NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood passed away on Friday at the age of 93, the Wood family announced via Wood Brothers Racing’s various social media channels.
Wood, along with brothers Leonard and Delano, founded Wood Brothers Racing in 1950, and the team continues to compete in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as the longest-tenured team in NASCAR. Glen Wood was a driver of the team’s iconic No. 21 in its early years, running 62 races in NASCAR’s premier series between 1953 and 1964. He won four times, with all of those wins coming at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
After retiring from driving race cars, Wood ran Wood Brothers Racing, a team with 99 NASCAR premier-series wins, for almost 30 years before turning the reigns over to his sons Eddie and Len Wood. Glen and Leonard Wood are credited as pit-stop innovators, implementing pit strategies that spilled over from NASCAR into IndyCar. A Wood Brothers pit crew helped Jim Clark to his Indianapolis 500 win of 1965.
"This is a difficult day for all of us at Ford Motor Company, as 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,” Ford Motor Company's Edsel B. Ford II said. "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," Ford added. "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."
Glen Wood was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012, a year before his brother Leonard Wood.
"With all that success, perhaps what Glen will most be remembered for is his grace, humility and character,” NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director Winston Kelley said. "The word that best describes Glen to me is gentleman. I’ve often said if you looked up the term 'Southern Gentleman' in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Glen Wood and likely all of the Wood brothers."
"While we have lost one of NASCAR’s true pioneers, icons and legends, Glen’s legacy and memory will continue through Wood Brothers Racing and will be forever remembered, preserved, celebrated, and cherished here at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, at the Wood Brothers Museum in Stuart, Virginia, and in our hearts and minds."