Ryan Blaney and the Wood Bros. The new combines with the old in making NASCAR waves in 2017. The combination is working its way towards being one of the feel good stories of the season so far.
Older fans will remember and appreciate the team with Virginia roots as one of the pioneers and innovators of NASCAR. The modern pit stop? Credit the Wood Bros. Along the way, racing legends such as David Pearson and AJ Foyt have piloted that 21 car- a rig looking much like it did back when the team was at its zenith.
For much of the last decade, Wood Bros. ran only a part-time schedule, as opposed to going the “start and park” route. Bill Elliott, Marcos Ambrose and Trevor Bayne all took their turn behind the wheel. Wood Bros. recaptured a moment of racing glory when Bayne rocked the NASCAR world with a victory at the 2011 running of the Daytona 500.
From pioneer to NASCAR survivor, the Wood Bros. are jockeying for a share of the spotlight with a wunderkind leading the way. Ryan Blaney- who was born on New Year’s Eve, 1993- is currently sixth in the standings. Running a 16 race schedule in 2015, the son of Dave Blaney- a former World of Outlaws champion and NASCAR driver- reeled off a top five and two top 10s. In his first full season, the younger Blaney finished a respectable 20th for the year, and increased the strong finishes, while decreasing the DNFs.
This season, it bodes well for Blaney and the Wood Bros. that they’re showing speed on the intermediates. The 21 grabbed two stage wins at Texas, has top 10 runs at Las Vegas and Fontana to boot.
For all those NASCAR fans who love the throwback, here’s a team you can get behind. Len and Glen are just a couple of Virginia good ol’ boys, and while a youngster, Blaney seems a better fit for say, Hollywood, Florida than Hollywood, California.
Wood Bros. has been stuck on 98 victories for some six years now. With the trajectory the team is currently on, we’re willing to wager they will hit triple digits sooner, rather than later.