Sam Ard

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Sam Ard
Born (1939-02-14)February 14, 1939
Pamplico, South Carolina
Died April 2, 2017(2017-04-02) (aged 78)
Achievements 1983, 1984 Busch Series champion
Awards 1983, 1984 Busch Series Most Popular Driver
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish 104th (1984)
First race 1984 Goody's 500 (Martinsville)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
92 races run over 3 years
Best finish 1st (1983, 1984)
First race 1982 Goody's 300 (Daytona)
Last race 1984 Komfort Koach 200 (Rockingham)
First win 1982 Dogwood 500 (Martinsville)
Last win 1984 Coca-Cola 300 (North Wilkesboro)
Wins Top tens Poles
22 79 24

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 early 2017 at age 78.

Racing career[edit]

Late Model Sportsman Series[edit]

Ard was the runner-up in 1982 of NASCAR's Late Model Sportsman Series (which eventually became the NASCAR Xfinity Series), winning four races and finishing out of the top ten only six times.[1] On the heels of that season, Ard won ten races and had twenty-three top five finishes and won the series points championship in only its second year of existence.[2]

He continued his dominant streak in 1984, again winning the championship by virtue of eight wins and twenty-four top fives in 28 starts.[3] Ard retired after being seriously injured in a crash at the North Carolina Speedway on October 20, 1984, which also caused him to miss the final race of his 1984 championship season.[4]

Winston Cup Series[edit]

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.[5]

Post-racing career[edit]

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.[4]

Later life and death[edit]

Ard battled Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.[6] 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.[7]

Ard died on April 2, 2017 at the age of 78.[8]

Personal life[edit]

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 kids.[9]

Motorsports career results[edit]


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

Winston Cup Series[edit]

1 Ard's team was a post-entry for the race and thus did not receive points.[10]

Busch Series[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1982 NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1983 NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1984 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series Results". Racing-Reference. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Jayski: Sad News - Sam Ard; obituary". Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  5. ^ a b "Sam Ard – 1984 NASCAR Winston Cup Results". Racing-Reference. USA Today Sports Media Group. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ "NASCAR short-track star Sam Ard dies at 78". Fox News. 2017-04-03. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "SAM ARD, TWO-TIME XFINITY SERIES CHAMPION, DIES AT 78". NASCAR. April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Samuel Julian "Sam" Ard". SCNow. Retrieved 2017-04-03. 
  10. ^ "1984 Official Race Results: Goody's 500". NASCAR. NASCAR Media Group. Archived from the original on August 21, 2010. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Jack Ingram
NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Champion
Succeeded by
Jack Ingram