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Samuel Julian Ard (February 14, 1939 – April 2, 2017) was an American professional stock car racing driver. He won two NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Series (now Xfinity Series) championship, in 1983 and 1984. Ard also made one Winston Cup start. He retired from driving after being injured in late 1984 and became a car owner. He battled Parkinson's in the later stages of his life and died in April 2017 at age 78.

Sam Ard
Born(1939-02-14)February 14, 1939
Pamplico, South Carolina
DiedApril 2, 2017(2017-04-02) (aged 78)
Achievements1983, 1984 Busch Series champion
Awards1983, 1984 Busch Series Most Popular Driver
NASCAR Cup Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish104th (1984)
First race1984 Goody's 500 (Martinsville)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
92 races run over 3 years
Best finish1st (1983, 1984)
First race1982 Goody's 300 (Daytona)
Last race1984 Komfort Koach 200 (Rockingham)
First win1982 Dogwood 500 (Martinsville)
Last win1984 Coca-Cola 300 (North Wilkesboro)
Wins Top tens Poles
22 79 24

Racing careerEdit

Late Model Sportsman Division 1975-1981Edit

Ard was a regular competitor, earning at least nine wins and scoring multiple top-five finishes.[1] In 1981, Ard finished fifth in the season-long NASCAR National Championship point standings. [2]

Late Model Sportsman / Busch Grand National SeriesEdit

Ard was the runner-up in 1982 of NASCAR's Late Model Sportsman Series, winning four races and finishing out of the top ten only six times.[3] On the heels of that season, Ard won ten races and had twenty-three top five finishes and won the Busch Grand National (now Nascar Xfinity Series) points championship.[4]

He continued his dominant streak in 1984, again winning the Busch GN championship by virtue of eight wins and twenty-four top fives in 28 starts.[5] Ard was seriously injured in a crash at the North Carolina Speedway on October 20, 1984. He missed the final race of his 1984 championship season, and was never able to race again.[6]

Winston Cup SeriesEdit

Ard made his first and only Winston Cup Series start on September 23, 1984 at Martinsville. He started 27th in the 31-car field, but lasted just one lap before a steering failure ended his day.[7]

Post-racing careerEdit

After retiring as a driver, Ard became an owner, fielding cars for several drivers, most notably Jimmy Hensley and Jeff Burton, who claimed his first Grand National win driving Ard's car.[6]

Later life and deathEdit

Ard battled Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.[8] His family often received donations and aid from the racing community to help him. In 2006, drivers Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. led a charge to donate a substantial amount of funds for the care of Ard and his family. After tying Ard's Nationwide Series single-season victory record in 2008, Kyle Busch announced that he would give $100,000 to aid Ard's family with his care and mounting medical expenses in his honor.[9]

Ard died on April 2, 2017 at the age of 78.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Ard served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U. S. Air Force. He married his wife Jo in 1961, and they had four children.[11]

Motorsports career resultsEdit

NASCAREdit

(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Winston Cup SeriesEdit

NASCAR Winston Cup Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 NWCC Pts Ref
1984 Zervakis Enterprises 02 Chevy DAY RCH CAR ATL BRI NWS DAR MAR TAL NSV DOV CLT RSD POC MCH DAY NSV POC TAL MCH BRI DAR RCH DOV MAR
31
CLT NWS CAR ATL RSD 104th 01 [7]

1 Ard's team was a post-entry for the race and thus did not receive points.[12]

Busch SeriesEdit

NASCAR Busch Series results
Year Team No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 NBSC Pts Ref
1982 Thomas Brothers Racing 00 Olds DAY
3
RCH
21
MAR
1
DAR
6
HCY
2
SBO
1
CRW
3
RCH
2
LGY
2
DOV
17
HCY
2
CLT
12
ASH
3
HCY
3
SBO
2
CAR
5
CRW
2
SBO
1
HCY
5
LGY
3
IRP
28
BRI
9
HCY
2
RCH
3
MAR
1
CLT
2
HCY
18
MAR
6
2nd 4448 [3]
Chevy BRI
20
1983 Olds DAY
6
RCH
1
CAR
12
HCY
3
MAR
1*
NWS
1*
SBO
25
GPS
9
LGY
7
DOV
3
BRI
9
CLT
32
SBO
11
HCY
3
ROU
4
SBO
15
ROU
4
CRW
7*
ROU
3
SBO
4
HCY
1*
LGY
7
IRP
3
GPS
6
BRI
1*
HCY
5
DAR
2
RCH
5
NWS
5
SBO
1*
MAR
1*
ROU
1
CLT
1
HCY
2
MAR
1*
1st 5454 [4]
1984 DAY
4*
RCH
1*
CAR
1*
HCY
3
MAR
9
DAR
4*
ROU
3
NSV
2*
LGY
1*
MLW
1*
DOV
1*
CLT
6
SBO
1*
HCY
4
ROU
3
SBO
1*
ROU
3
HCY
3
IRP
2
LGY
2
SBO
5
BRI
2
DAR
2
RCH
11
NWS
1*
CLT
3*
HCY
5
CAR
33
MAR 1st 4552 [5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Sam Ard". The Third Turn. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  2. ^ 1982 Nascar Yearbook & Press Guide
  3. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1982 NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1983 NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1984 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Jayski: Sad News - Sam Ard; obituary". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  7. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved December 6, 2014.
  8. ^ "NASCAR short-track star Sam Ard dies at 78". Fox News. 2017-04-03. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  9. ^ Associated Press (November 3, 2008). "Ards can't put price on Busch $100,000 donation". NASCAR. NASCAR Media Group. Archived from the original on December 11, 2008.
  10. ^ "SAM ARD, TWO-TIME XFINITY SERIES CHAMPION, DIES AT 78". NASCAR. April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  11. ^ "Samuel Julian "Sam" Ard". SCNow. Retrieved 2017-04-03.
  12. ^ "1984 Official Race Results: Goody's 500". NASCAR. NASCAR Media Group. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Jack Ingram
NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Champion
1983–1984
Succeeded by
Jack Ingram