After sporting the Motorcraft/Quick Lane colors throughout Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway, the Wood Brothers’ No. 21 Ford Mustang will be going Menards/Moen neon yellow and blue for this weekend’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway — the first track in 2019 to utilize the new rules package.
Paint scheme won’t be the only major change for Paul Menard and the No. 21 team, as well as the rest of the drivers and cars in the Monster Energy Cup Series. Beginning at Atlanta, Cup cars will transition to a higher downforce/lower horsepower package that is intended to foster more side-by-side racing.
That drastic rules change has many veterans in the garage, including Eddie Wood, wondering just how the new engine/aerodynamic combination will play out once the green flag drops on Sunday.
“We tested the new package at Las Vegas, and Paul and the team were pleased with how it went, but no one really knows what to expect when there are 40 cars on the track,” Wood said.
Wood added that NASCAR and all of its teams have had to put a lot of work into the new package. The 2019 rules package is similar to the one used in the 2018 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“There’s going to be a big difference in horsepower from what we’re used to, but there’s been a lot of work done and a lot of research put into this rules change so the racing should be good,” Wood said.
First Intermediate-Track for New Ford Mustang
For the Woods Brothers and the other Ford teams, Sunday’s 500-mile race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be the first intermediate-track race for the new Ford Mustang.
“We were really happy with the performance of the Mustang at Daytona,” Wood said.
“I’m confident the Ford teams have adapted to the new package, and I’m anxious to see how it all plays out at Atlanta.”
Cup qualifying at Atlanta is set for 5:10 pm on Friday. The 325-lap race is scheduled to start just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on FOX.