this sport and improving our performance across the board. This is just another element of the total plan to do that. We have a belief in the Wood Brothers and Team Penske and Mr. Blaney. It just makes sense that we do this. People ask about resources. We have the resources. We are fully committed on all fronts to do this right. This is just one element of the plan to fix what is going on within all our teams at Ford.”