Toyota Owners 400
The Toyota Owners 400 is a 400 lap Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series stock car race held at the Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. From 2007 to 2011, former race title sponsor Crown Royal named the race after the winner of an essay contest during Daytona Speedweeks; the winner of the first essay contest was Jim Stewart from Houma, with subsequent contests won by Dan Lowry of Columbiana and Russ Friedman of Huntington, New York, with the 2010 race being named for Army veteran Heath Calhoun of Clarksville, Tennessee. Since 2010 only military service members have been eligible to win the contest. Crown Royal moved the "Your Name Here" sponsorship to the Brickyard 400 beginning in 2012; the race is held as a Saturday night event in late April. For several years, it was held as a Sunday afternoon event the weekend after the Daytona 500 in February. Lights were installed at the facility in 1991. Consistent cold weather, a snow delay in 1989, prompted track officials to move the race in the spring.
The race was moved around to May or June, permanently moved from Sunday afternoons to Saturday nights. After a few years, the race fixed as a May race date by 1999. Starting in 2012, the race was held on the last Saturday in April, after the race switched dates with the spring Talladega race; the race returned to Sunday afternoon in 2016 but returned to Saturday night in 2018. Martin Truex Jr. is the defending winner of the race. 1962: Race shortened due to darkness. 1974: Race shortened due to energy crisis. 1977, 1982, 2003: Race shortened due to rain. 1986: This race is remembered for its controversy. Dale Earnhardt spun out Darrell Waltrip at the end, both cars crashed. Petty slipped by to win. 1988: Last race on old layout. 1989: Race rescheduled one month due to snow. 1998: Race moved to Saturday night event. 2002: Race started on Saturday night but was finished on Sunday afternoon due to rain. 2007 and 2015: Race postponed from Saturday night to Sunday afternoon due to rain. 2008, 2013, 2018: Race extended due to a NASCAR Overtime finish.
2008 – 410 laps 2013 – 406 laps 2018 – 402 laps 2009: Kyle Busch won on his 24th birthday. 1953–1969: 0.5 mile course 1970–1988: 0.542 mile course 1989–present: 0.75 mile course As of 2016, the Toyota Owners 400 is broadcast on Fox in the United States. During the 1980s and early 1990s, TBS covered the race. ESPN took over in the decade, from 2001 to 2006, the race was shown on FX. In 2007, for the first time in the track's history, the track's races aired on network television. In 2007, for the first time in the track's history, the track's races aired on network television. NASCAR Commentators Crews and Networks
Wood Brothers Racing
Wood Brothers Racing is an American professional stock car racing team that competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The team was formed in 1950 by eponymous brothers Leonard Wood; the Wood Brothers merged with Tad and Jodi Geschickter's JTG Racing in 2006 to increase their competitiveness and bring about sponsorship but separated for the 2008 season. The Wood Brothers Racing Team holds the unique distinction of being the oldest active team in NASCAR, having fielded cars since 1950, they are known for their long relationship with Ford Motor Company, the long-standing use of number 21 on their main car. The team fields the No. 21 Ford Mustang full-time for Paul Menard and has a technical alliance with Team Penske. The Wood Brothers Racing Team was formed in 1950 by brothers from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Walter and Ada Wood owned a family farm between Stuart, Virginia, they had one daughter. The sons worked with their father as mechanics and lumbermen. Glen Wood cut hauled lumber to local sawmills.
The boys spent much time at their father's garage. With each brother serving as a mechanic, they formed a stock car racing team. Curtis Turner, a local sawmill operator from nearby Floyd, inspired them. Turner became a champion racecar driver with a "win or crash" style and was co-owner of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Coincidentally, Turner would drive for the Wood Brothers. In the early 1950s, none of the Wood boys wanted to drive, so they asked their friend John Conway, of nearby Stuart, to drive, he declined the offer. They got fellow lumberman, Chris Williams, as their driver. In the early days of stock car racing, teams drove their cars to the track, raced them, drove them home. Williams and the Wood Brothers bought their first car for $50, inspiring them to number their car No. 50, many years before they adopted their famous No. 21. Chris Williams and Glen Wood each drove a few races; the team consisted of Williams, some of his brothers, the Wood boys. They became successful, winning races at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia.
Shortly after their early success, Chris Williams sold his share of the team to Glen Wood to focus on his lumber business. To fill team slots, the Wood Brothers enlisted help from Stuart area friends and neighbors including Ralph Edwards, a Wood cousin. Over the early years, the Wood Brothers Racing Team evolved from a weekend hobby into a full-time business. Glen and Leonard worked full-time building and preparing cars, while the other brothers and crew worked nights and weekends apart from their regular jobs, their first permanent racing shop was at the town limits of Va.. The team adopted the No. 21 permanently, would become as notorious as any number in NASCAR history. The Wood Brothers found themselves lured to the big-ticket cash prizes offered by the growing Superspeedway races in cities such as Daytona, Florida. Glen Wood soon stepped out from behind the wheel of the No. 21 Ford and they began hiring drivers with reputations as winners at the different tracks. The team soon began competing on the highest levels of the sport.
Victories were won with the mechanical genius of the team of brothers and friends. Leonard Wood's talent in the engine department soon brought the team acclaim and was second in the early years only to the fabled Holman-Moody engine juggernaut and the Petty racing dynasty of Lee Petty and son Richard Petty; the Wood Brothers invented the modern pit stop. In the early days of all types of motor racing, it was common for drivers to pull into the pits, turn off the car, get out and smoke a cigarette as the crew took their time changing tires and servicing the cars; the Wood Brothers recognized that by limiting the time off the track, it could increase their position on the track. Thus, they perfected what is now known as the pit stop, it is as common to all types of racing as the checkered flag itself. As other teams noticed that the Wood Brothers were winning races due to their efficient pit stops, these competitors soon copied the Wood method. Not content with being innovators, the Wood team practiced and perfected the pit stop as a form of acrobatic, ballet which gave them still further advantage over their competitors.
Other racing organizations noticed the pit stop innovations of the Wood Brothers. In 1965, Ford brought the Wood Brothers team to the Indianapolis 500, their speed and choreography helped Jim Clark win the 1965 500. With the Indy 500 win, the Wood Brothers Racing Team began to enjoy international acclaim as pioneers and leaders in motorsports, they were featured in many other media of the day. Their rosters of drivers soon became second to none, their victories were only matched by Richard Petty in the famed No. 43 STP-sponsored car. The Wood Brothers signed a long-term sponsorship agreement with Purolator to be their primary sponsor on the No. 21 car. Their drivers prior to and during this era had included a "Who's Who" of the best in stock car racing. Among those driving for the Wood Brothers team through the mid-1960s were Curtis Turner, Marvin Panch, Fireball Roberts, Parnelli Jones, Tiny Lund, Junior Johnson, Speedy Thompson, Fred Lorenzen, Cale Yarborough. In those years, the Wood Brothers entered a second car, the No.
121, in select events. Open-wheel star Dan Gurney, who enjoyed popular v
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is the top racing series of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. Since 2017, it has been named for its sponsor, Monster Energy, but has been known by other names in the past; the series began in 1949 as the Strictly Stock Division, from 1950 to 1970 it was known as the Grand National Division. In 1971, when the series began leasing its naming rights to the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was referred to as the Winston Cup Series. A similar deal was made with Nextel in 2003, it became the Nextel Cup Series. Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005, in 2008 the series was renamed the Sprint Cup Series, which lasted until 2016. In December 2016, it was announced that Monster Energy would become the new title sponsor starting in 2017; the championship is determined by a points system, with points being awarded according to finish placement and number of laps led. The season is divided into two segments. After the first 26 races, 16 drivers, selected on the basis of wins during the first 26 races, are seeded based on their total number of wins.
They compete in the last ten races, where the difference in points is minimized. This is called the NASCAR playoffs; the series holds strong roots in the Southeastern United States, with half of the races in the 36-race season being held in that region. The current schedule includes tracks from around the United States. Regular season races were held in Canada, exhibition races were held in Japan and Australia; the Daytona 500, the most prestigious race, had a television audience of about 9.17 million U. S. viewers in 2019. Cup Series cars are unique in automobile racing; the engines are powerful enough to reach speeds of over 200 mph, but their weight coupled with a simple aerodynamic package make for poor handling. The bodies and chassis of the cars are regulated to ensure parity, electronics are traditionally spartan in nature. In 1949, NASCAR introduced the Strictly Stock division, after sanctioning Modified and Roadster division races in 1948. Eight races were run on the Daytona Beach beach/street course.
The first NASCAR "Strictly Stock" race was held at Charlotte Speedway on June 19, 1949. Jim Roper was declared the winner of that race after Glenn Dunaway was disqualified for having altered the rear springs on his car; the division was renamed "Grand National" for the 1950 season, reflecting NASCAR's intent to make the sport more professional and prestigious. It retained this name until 1971; the 1949 Strictly Stock season is regarded in NASCAR's record books as the first season of GN/Cup history. Martinsville Speedway is the only track on the 1949 schedule. Rather than having a fixed schedule of one race per weekend with most entrants appearing at every event, the Grand National schedule has included over sixty events in some years. There are two or three races on the same weekend and two races on the same day in different states. In the early years, most Grand National races were held on dirt-surfaced short oval tracks that ranged in lap length from under a quarter-mile to over a half-mile, or on dirt fairgrounds ovals ranging from a half-mile to a mile in lap length.
One hundred ninety-eight of the first 221 Grand National races were run on dirt tracks. Darlington Raceway, opened in 1950, was the first paved track on the circuit over one mile long. In 1959, when Daytona International Speedway was opened, the schedule still had more races on dirt racetracks than on paved ones. In the 1960s as superspeedways were built and old dirt tracks were paved, the number of races run on dirt tracks was reduced; the last NASCAR race on a dirt track was held on September 30, 1970 at the half-mile State Fairgrounds Speedway in Raleigh, North Carolina. Richard Petty won that race in a Plymouth, sold by Petty Enterprises to Don Robertson and rented back by Petty Enterprises for the race. Between 1971 and 2003, NASCAR's premier series was called the Winston Cup Series, it was sponsored by R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company cigarette brand Winston. In 1971, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act banned television advertising of cigarettes; as a result, tobacco companies began to sponsor sporting events as a way to spend their excess advertising dollars and to circumvent the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act's ban on television advertising.
RJR's sponsorship became more controversial in the wake of the 1998 Tobacco Industry Settlement that restricted avenues for tobacco advertising, including sports sponsorships. The changes that resulted from RJR's involvement in the series as well as from the reduction in schedule from 48 to 31 races per year established 1972 as the beginning of NASCAR's "modern era"; the season was made shorter, the points system was modified several times during the next four years. Races on dirt tracks and on oval tracks shorter than 250 miles were removed from the schedule, transferred to the short-lived NASCAR Grand National East Series. NASCAR's founder, Bill France Sr. turned over control of NASCAR to Bill France Jr.. In August 1974, France Jr. asked series publicist Bob Latford to design a points system with equal points being awarded for all races regardless of length or prize money. This system ensured that the top drivers would have to compete in all the races in order to become the series champion.
This system remained unchanged from 1975 until the Chase for the Championship was instituted in 2004. Since 1982, the Daytona 500 has been the first non-exhib
Martinsville Speedway is an International Speedway Corporation-owned NASCAR stock car racing track located in Henry County, Virginia, just to the south of Martinsville. At 0.526 miles in length, it is the shortest track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The track was one of the first paved oval tracks in NASCAR, being built in 1947 by partners H. Clay Earles, Henry Lawrence and Sam Rice per Virginia House Joint Resolution No. 76 on the death of H. Clay Earles, it is the only race track, on the NASCAR circuit from its beginning in 1948. Along with this, Martinsville is the only NASCAR oval track on the entire NASCAR track circuit to have asphalt surfaces on the straightaways concrete to cover the turns; the track is referred to as paper clip-shaped and is banked only 12° in the turns. The combination of long straightaways and flat, narrow turns makes hard braking going into turns and smooth acceleration exiting turns a must; the track was paved in 1955 and in 1956 it hosted its first 500-lap event.
By the 1970s, a combination of high-traction slick tires and high speed was putting excessive wear on the asphalt surface. In 1976 the turns were repaved with concrete. By 2004, the 28-year-old concrete had shown significant wear. On April 18, 2004 a large chunk of concrete had become dislodged from the track's surface and caused severe damage to the body of Jeff Gordon's car. In reaction to this, the track was repaved with new concrete and asphalt; until 1999, Martinsville was notorious for having two pit roads. The backstretch pit road was avoided because if a team had to pit there during a caution, any car pitting on the front stretch had the advantage of pitting first and not having to adhere to pace car speed upon exiting their pit road; this was rectified when pit road was reconfigured to extend from the entrance of turn 3 to the exit of turn 2. This move allowed for a garage to be built inside the track, leaves Bristol as the only active NASCAR track with two pit roads; the first NASCAR sanctioned event was held on July 4, 1948.
In 1951, only four cars were running at the fewest of any race held at the speedway. In 1960, Richard Petty became the youngest winner at 22 years, 283 days. In 1991, Harry Gant became the oldest winner at 255 days, it was Gant's fourth win in a row. Ownership of the track was a joint venture of brothers Jim and Bill France, Jr. and H. Clay Earles, the majority owner, along with daughters Dorothy Campbell and Mary Weatherford, Dorothy Campbell's children, Sarah Fain and Clay Campbell. In 2004, the track was sold to the France family for over $200 million as a result of an estate sale following the death of Weatherford. Plans had existed to add an additional 20,000 seats along the back stretch, boosting capacity to over 85,000 seats. In 2005–2006 the Norfolk Southern Railway behind the track was moved 200 feet to make way for the added seats, but nothing more has been mentioned regarding this by track management since the sale of the track to ISC. From 1982 until 1994, again in 2006, the speedway hosted Busch Series events.
This occurred first with 200- and 150-lap features 300 laps from 1992 until 1994 as part of a Late Model/Busch Series doubleheader, 250 laps in the one-off in 2006. The venue was dropped from the Busch Series schedule for 2007 and a race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal was run on the open date. Martinsville hosts two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races — the STP 500 in late March or early April and the First Data 500 in late October or early November — along with NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, held on Labor Day weekend under the lights, Late Model races. Winners of the NASCAR Cup Series, Truck Series, Whelen Modified events receive a longcase clock as a trophy, a nod to Martinsville's famous furniture industry; this tradition started in 1964, when Earles decided he wanted to present a trophy that would reflect the Martinsville area. He chose clocks made by Ridgeway Clocks; the clocks presented as trophies are valued at around $10,000. The two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville seem to be on solid footing, despite the somewhat frequent rumblings of the track losing one of its race dates.
As as December 2008, Track President Clay Campbell said that no one, either from NASCAR, or track owner ISC, has hinted at taking a race from Martinsville and he plans on the sport being there in the long-term future. After multiple Late Model races were forced to count caution laps in segments in order to beat sunset, the 2015 fall Cup race ended at sunset, the track announced on October 12, 2016, in a news conference with Campbell and Dale Earnhardt Jr. that the track would be adding a 5-million-dollar LED lighting package. Campbell explained that Martinsville Speedway would be the first sports arena with an all-LED lighting package. Campbell said that the track did not have plans in place for nighttime races, with its premier series dates in 2017 locked in to start at 2 p.m. ET and 1 p.m. ET, but Campbell indicated that the $5 million initiative should provide flexibility in case of inclement weather. The project was
International Motorsports Hall of Fame
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame is a Hall of Fame dedicated to enshrining those who have contributed the most to the sports of auto racing and motorized boat racing either as a driver, developer or engineer. Although people of many nationalities have been inducted the majority of inductees chosen are American drivers who competed in domestic series. Only three non-Americans have been inducted since 2003, it was founded in 1990 by Bill France, Jr. the son of the founder of NASCAR, is located in Lincoln, adjacent to Talladega Superspeedway. To be nominated, the person must be retired from their specialty in motorsports for at least five years unless approved on special means, they are voted on by a 150-member panel from the American auto racing media. Due to the opening of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, there was no class of 2010. Motorsports Hall of Fame of America Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame NASCAR Hall of Fame Official website
Occoneechee Speedway was one of the first two NASCAR tracks to open. It is the only dirt track remaining from the inaugural 1949 season, it is located just outside the town of North Carolina. The Occoneechee farm occupied the land in the late 19th century; the farm was named after the Occaneechi Indians that lived in the area in the late 17th century and late 18th century. The landowner, Julian S. Carr, raced horses, built a half mile horse racing track. Bill France noticed the horse racing expanse of open land while piloting his airplane. On the site of the earlier horse track, he built a 0.9-mile dirt track in September 1947, two months before NASCAR was organized. In its earliest days, Fonty Flock and his brothers Bob and Tim dominated the track. Louise Smith became NASCAR's first female driver at the track in the fall of 1949; the Occoneechee Speedway hosted stock car racing legends such as Fireball Roberts, Richard Petty, Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson. The Sunday racing schedule prompted grassroots opposition in Hillsborough, the final race was a Richard Petty victory on September 15, 1968.
The Occoneechee Speedway site is now forested with pines and sycamores. The grandstands are still visible, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and now comprises 44 acres with over 3 miles of trails. A walking trail was built in 2003. Occoneechee, along with North Wilkesboro Speedway, is one of the inspirations for the Thomasville Speedway in the Pixar movie Cars 3. Occoneechee-Orange Speedway — Magazine by Ed Sanseverino The Historic Speedway Group Kickin' Up Dust At The Orange Speedway NASCAR track history at racing-reference.info
Leonard Wood (racing)
Leonard Wood is a former NASCAR crew chief, engine builder and co-founder of Wood Brothers Racing. Considered the innovator of the modern pit stop, Wood's team is recognized as the first to record a 25-second four tire pit stop in NASCAR history. During his tenure as crew chief, the Wood team won. Wood was born on September 22, 1934 on a family farm near Stuart, Virginia as one of six children, began building vehicles when he built a wagon with logs for wheels, intended to roll downhill; when he was 13, Wood placed a washing machine engine on a go-kart frame, used various pulleys and chains from salvaged vehicles at his father's shop to propel the vehicle, able to reach a top speed of 25 miles per hour. The go-kart is on display in Stuart's Wood Brothers Museum. In high school, Wood learned to build an engine from watching his father, disassemble the engine from the team's car, rebuilt it. In 1950, Wood and two of his brothers and Delano, purchased a 1940 Ford, modified and used in NASCAR, the team made its first start in a Lincoln at Martinsville Speedway on May 17, 1953.
Wood was the team's engine builder, the team's pit crew composed of family and friends, became the first team in NASCAR history to record a 25-second four tire pit stop. Wood stated that in 1960 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he noticed that Fireball Roberts', had the lead at the time, pit crew took 45 seconds to change two tires and fuel. Wood modernized the floor jack. Wood disassembled the jacks and installed larger pistons, leading to only two to three pumps to clear. In 1965, Wood's team was hired by Jim Clark to pit for him in the 1965 Indianapolis 500, which went on to win; the team used. In 2006, Wood was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. On May 23, 2012, Wood was named as one of the members of the 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees, was inducted on February 8, 2013. Wood earned 57 percent of the votes, tied with Herb Thomas. At the 2012 Brickyard 400, Wood Brothers Racing honored Wood with a special paint scheme with candy apple red instead of metal-flake red, which the team switched to in 1971, Wood's head shot on the hood.