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NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood passes away

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Wood Brothers Racing patriarch Glen Wood, who was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012, died Friday. He was 93.

The team announced his passing Friday morning on social media.

Wood was a link to NASCAR’s early years.

A former driver – he won four times at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. – Glen Wood founded the Wood Brothers Racing team with brothers Leonard and Delano. In Wood’s first win at Bowman Gray Stadium in April 1960, he beat a field that included former champions Richard Petty, Rex White, Ned Jarrett and Lee Petty. Wood’s history also includes seeing Tim Flock race with a monkey and having Ralph Earnhardt drive convertible and sportsman cars for the team.

His racing career nearly ended as soon as it started. Wood and a friend paid $50 for a 1938 Ford coupe to go racing. The Stuart, Virginia, native ran his first race at a track near Martinsville. During the heat race, his car was hit and bent the rear-end housing. After the race, Wood and his friend hooked the race car to the vehicle they were driving and headed home.

But on the trip, the axle eventually broke, and the damage caused spilling fuel to ignite. The fire engulfed the back of the race car.

“Every once in a while one of them (gas cans) would blow up, and we would be afraid to get close to it because of that,” Wood recalled in a 2011 interview. “Finally we got it unhooked and got the car away from (the one pulling it) and let it burn because we couldn’t do anything about it.”

They salvaged the engine and repaired the car. A few weeks later, Wood was back racing.

While Leonard is often credited as the father of the modern pit stop, Glen was equally as responsible. The two developed a communication and strategy plan that was one of the best in NASCAR for several decades.

Wood Brothers Racing, which has 99 Cup victories, remains the oldest continuous racing team in NASCAR. Among the drivers that have raced for the team are Hall of Famers David Pearson, Curtis Turner, Junior Johnson, Joe Weatherly, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough, Dale Jarrett and Bill Elliott.

Born on July 18, 1925, Glen retired as a driver at the age of 39, assuming full-time duties as the team’s chief administrator, a role that he handled for nearly 30 years before relegating the role to sons Eddie and Len.

Through the years, Wood’s name mysteriously changed. His birth certificate lists his first name as Glenn, but somewhere along the way the last letter was dropped.

Wood received the colorful nickname of “Wood Chopper” early on for how he used to cut timber at a Virginia sawmill. But when Glen started racing, that nickname followed him and became somewhat of a calling card for his winning ways.

“When he pulled into a racetrack, and the announcer would say, ‘Here comes the Wood Chopper from Stuart, Virginia,’ you knew you had a challenger that night,” Ned Jarrett, a fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer, said of Glen Wood in a 2012 NASCAR Hall video of Glen Wood’s career. “Glen Wood, he was the master.”

Kyle Petty, who drove for the Wood Brothers during his career, was a Hall of Fame voter when the group discussed who to induct in the 2012 class. Behind the closed doors, Petty made an impassioned speech for the voters to select Wood for induction.

“I think people forget the breadth of somebody’s career sometimes when it spans as long as his,” Kyle Petty said that day in 2011.

In a statement, Edsel B. Ford II, member of the Board of Directors for Ford Motor Company, said of Wood’s passing:

“This is a difficult day for all of us at Ford Motor Company. 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.  My most memorable moment with Glen was with he and his family in the #21 pit box watching Trevor Bayne win the 2011 Daytona 500 and the celebration that followed in victory lane.”

Jerry Bonkowski contributed to this report

NASCAR America: Best family moments of 2018

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NASCAR is defined by family. Drivers’ children, spouses and parents fill the garage and victory lane celebrations.

As Thanksgiving approaches, NASCAR America looked back on some of the greatest family moments of the season.

“The drivers have done a tremendous job in bringing their families in – their kids in – and it just shows that we’re not just saying this is a family sport,” Dale Jarrett, son of legendary Ned Jarrett, said. “It has been for a long time. Kyle Petty and myself and many others. This is what we grew up around. … I think it’s showing these young people this is a sport that you can count on. You can count on the people and there are a lot of good people involved with that.”

Highlights include:

  • Clint Bowyer jogging down the front stretch to scoop his son Cash into his arms at Martinsville.
  • Kevin Harvick‘s son Keelan retrieving the checkered flag at Michigan followed by a trip to victory lane in the passenger side of his father’s car.
  • Bubba Wallace’s mother Desiree Wallace joining him in the media center at Daytona.
  • Chase Elliott and his Hall of Fame father Bill Elliott in Watkins Glen’s victory lane.
  • Hudson Logano being placed in the Monster Energy Cup trophy by Joey Logano.

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

NASCAR America: Joey Logano versus Kyle Busch

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Kyle Busch earned his Cup championship at the age of 30 in his 11th fulltime season. Joey Logano earned his first at the age of 28 in his 10th.

That got NASCAR America analysts Dale Jarrett and Parker Kligerman wondering if Logano and Busch are destined to be the rivalry that defines their generation.

“These two have raced against each other a lot in the Xfinity side and the Cup side,” Jarrett said on Tuesday’s edition of the show. “Both at Joe Gibbs Racing for a time. … I think that we are setting up for (a rivalry). Two hard-nosed racers and I think they appreciate what the other one brings to it.”

Now 33, Busch holds the advantage in wins. His 51 victories in 498 starts represents a winning average of 10.2 percent. Logano has 21 wins in 363 starts (5.8 percent). But 25 of Busch’s victories came after he turned 28, which may suggest the best is still to come for Logano.

“I think it’s going to be really interesting,” Kligerman added. “This could develop seriously into one of those rivalries for two drivers really trying to cement their legacy in the sport.”

For more, watch the video above.

Follow Dan Beaver on Twitter

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Logano’s championship, rivalry with Kyle Busch

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Today’s NASCAR America airs from 5 to 6 p.m. ET. Joey Logano and Kyle Busch have accomplished so much in a short period of time. Is this the start of a budding rivalry.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Parker Kligerman from Stamford, Connecticut. They are joined by Dale Jarrett in the Charlotte studio.

On today’s show:

  • Scan All Miami features the sights and sounds of Joey Logano’s championship-winning victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
  • Take a look at some of the best images of Logano’s celebration with his family. We’ll also re-live some of the best family moments of the 2018 season.
  • The Championship 4 drew most of the attention during the season, but there were also standout performances from other drivers. Parker and DJ look at the “best of the rest” on today’s show.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET: Championship 4, David Pearson passes

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN with a preview of this week’s race at Miami that will determine the champion.

Carolyn Manno hosts with Dale Jarrett and Parker Kligerman joining.

  • Parker and Carolyn are reunited today on NASCAR America and it feels so good
  • NASCAR lost a legend Monday night when news broke about the passing of Hall of Famer David Pearson at the age of 83. We’ve got reaction from across the NASCAR world, including all four of this year’s Championship drivers.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1999 Cup Series champion Dale Jarrett is in New York with all four Championship drivers for an in-depth conversation about Sunday’s showdown at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.