NASCAR community reacts to the passing of Hall of Famer Glen Wood

NASCAR Hall of Famer Glen Wood, who helped build the legendary Wood Brothers Racing team, died Friday at 93. Here are some of the reactions and remembrances throughout the NASCAR community:

“In every way, Glen Wood was an original,” said Jim France, NASCAR Chairman and CEO. “In building the famed Wood Brothers Racing at the very beginnings of our sport, Glen laid a foundation for NASCAR excellence that remains to this day. As both a driver and a team owner, he was, and always will be, the gold standard. But personally, even more significant than his exemplary on-track record, he was a true gentleman and a close confidant to my father, mother and brother. On behalf of the France family and all of NASCAR, I send my condolences to the entire Wood family for the loss of a NASCAR giant.” …

“This is a difficult day for all of us at Ford Motor Company,” said Edsel B. Ford II, member of the board of directors at Ford Motor Company. “Glen Wood was the founding patriarch of the oldest continuously operating NASCAR Cup Series team and we consider Wood Brothers Racing a part of our family, the Ford Family. The Wood Brothers race team, by any measure, has been one of the most successful racing operations in the history of NASCAR.

“Glen was an innovator who, along with his family, changed the sport itself. But, more importantly, he was a true Southern gentleman who was quick with a smile and a handshake and he was a man of his word. …

“It’s a sad day for all of us involved in the Ford racing program,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director Ford Performance Motorsports. “Glen Wood isn’t just a pioneer in the sport of NASCAR because of his team’s winning legacy. His vision and determination to help take Wood Brothers Racing from a small, family effort out of Virginia to one of the most storied teams in the sport’s history is an American success story. They did it with grit and innovation and hard work, and they changed the sport for the better along the way.”

NASCAR Hall of Fame executive director Winston Kelley extended condolences in a statement, listing the many accomplishments of the Wood Brothers through the years.

“With all that success, perhaps what Glen will most be remembered for is his grace, humility and character,” Kelley said. “The word that best describes Glen to me is gentleman. I’ve often said if you looked up the term ‘Southern Gentleman’ in the dictionary, you would see a picture of Glen Wood and likely all of the Wood Brothers. While we have lost one of NASCAR’s true pioneers, icons and legends, Glen’s legacy and memory will continue through Wood Brothers Racing and will be forever remembered, preserved, celebrated and cherished here at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, at the Wood Brothers Museum in Stuart, Virginia, and in our hearts and minds.” …

“With the passing of Glen Wood, we have truly lost one of the most iconic figures in NASCAR,” said Clay Campbell, Martinsville Speedway president. “What he and his family have done in this sport, and the impact he personally leaves, is remarkable and cannot be understated. With Mr. Wood living in Stuart, so close to Martinsville Speedway, my memories of him go back to my childhood. Glen would often call up my grandfather H. Clay Earles and ask if they could come down and run a few laps. My grandfather would tell them ‘yeah, just close the gate and lock it up when you’re done.’ Seeing his cars in my youth is the reason that candy apple red became my favorite color and I’ll never forget his number 21 modified.

“My thoughts are with Leonard, Eddie, Len, Kim and the entire Wood family, particularly Mrs. Wood. Glen will be missed, but his legacy in NASCAR and in our community will live on forever.”

PHOTOS: Wood Brothers through the years