One of the original Wood Brothers Racing members Ray Lee Wood died May 5, 2020 at the age of 92. No official cause of death or location was given.
Along with brothers Glenn, Clay, Delano, and Leonard; Wood started Wood Brothers Racing in the 1950’s. In those early days, Wood and his brothers did not have a big fancy shop with the latest equipment; they worked under a beech tree, a tree that Ray spent much of his later years preserving.
While he never got behind the wheel of one of his cars as a driver, Wood set a speed record of 142 miles per hour on the sands of Daytona Beach.
During the 1960’s Wood Brothers Racing was responsible for winning some of the most iconic races in NASCAR including the Daytona 500, the Indianapolis 500, and the inaugural America 500 in 1965. As the owner of record, Ray Lee Wood’s name adorns the Owner’s Championship trophy for the 1963 NASCAR season.
Not just a team owner, Wood helped to take care of the cars and changed tires on pit road on race days.
More than a racing team owner, Wood enjoyed gardening, making honey, his pets, and the Bible.
In later years, Ray Lee lived in his boyhood home.
Wood left racing in 1965, saying that he, “felt the calling of the Lord”.
Wood never married, but survivors include members of the Wood family.
feature photo credit: By Marco Becerra – https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbecerra/8652939427/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29003276