Story By: WOOD BROTHERS RACING – STUART, VA – NASCAR’s decision to move the car numbers on the Next Gen car from the traditional center of the door to the front of the car has created an opportunity for co-primary sponsors on the No. 21 Ford Mustang that Harrison Burton will drive in the Daytona 500.
The Wood Brothers’ long-time backer, Motorcraft/Quick Lane, will have its logos on the hood and quarter panels of the No. 21 Mustang. DEX Imaging, the nation’s largest independent office equipment dealer and long-time supporter of Burton throughout his climb up the racing ladder, will be represented on the new door space.
Burton, making his official full-time Cup debut at Daytona, said having those two sponsors sharing top billing on his Mustang is “an unbelievably cool experience.”
“DEX has been with me since I was 13 and has helped me along the way,” Burton said. “And Motorcraft is one of the most historic and storied sponsors ever.”
“I’m excited to represent them both. Motorcraft has a long, successful history at Daytona and has won the 500. And I’m happy to be a part of adding DEX to the fold.”
The two sponsors seem to be as enthusiastic as Burton about their racing programs.
“Everyone at Motorcraft/Quick Lane is thrilled to begin our 22nd season as the primary sponsor of Wood Brothers Racing,” said Jon Orth, Marketing Manager for Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD). “We’re looking forward to an exciting 2022 campaign with rookie driver Harrison taking the wheel of the new Next Gen Ford Mustang. We’re also pleased to welcome DEX Imaging as a co-sponsor of the No. 21 car at the Daytona 500 and throughout this year.”
Nancy Lycan, Chief Marketing Officer of DEX Imaging, expressed similar sentiments.
“DEX Imaging is proud and excited to be kicking off the 2022 season at Daytona with Harrison,” Lycan said. “We’ve come a long way together and anticipate more great performances from Harrison as he debuts in the Cup Series.”
Burton said that joining the elite Cup Series is a major challenge for a young driver, but he’s up to the task even though he has just one prior Cup start, last year at Talladega.
This year is different, as the entire Cup field will be adjusting to an all-new Next Gen race car. Burton said that offers some advantage for him, but not as much as one might think.
“Being a rookie in Cup is always hard, and no car is going to change that,” he said. “The drivers in the Cup Series are the best in the business. It’s going to be a transition period for them too, so this is the best time for me to make the transition to Cup.”
Qualifying for the 64th running of the Daytona 500 is set for Feb.16 at 8:05 p.m. The Duel qualifying races are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Feb. 17, and the Daytona 500 rolls off on Sunday, Feb. 20, at 2:30 p.m., with TV coverage on FOX.
21 Team Headed to the L.A. Coliseum
Back in the day, NASCAR promoters could pack the grandstands for stock car races inside football stadiums.
Races on the quarter-mile oval inside Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C., were popular in days gone by and still wildly successful today.
NASCAR officials are hoping to capture some of that bullring magic with this weekend’s Busch Light Clash at the L.A. Coliseum.
Harrison Burton will make his debut in the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang on the quarter-mile asphalt oval track that has been constructed inside the historic Coliseum.
Although he raced often on short tracks as he worked his way up racing’s ladder Burton has little experience on a track as tight as the one inside the Coliseum.
“I ran some three-eights and some quarter miles in Legends cars, but none in a stock car,” he said. “It’s going to be an adjustment period for sure. There’s not much of a notebook for that.
“Preparing for the race and understanding the track will be a challenge.”
Burton said he’s relying on iRacing and on the simulation tools provided by Ford Performance to learn all he can prior to the opening practice session on Saturday morning.
“There are ways to get it done,” he said. “I’ve used iRacing and simulation in the past to prepare for road courses and new tracks, and this one is definitely a new one.”
Historically speaking, he has big shoes to fill at his Wood Brothers team when it comes to Cup-level success on stadium tracks. Team founder Glenn Wood won four Cup races at Bowman Gray Stadium, and Marvin Panch added a fifth. Wood led every lap in three of his Stadium wins as did Panch in his.