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NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Glen Wood

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  Glen Wood, NASCAR

NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Glen Wood

Glen Wood
Leonard Wood
January 20, 2012


CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

THE MODERATOR:  Glen Wood has joined us, inducted tonight in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  The gentleman that inducted him is next to him, and that's Leonard Wood.  Congratulations on this honor here tonight.  Certainly what the Wood Brothers has accomplished over the years is just a milestone and a trademark and a benchmark in the sport.  Talk about your thoughts about now being in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
GLEN WOOD:  Well, that means as much to me as anybody else, I can tell you that.  It's the greatest honor you can get in this sport.  One of the proud things is that two of the ones that are in already have driven our car, Pearson and Yarborough.  I just learned today how big this is.  It's as big as it gets.
THE MODERATOR:  Leonard, talk about what it was like being able to officially induct Glen in the Hall of Fame tonight.
LEONARD WOOD:  Well, you know, Glen and I worked together all these years, and he was the first driver.  We worked really well together.  To be able to just induct him into the Hall of Fame, I was just very proud of him, and I was very proud to get to do it.  Just a big thrill to me, and of course I would like to add that Junior Johnson has also driven our car, and he's in the Hall of Fame, as well.
GLEN WOOD:  Yeah, I forgot about him.
LEONARD WOOD:  Yeah, Junior has always been our friend.  He likes to pick at us and we like to pick at him.  And I think he thinks the world of us, and we think the world of him.
GLEN WOOD:  Well, one thing I didn't mention when I was up there, the very last race I ran in myself, I promoted the race, with Marvin Panch.  Junior was there, and he beat me with my tires.  I had to loan him my tire, and I knew he'd beat me if I did, but out of the five in the Hall of Fame today which was Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett and me in third place and David Pearson and Richard had something happen to him and he was back in the field, but five of them are here in the Hall of Fame now.

Q.  I have a question regarding the Indy 500.  Your pit stop strategy for open wheel racing, was it much different than NASCAR?
LEONARD WOOD:  Well, John Colley from Ford Motor Company asked if we'd come up and pit Jim Clark, so we roll into town.  We wondered how these people are going to accept us‑‑ we don't know if they're going to accept us or not.  A foreign crew, and we don't know how it's going to go over.  But they rolled out the red carpet, they welcomed us to be there.  So we started putting the car through inspection, and we had this big giant vent in the side of the fuel tank, so that made the outlet come up off of the floor a little bit, and the inspector says, well, how come you got the outlet so far up on the tank, and I said, well, it's up there, and he says, I'll bet you $1,000 you can't pour 20 gallons a minute into that tank.  We didn't bet with him, but we run a trial run that put 58 gallons in in 15 seconds.
And the car, you know, it was such a force of filling it up that when you're against the car, you can just feel the car swell up, you're putting so much pressure in there.
But it was one of those times you got the most publicity in the least amount of time than anything we ever done in our life.

Q.  Leonard, when you guys started racing, did you assume that Glen would be the driver sort of forever and ever?  Was it kind of a surprise when Glen decided he didn't want to drive?
LEONARD WOOD:  No, you know, he started out as like fun, you know, and then he begin winning races and setting track records, and so he was very good.  I'm telling you, smooth on the throttle, and on the short tracks, he loves the short tracks, but when it got to the superspeedways he just didn't like to do that as much.  Then in later on years‑‑ he loved the beach.  He run the beach course.  But then we started getting drivers because he decided he didn't like to run at high speeds.
GLEN WOOD:  It was a whole lot of trouble to try to do the driving and be a part of working on the car, too.  Of course I was probably the best truck driver they had, so that would have been part of my job, too.

Q.  Today we've seen marriages last 72 days and you guys have been in the sport forever and have been with Ford.  What's the secret to keeping everything together for so long?
LEONARD WOOD:  Well, Glen and I have always worked really well together.  Glen is really good at keeping people happy, his employees and all that, and of course I was concentrating on making the car run.  He is the businessman.  He's a way better businessman than I ever thought about being.  I was just concentrating on making the race car run and he concentrated more on the business.
We both just worked together.  And then of course you don't never need to‑‑ if you have bad luck, you don't never say, poor me or whatever, you just know that goes along with it and try not to let it get the best of you and just go forward as much as you can.
GLEN WOOD:  I think if I ever had one bad expression of it, I think I did throw my helmet down one time, but I never did anything like some of them do today.

Q.  They talked during the induction ceremony that 20 of the greatest 50 NASCAR drivers of all time drove your cars at some point in their career.  How did you go about getting them into your cars?  Was it something Ford engineered or did you call them or did they call you?
LEONARD WOOD:  Well, if you get your car fast enough, you'll get your drivers.  That's the biggest thing.
GLEN WOOD:  Ford did ask us sometimes if it would be okay to do that or put us together.  We got together with some pretty good ones.  But David Pearson, I just called him myself and asked him did he want to drive it.  Well, yeah.  So that worked out the best of anybody we ever had in the car.

Q.  Can you one more time, Glen, tell the story about how your name went from Glen with two Ns to one N, and to follow that up, how long do you think it'll be before Leonard gets in the Hall of Fame, as well?
GLEN WOOD:  Well, I really don't know how come the last N got dropped off.  I guess it had to be signing autographs.  You know how they do today.  You don't know who‑‑ if you didn't put a number on it, you will not know who did it the next day or the next five minutes if you had several there, because it's a scribble of sorts.
I always write my name, try to write it so they can read it, because it may not have a number by it.  Who was that?
And what was the other part?

Q.  Give me your best reason why he should be in the Hall of Fame.
GLEN WOOD:  He's the best, that's why.  No, he knows more about‑‑ I think Dale Inman would agree with this, that Leonard knows more, everything about a car than anybody that's ever been in NASCAR.  That's why.
THE MODERATOR:  Glen, Leonard, thanks for being here tonight.  Glen, congratulations on being inducted into the Hall of Fame, and we'll see you this season.  Thank you very much.



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