Sam Ard Passes Away

Sam Ard

Sam Ard, a two-time champion in what is now known as the XFINITY Series, passed away Sunday, April 2. He was 78. (Photo: ISC Archives)

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Sam Ard, a two-time champion in what is now known as the XFINITY Series, passed away Sunday, April 2. He was 78.

Ard captured the championships in 1983 and 1984 and won 10 and eight races, respectively, during those seasons driving for team owner Howard Thomas. His career was cut short due to injuries sustained in a racing crash at the end of the '84 season.

Ard's 10 wins in 1983 was the most in a single season until Kyle Busch tied him in 2008. Busch ultimately broke the mark in 2010 with 13.

The 1982 Oldsmobile Omega that Ard drove was added to the NASCAR Hall of Fame's “Glory Road" exhibit earlier this year.

Ard made one NASCAR Cup Series start at Martinsville Speedway in 1984.

NASCAR issued the following statement:

"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."

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