Top Woman driver Vicki Wood was born March 15 1919 and was married to Clarence “Skeeter” Wood, a driver on the Eastern Big Car circuit and together they had three children, Ed, Donna, and Wayne.
One night in 1953, Skeeter remarked to Vicki that she could probably drive circles around the rest of the women out there and a race driver was created. Vicki took the challenge and started right out at Motor City Speedway in Warren, Michigan as a Powder Puff driver finishing 9th in her first outing against 25 other drivers.
While she was disappointed in her first outing she worked hard and soon was winning her heat and feature races. Soon after, she began to teach the ladies at Flat Rock Speedway the short way around the ¼ mile oval. She was so good in fact that she was the first woman driver to race with the men at Flat Rock and indeed was beating many of the stars of the day. It was due to her prowess on the track that she was able to attract the interest of corporate sponsors and make her way to the “Big Time” in NASCAR.
Driving for the famed Carl Kiekhafer in 1955 in one of the famed Chrysler 300 letter cars, Vicki posted third fastest time overall in the Daytona speed trials with a Woman’s fast speed of 125.838 mph in the two-way flying mile. In 1956 she ran second overall and Women’s first place at 136.081 which was a women’s record.
In 1958 and 1959 she was the winner of the passing test at Daytona Beach as well as topping all drivers in 1959 at a top speed of 147.20 on the sands of Daytona Beach. Also driving at the new Daytona Beach International Speedway in 1959 Vicki set a record of 130.79 MPH for women drivers.
In 1960 Vicki set the all time fastest record for a stock bodied automobile on the beach at Daytona with a speed of 150.375 mph. She holds the Women’s record of 121.3 MPH at the Atlanta International Speedway in the #3 Ray Fox owned Pontiac that was driven the very next day in 1961 by David Pearson to the Grand National win.
Over the years Vicki has amassed 47 wins and has raced at not only the Daytona International Speedway, The Daytona Beach Speed Trials, and the Atlanta International Speedway but at the local short tracks of Flat Rock, Toledo, Mt. Clemens, and Motor City.
She won the V.I.P. Award from the Frankenmuth Brewing Division in 1955 and has received awards from Living Legends of Auto Racing, Vintage Oval Racing, and was inducted into the Sports Guild in 1956.
Vicki, who just turned 100 is still very spunky and indeed looks very fondly upon her years in racing and would make a fine addition to the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame as she is indeed one of the pioneers for woman in racing, especially from the State of Michigan. Vicki passed away June 5, 2020 at the age of 101.