JOSH WOOD WINS SPAFCO RACE CHASSIS & PARTS LTD. LATE MODEL
(Stafford Springs, CT)---After winning 7 DARE Stock feature events in his first two seasons of competition at Stafford Motor Speedway, Josh Wood made the move into the Limited Late Model division for the 2012 season. Wood enjoyed a remarkable rookie year that saw him nearly win the track championship as he won 6 feature events.
Wood began the 2012 season on fire, putting together two three-race winning streaks to take 6 of the first 8 checkered flags of the year. Wood didn’t get back to victory lane again over the final 10 races of the season and he came up just 12 points short of Cory Casagrande in the chase for the championship. Although he lost out on the championship, Wood says he and his #51 R.A.D. Automachine team exceeded their expectations this season and had a lot of fun.
“It feels good to be Rookie of the Year, especially moving up a division,” said Wood. “The last time I was a Rookie of the Year was in go karting. We surprised ourselves this season. We figured it was going to be a learning year for us and we expected to maybe win a race or two. The championship would have been great for us this year, but racing is all about having fun and Cory [Casagrande] deserved to win the championship this year. He raced better than we did, but we still had a great year and we had a lot of fun this season. We exceeded our expectations big time this year and we’re excited about next season.”
Wood says that his biggest challenge in moving from the DARE Stock division into the Limited Late Model division was getting used to the cornering. But with 6 wins and a second place finish in the points standings, it hardly showed up on the racetrack.
“I think the biggest thing for me was getting used to how different the cornering was between the two cars,” said Wood. “With the DARE Stock, you kind of threw the car into the corner and tried to get back to the gas as quickly as you could. With the Limited, you kind of had to wait on the car as you got towards the apex of the corner before getting back on the gas. The Limited cars were also a lot closer to each other speed wise, so that made it harder to pass than in the DARE Stocks.”
For Wood, the 2012 season was a tale of two halves. While Wood won 6 races in the first half of the year, his best finish in the second half of the season was three second place finishes. While Wood was still running up front during the second half of the year, he couldn’t quite keep pace with Casagrande, who won 5 of the final 7 races to take the championship.
“I think the first half was much better for us than the second half,” said Wood. “It got harder for me to get the car to the front in the second half of the year, and it seemed like guys were upping their game and getting better and better and we were a little unlucky with a couple of spins. But we think next year will be a good year for us and hopefully we can start off next year on another good note like we did this year. I have to thank R.A.D. Automachine, Fluckiger Race Chassis, Falls Alignment, Custom Wood Floors, Hamm’s Welding, Don Wood, Barry Fluckiger, Ernie Whidden, Art, Jerry, and the 36 Late Model and 28 DARE Stock teams for all their help and support this season.”
Wood will officially be crowned the 2012 SPAFCO Race Chassis & Parts Limited Late Model Rookie of the Year at the 43rd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony on Friday, November 16 at the La Renaissance Banquet Facility in East Windsor.
Tickets to the 43rd Annual Stafford Motor Speedway Champions Awards Ceremony are $45 per person and can be ordered by calling the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at (860) 684-2783, or by downloading an order form from www.staffordspeedway.com and mailing the form to the track office.