Racers will go to great lengths to make a car their own, and for Tess Wood that meant getting a 1973 Ford Maverick, painting it jet black, and putting some big Ford power under the hood. Wood’s Maverick is powered by an 8.2 deck small-block Ford that measures 363 cubic inches, and gets its boost from a gear-driven F3 ProCharger. Don’t ask Wood how quick the car is though — she campaigns the Maverick in various no-time classes, so the boards are never lit.
Why a Maverick? Wood’s answer is simple: they’re something you just don’t see at the track often. You can turn around in the pits anywhere and see tons of traditional muscle cars, but a Maverick is just rare and cool, so it was an easy choice.
Wood’s drag racing journey actually began thanks to a school trip to the iconic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. She also shares the goals most heads-up racers have: to go faster every time she hits the track
“I got into drag racing because of my dad. He was into off-road racing, but it was still racing and I loved to be around it. In high school, I took an automotive class and we went to Pomona for a race and it became something I was obsessed with. I always want to just go faster — that’s my goal after each race. For me, the rush of drag racing makes it fun. You’re always trying to find ways to go faster, solve problems, and just win,” Wood explains.
There’s no doubt that Wood is passionate about drag racing and her Maverick is proof of this. If you see this nasty Ford at a no-time event, don’t be afraid to bet on it because Wood is always ready to hang a loss on whoever is in the other lane.