Wood Brothers Racing Reacts to Exclusion from Charter Systemby Kyle Pokrefky February 10, 2016
With the announcement of NASCAR’s new charter system for the Sprint Cup Series on Tuesday, 36 teams have been issued a charter that guarantees a race start for every points race this season.
One of the teams that have been left without a charter for the 2016 season, however, are Wood Brothers Racing’s legendary No. 21 team.
Returning to the grid as a full-time team for the first time since 2007, the single-car team failed to meet the eligibility requirements to receive a charter for this year.
To be eligible for a charter, a team must have competed full-time in the series from 2013-to-2015 – during that timeframe, Wood Brothers competed in 40 points races total.
Without a charter, the team will be forced to qualify for each points race on time as they will not be locked into any race this season.
The team’s lack of a charter received backlash from fans of the team and of the sport itself with fans citing the team’s legendary history as reason enough to receive one.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the team thanked its fans for their words of support and that they’re up to the challenge of having to enter each race weekend without being guaranteed a spot in the race.
“We can’t express enough how proud and thankful we are for the overwhelming expression of support for our team,” the team said in a released statement on Wednesday morning. “NASCAR has pressed the reset button on the ownership structure and we hope it takes the sport in a positive direction.
“We have endured challenges throughout our 66 years and will undoubtedly face more in the future, but that’s what makes our team unique.
“We take great pride in our organization’s reputation and our loyal fans are nothing short of amazing.
“The main focus right now is to be the best team we can possibly be.
“Motorcraft and Ford Performance have put tremendous faith in us and our objective is to make the most of this 2016 season and beyond.”
The team returns full-time to the Sprint Cup garage this season with Ryan Blaney, who will run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors for the organization.
Photo Credit:Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images