Harrison Burton, Wood Brothers honoring the 50th anniversary of Motorcraft in Darlington

21 bikes 50

Harrison Burton’s #21 Ford will carry the “Tried and True Since ’72” logo on the car’s hood at Darlington in September, in honor of Motorcraft’s 50th anniversary. Image of Wood Brothers Racing.

This weekend’s Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway is a historic event for Harrison Burton, the Wood Brothers and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team. For Sunday’s race, the No. 21 Mustang will carry the “Tried and True Since ’72” logo on the hood, paying tribute to Motorcraft’s 50th anniversary. Motorcraft supplies parts designed, developed and recommended by Ford Motor Company for installation in Ford and Lincoln vehicles.

Sunday’s race also marks the 100th start at Darlington for the Wood Brothers team, and the No. 21 Mustang will honor a former Ford employee as part of the Labor Day weekend celebration.

The Woods made their Darlington debut in the 1961 Rebel 300 with Curtis Turner driving the No. 21 Ford that was operated as a convertible, which was allowed under the rules at the time.

Greg Fielden’s Forty Years of Stock Car Racing, the reference book series on early NASCAR racing, described the late-race battle for victory between veteran Turner and newcomer Fred Lorenzen in dramatic terms.

Fielden’s account of the finish described the race for the lead: “Flond-haired Fred Lorenzen and old pro Curtis Turner battled each other with fists of steel at the fifth annual Rebel 300 at Darlington Raceway in a fight that challenges death and decided perhaps the most exciting action”. car race of all time.

Turner finished as the unhappy runner-up, according to Fielden. “If I could have caught him before the checkered flag, I guarantee you he would never have finished the race,” Turner said.

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Leonard Wood, co-founder of the Wood Brothers team, said that while some assumed Lorenzen simply outplayed Turner, that wasn’t the whole story.

“We had some failing valve springs, so Curtis didn’t have as much power as Lorenzen,” Wood, now 87, said this week. “But the main reason was that Curtis’ left rear tire was in the cloth at the end of the race.”

The Woods have posted eight wins at Darlington, 12 poles, 22 top fives and 33 top 10s going into Sunday’s race.

To top off this weekend in Darlington, the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang will get into the Labor Day spirit by honoring Terri Barricello, a service advisor for Hilbish Ford in Kannapolis, NC, who has been with Ford Motor Co. for 43 years.

As part of NASCAR’s Labor Day Weekend Workforce Recognition Initiative, Barricello’s name will replace Burton’s on the No. 21 Mustang.

Kim Wood Hall, co-owner of Wood Brothers equipment, said Barricello is well known for taking care of the dealership’s customers.

“Terri always goes the extra mile to make sure that when service work is done on any of our vehicles, it is done at our convenience so we can get back to work as soon as possible,” Hall wrote in nominating Barricello for the honor.

Practice for the 73rd annual Cook Out Southern 500 is scheduled for Saturday at 12:05 p.m., followed by qualifying at 12:50 p.m.

The Cook Out Southern 500 is scheduled to begin shortly after 6 pm Sunday with television coverage on the USA Network.

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Stage breaks are planned for laps 115 and 230.

— Wooden Brothers Races —

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