Wood Brothers set to reach key milestone at Talladega


The Wood Brothers are one of the most legendary teams in NASCAR lore.

With 1,419 starts, 98 wins, 337 top-five and 522 top-10 finishes and 116 poles, the team’s 61-year history has been marked with success throughout.

But nowhere is that success more pronounced than on superspeedway tracks – those of two miles or more in length.

The Wood Brothers have won 36 times on superspeedways: 15 at Daytona, 11 at Michigan, twice at Pocono and three times at the now defunct Ontario Motor Speedway.

And then there’s Talladega Superspeedway, where the longtime Virginia-based family racing operation has compiled five wins.

Providing driver Trevor Bayne qualifies on speed, Sunday’s Geico 500 at ‘Dega will mark a significant milestone in Wood Bros. annals: its 400th superspeedway start.

“Getting to 400 superspeedway starts isn’t just another number,” Eddie Wood, one of the team’s current co-owners, said in a team media release. “It’s something we are proud of.

“It shows that our team has performed consistently well on those size tracks. We’ve always had more success on the bigger speedways. They just seem to suit us for some reason.”

Nine drivers have earned superspeedway wins for the Wood Bros. over the years: NASCAR Hall of Famers David Pearson (18) and Cale Yarborough (6), A.J. Foyt (4), the late Neil Bonnett (3), and one each by Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, Tiny Lund, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker and Bayne, who earned the team’s most recent superspeedway triumph in the 2011 Daytona 500.

Team founder Glen Wood and long-time crew chief Leonard Wood are both also in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”