Remembering a NASCAR pioneer as Martinsville race approaches


This weekend’s NASCAR races at Martinsville will be the first since racing legend Glen Wood passed away. 

The Hall-of-Fame driver and founder of Wood Brothers Racing died in January. But while NASCAR fans will remember the Stuart, Virginia-native for his contributions to stock car racing, his family will remember Wood for his life off the track.

“That he was able to set the racing part aside. Yes, that’s what built this building and gives all of us jobs and we’re super fortunate for that but looking back at it and thinking about it, that doesn’t define a person,” Glen’s grandson Jon said. 

Jon Wood is now the director of buisness operations for Wood Brothers Racing. And he reflects on how his grandfather was a family man who loved gardening and stayed true to himself.

“”Looking back, that’s probably what I appreciate the most.],” Jon Wood said. “He always stayed the same person he was when he was a saw miller at age 15. He never really lost that humble attitude.”

Wood Brothers Racing remains the longest running team in NASCAR. Though the team’s operations are now based in Charlotte, Martinsville Speedway and Southwest Virginia will always be known as where Glen Wood got his start. 

“The thought that his dirt track racing and this ‘good ole boy, drive your own race car to the racetrack’-type mentality, there’s no way he couldve imagined what it would turn into today.” 

Now Martinsville prepares to honor the man that put the region on the map in the racing world. A spokesperson for the Speedway said that race organizers plan to pay tribute to Glen Wood before Sunday’s Cup Series race.

“(Glen) would want the race to go on just as normal, no mention at all,” Jon Wood said. “That’s just the type of person he was, he didn’t want the spotlight or the attention.”

No need for the attention on a legacy that speaks for itself.

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