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NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Leonard Wood (Part 3/5)

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR

NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Leonard Wood (Part 3/5)

Trevor Bayne
Eddie Wood
Leonard Wood
February 8, 2013


TREVOR BAYNE: I'm honored to drive the No.21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, which has fielded a car since 1950. Their longevity and success partially owed to one man, Leonard Wood. As a crew chief, Leonard was the first to realize that his team could gain on‑track positions through quick pit stops. His drivers won 94 races and captured 117 poles. Leonard worked on all parts of the car, often inventing parts or tools when none existed that were just like that. Leonard's contributions to NASCAR helped elevate the competition on track to higher levels.
THE MODERATOR: Please welcome 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, Leonard Wood.
EDDIE WOOD: It is my honor on this day, February 8, 2013, to induct you, Leonard Wood, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
LEONARD WOOD: How am I supposed to handle that? My nephews Ed and Len are just awesome. They went out of their way, and just can't thank them enough. It's a good thing I did the ring size and not the hat size. Wouldn't have been able to get it on.
But I want to thank the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel. Congratulations to all of the inductees. And I can't say enough about the Hall of Fame personnel. They have made it so much fun and all the activities leading up to this induction. And it's certainly a high honor to go into the Hall of Fame, NASCAR Hall of Fame, especially behind brother Glen and two of our former drivers David and Cale. Glen and I always did things together. We learned together and we won together. Glen told me one time he thought he needed a bigger spoon on the right front of his modified, and I thought being on asphalt, it's smooth, I didn't see as it needed it. So I climbed in the car at Martinsville with him, we went into the turn, and I thought I was going to throw him out the window. So I had enough on the first lap, and I'm trying to tell him that I've had enough, and he can't hear me.
So finally stopped, and I got out, and I said, Glen, you definitely need a bigger spoon on the right front.
I would like to thank NASCAR, all the France family, Bill Sr., Bill Jr., both in the Hall of Fame, Betty Jane, Lesa, Jim and Brian, and I'd also like to thank Mike Helton, John Darby and all the officials.
I want to thank Ford Motor Company, Edsel Ford, Alan Mulally, Mark Fields, Jim Farley and Jamie Allison, and if it wasn't for Ford Motor Company and brother Glen I wouldn't be up here. Jack Roush, Robert Yates, Doug Yates, thank you for all you have done for the Wood Brothers. Dale Inman, you're a great crew chief and a great friend.
Wood Brothers certainly enjoyed competing against you and the Pettys, Lee, Richard, Maurice and Kyle. Racing is about competition, and you guys sure had plenty of that.
I'm proud to go into the Hall of Fame with the legends Buck Baker, Cotton Owens, Herb Thomas and Rusty Wallace. Glad to see all the people from Patrick County here. Chris Williams, it's great to see you, as well.
I can't thank Glen's family enough for all they've done for me, Glen, wife Bernice, Eddie, Carol, son John, daughter Jordan, Len, Nancy's son Kevin, Glen's daughter Kim and her husband Terry. I could look the world over and not find a better two young men to help me when I was chief mechanic than my two nephews Eddie and Len. They helped me so much.
I want to thank all my brothers, Clay, Glen, Ray, Delano and sister Crystal for all their support, and Delano was the best jack man in racing.
I want to thank my daughter Beth, husband Kelly Witt, and my precious granddaughters Carlyn and Grayson. They all are very special to me.
I want to thank my late wife Betty May. She was a special lady, great mother, loved people, never met a stranger, and my best friend. She would be so proud.
When I started racing, I never dreamed I would get to work with so many great drivers, the ones that won races in our cars are Glen Wood, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Neil Bonnett, Marvin Panch, Dan Gurney, AJ Foyt, Speedy Thompson, Kyle Petty, Joe Weatherly, Tiny Lund, Curtis Turner, Parnelli Jones, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker, Dale Jarrett, Morgan Shepherd, Michael Waltrip, Elliott Sadler, now Trevor Bayne. And other drivers we've worked with include Junior Johnson, Fred Lorenzen, Fireball Roberts, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader, Bill Elliott, Boris Said, my nephew John Wood, Marcos Ambrose, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
David, you were with us the longest. You always kept your competitors guessing. They never knew how much you had left until the race was over.
I would like to say to Eddie, Len, Kim, along with Donnie Wingo, thank you for doing an awesome job running the operation. I was especially proud of you winning the 2011 Daytona 500, and I can't wait to see you do it again. Thanks to all the fans, and we can't thank our armed forces enough, and thank the good Lord above. Thank you very much. Have a safe trip home.

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