After an outcry on social media about Wood Brothers Racing not receiving one of the 36 charters that guarantee teams a starting spot in every NASCAR Sprint Cup points race, the team issued a statement Wednesday:
“We can’t express enough how proud and thankful we are for the overwhelming expression of support for our team. NASCAR has pressed the reset button on the ownership structure and we hope it takes the sport in a positive direction. We have endured challenges throughout our 66 years and will undoubtedly face more in the future, but that’s what makes our team unique.
“We take great pride in our organization’s reputation and our loyal fans are nothing short of amazing. The main focus right now is to be the best team we can possibly be. Motorcraft and Ford Performance have put tremendous faith in us and our objective is to make the most of this 2016 season and beyond. We plan to address this more in depth in the upcoming days.’’
NASCAR granted charters to 36 teams that had competed full-time since 2013. Among the teams not granted charters were the No. 19 of Carl Edwards at Joe Gibbs Racing, the No. 41 of Kurt Busch at Stewart-Haas Racing and the No. 21 of Ryan Blaney for the Wood Brothers.
Both the JGR and Stewart-Haas cars came into existence after 2013. The Wood Brothers haven’t raced a full-time season since 2008.
Rob Kauffman said Tuesday that Michael Waltrip Racing’s two charters will go to the No. 19 and No. 41 teams. HScott Motorsports will lease the charter from Premium Motorsports this season for the No. 46 of Michael Annett. That left the Wood Brothers without a charter for this season. Other teams have expressed their interest in retaining their charters.
The Wood Brothers will run the full season after securing additional sponsorship. With 36 spots guaranteed to teams with charters, the Wood Brothers will compete for one of four open spots each race weekend in the 40-car field.
At least 42 cars are expected to be entered for next week’s Daytona 500.