Wood Begins AMSW Season With Top-10 Run at Phoenix

Jack Wood began the ARCA Menards Series West (AMSW) campaign with a seventh-place finish on Friday evening at Phoenix Raceway to mark his second consecutive top-10 result at the one-mile tri oval. The driver of the No. 16 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet SS kick started his AMSW championship bid with his 12th-career top-10 finish as the race was called short due to rain and lightning after 115 of 150 scheduled laps.

Wood began his effort in the desert by posting the eighth-quickest time in practice and followed that up with an eighth-place qualifying effort. The Californian began the event by wrestling an extremely loose handling condition in the NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet. Wood radioed the team that his balance was a “10 out of 10” loose on both ends of Phoenix’s flat mile but managed to stay on the lead lap during the first half of the event.

Crew chief Kevin Bellicourt took advantage of a caution on lap 70 to bring Wood to pit road for a crucial wedge adjustment while running 14th. On the ensuing restart at lap 75, Wood rocketed forward to claim the sixth position by the time the halfway caution flew on lap 76.

Wood took on four fresh General Tires, fuel, and additional chassis adjustments during the halfway break to tweak the improved balance on his Chevrolet. When the race restarted on lap 81, Wood was a mainstay in the top-10 until a caution for lightning slowed the field on lap 113. Wood was credited with a seventh-place finish as a rare thunderstorm enveloped the desert mile and forcing an official finish after 115 laps were completed.

Jack Wood Quote:

“With as deep as the field was here, seventh is a solid start to our season. Our NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet was too loose in the first half of the race, and we really needed that caution before halfway to get an extra adjustment. Kevin and the guys made a good call, and it really improved the car. I would have liked to see us run out the full distance to see if we could have gotten into the top-five, but that’s a solid finish for our first race as a group. We have a good foundation here and we’ll work on getting ready for Irwindale in a couple weeks.”

MHR PR