Wood Brothers to Receive Smokey Yunick Award
The award, instituted several years ago by legendary car owner and mechanic Smokey Yunick who passed away May 11, 2001, annually recognizes those whose lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the motorsports industry.
"The careers of Glen and Leonard Wood perfectly match the ideals upon which Smokey Yunick founded this award," said H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "He wanted it to honor only those who rose from humble beginnings and through dedication and hard work made a major impact on the sport.
"What Glen and Leonard have accomplished since joining NASCAR's premier series in 1953 is simply amazing and their efforts have played an important role in helping NASCAR grow from a regional sanctioning body into a world-wide sporting power."
Glen Wood formed Wood Brothers Racing in 1950, fielding sportsman and modified cars he drove at tracks in Virginia and the Carolinas. The team started participating in NASCAR Grand National (now NEXTEL Cup) races in 1953, and has since competed in over 1,200 events. As a driver, Glen Wood won four NASCAR Grand National races before hanging up his helmet in the mid-1960s.
Wood Brothers Racing is now equally owned by Glen Wood and his children, Eddie, Len and Kim, but the 80-year-old patriarch continues to play a role in the team's operations.
Leonard Wood, Glen's younger brother, has been with the team since its inception. He served as chief mechanic as the organization grew into a championship contender during the 1950s and '60s. Recently celebrating his 71st birthday, Leonard Wood still works at Wood Brothers Racing as a fabricator and toils in the carburetor department of Roush-Yates Racing Engines.
Glen and Leonard Wood were the first to recognize the importance of fast pit stops, implementing several techniques for changing tires and fueling the car that are still used today. They also assembled the pit crew that helped Jim Clark win the 1965 Indianapolis 500.
Additional career highlights include:
Previous winners of the Smokey Yunick Award include Ken Squier, Bill Simpson, Ralph Moody, Banjo Matthews, Bud Moore, Cotton Owens, Junie Donlavey and Jim Hunter.
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