Two-time NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Sam Ard passed away Sunday, April 2. The Asheboro, North Carolina, native was 78.
Ard had compiled an impressive record in the NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Series before that circuit was retooled and renamed in 1982. In the series that today is known as the XFINITY Series, Ard scored 22 victories and won titles in 1983 and '84.
Ard's career was cut short due to injuries sustained in a crash at North Carolina Motor Speedway (Rockingham) in October of 1984. Just 14 laps into the Komfort Koach 200, the engine in Ard's entry blew in Turn 3 and ignited a six-car crash. He was transported to a local hospital where he was diagnosed with a dislocated right shoulder and head injuries.
In June the following year Ard announced his retirement from NASCAR, although he competed in three more local Late Model shows, the first of which he was flagged the winner.
His 22 wins, in the No. 00 Oldsmobile fielded by owner Howard Thomas, came in just 92 career starts and left him with an incredible 5.5 average finishing position.
After his driving career ended, Ard spent six years as a car owner, scoring two wins with Jimmy Hensley and one with Jeff Burton. All three victories came at Martinsville Speedway. Burton's victory was his first in the XFINITY Series.
-- NASCAR.com --
Obituary: Samuel Julian "Sam" Ard, 78, of Pamplico, SC, passed away on Sunday, April 2, 2017, at McLeod Hospice House surrounded by his family.
Mr. Ard was born in Scranton, SC, a son of the late Berkley Montana Ard and Eller Lillian Thornhill Ard. He was a veteran of the US Air Force and served during the Vietnam War. He was a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and the Church Brotherhood.
Mr. Ard was a NASCAR race car driver and won twenty-two races from 1982-1984. He holds the record for four consecutive wins. He won the Mid Atlantic Regional Championship in 1982, was second in the Busch Grand National in 1982, won the Mid Atlantic Regional Championship and the Busch Series in 1983 and won the Busch Series in 1984. His career was ended in 1984 when he barely survived a crash at Rockingham. He was also a notable mechanic, having built cars for other racers.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Charley Ard, Betty Jo Prosser and Carrie Mae Munn. Surviving are his wife of 56 years, Agnes Josephine "Jo" Ard; his children, Melinda Ard Matthews (Benji), Shirley Joane Jones (Bruce), Robert Samuel Ard and Sharon Lynn Ard; six grandchildren, Nicholas, Felicia, Amber, Christian, Sarah and Tiffany; two great-grandchildren, Hayden and Conner; sister, Margie Linyard; ten nieces and ten nephews. Also special friends, Bobby and Linda Loggains and Toby and John Page.
Funeral Services will be held 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, at the Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow at Mt. Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Pamplico.Family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the family.
Please sign the tribute wall for Mr. Ard at www.stoudenmiredowling.com.
Stoudenmire-Dowling Funeral Home
-- SC Now --