Guinness officially recognizes Wood Brothers as NASCAR’s longest active team

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Times have changed. Teams have come and gone. And NASCAR has turned from Southern curiosity to a sport embraced in many corners of the country.

But through it all, Wood Brothers Racing has endured.

Now, as they prepare to embark on their 65th season of racing, they’ve been officially recognized as NASCAR’s longest active team by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Getting recognition from the world’s foremost authority on achievements both big and small was, as the team tells it, a personal mission of Jon Wood – former NASCAR driver and grandson of team co-founder Glen Wood.

The story goes like this: Jon recently uncovered a copy of the book’s 50th anniversary edition while going through piles of junk at his home. As he’d been working on a logo to celebrate the Wood Brothers’ 65th anniversary, he was reminded of his childhood belief that one day, he’d do something worthy enough of being in the book’s pages.

Knowing that his family team had been generally considered as NASCAR’s longest active team – but not officially recognized as such – Jon promptly sent off an application for a record claim to the Guinness website.

A sports records coordinator from Guinness got back to him and expressed interest in helping. Jon then enlisted the help of Buz McKim, the historian at NASCAR’s Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, to help him verify his claim.

Soon enough, Guinness made things official.

“I realize that when it comes to the Book, the first thought in some people’s minds are some of the wacky, crazy records, like one for the most sneezes in one minute or something,” Jon said in a team release. “But on the flip side to that, whether it’s a record of a silly nature, or serious ones like land-speed records, there is only one global authority, and that is the Guinness Book of World Records.

“My goal was to both validate the claim that Wood Brothers Racing is the longest active team in NASCAR and also honor my grandfather and his brother, Leonard, for what I believe to be an astounding accomplishment.”

As you’d expect, Glen Wood was appreciative of his grandson’s efforts.

“This is pretty big for us,” he said. “It’s a big deal to us and I’m sure a big deal to Ford. Without their support from day one, there is no way we would be where we are today.

“We’ve come a long way since the days under a beech tree. We’ve had ups and we’ve had downs, so when we get recognition like this, it just makes it all the more meaningful.”

The Wood Brothers will run a part-time schedule in 2015 with Sprint Cup newcomer Ryan Blaney.

WATCH: Red Bull F1 team completes pit stop in zero gravity

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The Red Bull Racing pit crew may have already made headlines last weekend when it completed the fastest pit stop in Formula One history, changing Max Verstappen’s tires in 1.82 seconds, but the team’s most recent stunt took their skills to new heights – quite literally.

With the help of the Russian Space agency Roscomos, a group of the team’s mechanics completed the world’s first zero-gravity pit stop, on-board a IIyushin II-76K cosmonaut training plane.

Using a 2005 BR1, the team filmed the viral video over the course of a week, enduring seven flights and about 80 parabolas – periods in which the plane climbs 45 degrees before falling again at a ballistic arch of 45 degrees, creating a period of weightlessness for approximately 22 seconds.

With such a short time frame between weightlessness periods, the car and equipment had to be both quickly and safely secured before gravity once again took effect. Each filming lasted roughly 15 seconds, and the stunt was the most physically and technically demanding activity the live demo team had ever undertaken.

“It pushed us harder than I thought it would,” said Red Bull Support Team Mechanic Joe Robinson. “You realize how much you rely on gravity when you don’t have any!

“It challenges you to think and operate in a different way – and that was brilliant. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and honestly, I could have stayed and done it all month. It was amazing. I think it’s the coolest, most fun thing the Live Demo team has ever done with a show car.”

Though Red Bull was the first team to perform a pit stop in zero gravity, surprisingly Red Bull was not the first team to put a car through zero gravity. In 1999, McLaren driver David Coulthard and his car experienced zero gravity as part of a promotion for then-sponsor West Cigarettes.

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