Road-course races make up a relatively small part of the Monster Energy Cup Series schedule, but when Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team take the green flag for the Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway it will be the team’s 100th Cup start on a road course.
The Wood Brothers have accumulated eight wins, eight poles, 30 top-five and 39 top-10 finishes in their first 99 road-course starts.
The majority of their success came on the old Riverside International Raceway course in California. In 43 starts there, they had seven wins, four with Dan Gurney and three with David Pearson. Their eighth win came at Watkins Glen with Marvin Panch driving.
Eddie Wood said Riverside, which hosted its last Cup race in 1988, was a special place.
“It’s where I went to my first road course, and our family ran really well there long before I went for the first time,” he said. “That track had a lot of history. They ran Indy cars and sports cars there. It was a special place to a lot of people, not just us.”
Wood said he’s looking forward to building more road-course memories at the Roval at Charlotte, now in its second season.
“We had a good run going last year until everybody piled into each other there at the end,” he said. “It’s a unique course, but it’s challenges are similar to other road courses.
“It’ll be a race of strategy. It’ll be important to stay on the track, and we’ll have to adapt to the handling package that is new this year.”
Qualifying for the Bank of America Roval 400 is set for Friday at 4:40 p.m., and the race is scheduled to start just after 2:30 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on NBC.