Jon Wood on Burton’s struggles: ‘It’s frustrating…and I know we’ll get better’

Jon Wood is not one to shy away from a question, even if in hindsight he feels he might have been too honest.

But Wood, now two months into his tenure as president of Wood Brothers Racing, is a straightforward personality. So, when asked to give a “State of the Union” type breakdown on the organization while appearing on The Racing Writer’s Podcast, it went as expected.

“It’s disappointing,” Wood said. “It’s very, very frustrating and I think — I know in fact — that we’ll get better. There’s no question about that but it’s very, very, very hard.”

Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Ford Mustang Dark Horse team are 33rd in the championship standings. They’ve earned just three top-20 finishes through 17 races for an average finish of 27.4.


Burton finished 20th last weekend at Iowa Speedway, which was his best result on a non-superspeedway. The team’s other results inside the top 20 were a 10th place at Talladega Superspeedway and an 11th-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“It’s hard to see some of the stuff people say on social media,” Wood continued. “I used to be so active on our team’s social media and it was something that I liked to do. I liked having that freedom to say whatever I thought and no one caring. The sky was the limit on the stupidity or the sarcasm or anything that I wanted to say because as long as I wasn’t outright offensive, there was no one to tell me to stop. And that fun is gone.

“If I were to sit there and be a smartass or come up with these clever little things to say now, it would almost look like I didn’t care because our performance is so not good that it’s not a laughing matter. Now, do I think that’s where we’ll be this time next year? No. I think we’ll be better. But how we get there, we’ll have to wait and see. Some of the stuff we’re working on; some of the stuff I probably shouldn’t talk about; and some of the stuff hasn’t yet been realized. But there are things that we will fix.”

Burton is in his third season driving for Wood Brothers Racing. Matt DiBenedetto drove the car the two seasons prior, inheriting it from Paul Menard. Menard’s two-year stint followed Ryan Blaney’s two full seasons and one part-time year.

A victory at Pocono Raceway with Blaney in 2017 is the last time Wood Brothers Racing has celebrated. It was their 99th victory in the Cup Series.

“We’re doing all we can do,” Wood said, “and it’s just not there right now.”

The full conversation with Wood can be heard below:

Story originally appeared on Racer