Josh Wood To Move To No. 17 Late Model in 2015 at Stafford Motor Speedway

(Press Release from Stafford Motor Speedway)

Josh Wood will replace Jim Peterson in the Bob Peterson owned No. 17 Late Model at Stafford Speedway in 2015 (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll Motorsports Photography)

Josh Wood will replace Jim Peterson in the Bob Peterson owned No. 17 Late Model at Stafford Speedway in 2015 (Photo: Stafford Speedway/Driscoll Motorsports Photography)

When it comes to Late Model racing at Stafford Motor Speedway, perhaps no car has been more synonymous with the division than the number 17 entry with Jim Peterson behind the wheel. For over 20 years Peterson has piloted the #17 car, winning two track championships and 30 races, which ranks third on the all-time list for the Late Model division at Stafford. But the 2015 will see a new face behind the wheel of the #17 as Palmer, MA native Josh Wood takes the reigns of the #17.

Wood began his Stafford career in the DARE Stock division during the 2010 season. Wood won a total of 7 races in two seasons of DARE Stock competition before moving up to the Limited Late Model division in 2012. Wood won 6 races in 2012 and 4 races plus the track championship in 2013 before moving into the Late Model division this past season. Wood won a single race in 2014 and he hopes to extend his streak of winning at least one feature in each of his years at Stafford to six with the #17 car.

“I’m pretty excited about the season,” said Wood. “It’s going to be a different crew and different sponsors, but the goal is still to go out there and win races and do the best that I can, just like any other year. I know Jim [Peterson] was stepping away and Bob [Peterson] had been talking with my Dad and we decided to bring everything together with me driving the 17 car.”

“We have a good car, Josh is a good driver, and we’re hoping we can carry on the winning tradition of the 17 car,” said car owner Bob Peterson.

Wood was locked in a season long duel with Kyle Casagrande, who made the move from the DARE Stock division to the Late Models, for the SPAFCO Rookie of the Year honors. Wood narrowly missed out on winning the award but he is ready to build on the experience he gained in 2014 and improve on his 10th place finish in the points standings.

“It was a big jump from the Limiteds up to the Late Models, but with help from Bob’s crew guys I think we’ll have a pretty good year and I should be able to do better,” said Wood. “Out of a scale of 1 to 10, I would probably give myself a four from this year. I won a race, which was our whole goal and we struggled a lot before we found we had something wrong with the car. With me in general, I can improve on learning how to change my driving style during the middle of the race to adjust to what the car is doing.”

Despite having high hopes for the upcoming season, Wood says he doesn’t feel any extra pressure about taking over the driving duties of the #17 machine.

“We have high hopes for the season and we want to win some races, but I don’t think there’s any extra pressure,” said Wood. “It’s all about going out there and having some fun. We just want to get one win. As long as we can get one win, it doesn’t matter how the rest of the season goes. We want to finish as high as we can in the points and I think I’ve improved a lot mentally as a driver. I can tell what the car is doing and what kind of changes we need to make to the car. I think we can be a contender for the championship this year and we’re really hoping that is the case.”

Wood’s first opportunity to drive to NAPA Victory Lane during the 2015 season will be the 44th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Spring Sizzler on April 24-26. Tickets for the “Greatest Race in the History of Spring” are on sale now at the Speedway Box Office. Tickets are priced at $38.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is priced at $42.00 for all ages. As always, Stafford Motor Speedway offers free parking with overnight parking available. All tickets are good for both Saturday and Sunday admission. All ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax.

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  1. Slap in the face by stafford. They knew peterson was retiring . So should his number

  2. You have to be kidding correct? NASCAR does not retire numbers and you think Jim Petersons number should now be the first to be retired. Good idea, retire the 17 before the 3.

  3. Stafford retired chuck zentarski’s #8. Get the facts!

  4. The Mayor: Get the Facts, It still says Bob Peterson owns the car, Josh Wood is driving for the Peterson team.

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