RIDGEWAY, Va.— Two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, Sam Ard, passed away early Sunday morning.
Ard, a native of Ashboro, North Carolina, was 78.
In the now NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ard scored 22 victories and two championships in 1983 and 1984.
And competed in one, now, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Martinsville in 1984. He finished the day in the 31st position due to steering issues.
Ard competed in 92 races in the Xfinity Series. he had 67 top-fives, 79 top-10’s, and started from the pole 24 times.
His career was cut short due to injuries received at North Carolina Motor Speedway (Rockingham Speedway) in October 1984. His engine blew on entry into the third turn that started a six-car crash. Ard was transported to a local hospital and diagnosed with a dislocated right shoulder and head injuries.
In June of 1985, Ard announced his retirement from NASCAR, but he competed in three local Late Model shows, in which he was deemed the winner in one.
NASCAR has released a statement on the passing of Ard.
“For many years, Sam Ard’s persona was that of a tough-as-nails racer. No matter the track or the competition, he battled to the end. That fighter’s mentality lasted throughout his life, and far beyond the confines of a race car. Sam battled on and off the track with the same ferocity that earned him two championships in what is today the NASCAR XFINITY Series as well as countless victories in the Late Model Sportsman Series. NASCAR extends its deepest condolences to Sam’s family and friends. He will be dearly missed, and his memory cherished.”