|From: Dargan Watts
October 4, 2005
Below are pictures of Sam Ard, who many fans and competitors say is probably the best driver who ever competed in
the old Late Model cars both on dirt and asphalt. Ard, who started his racing career in the hobby division at Goose
Creek (S. C.) Speedway in the early 60's and progressed through the ranks until he became a two-time Busch Grand
National champion. He raced on tracks in the Carolinas, Virginia and as far north as the famous Milwaukee Mile in
He landed a deal with Thomas Brothers Country Ham and immediately put that company on the map. His racing
career ended at North Carolina Motor Speedway near Rockingham in 1984 when he was involved in a wreck that
caused a head injury among other things.
Ard and his family have encountered some hard times of late as he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and
his wife, Jo is losing her eyesight. Their main income is from his Social Security benefits, but with the mounting
medical bills, the outlook looks very bleak.
A trust has been set up so fans and friends may help with finances. Also a website has been set up so everyone can
read about this legend and his family. The website is: www.samard.com .
Contributions may be sent to:
Sam Ard Care Fund
Account # 68212-03
Carolina Trust Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 780004
Myrtle Beach, SC 29578
This image was made at the old Columbia Speedway when it was still
dirt. Notice his car was #0 at that time. (Dargan Watts Photo)
Ard was the winner of 200-lap Permatex sponsored Late Model
Sportsman event at Columbia Speedway in 1972. (Dargan Watts Photo)
The Late Model Sportsman cars weighed nearly 2 tons back then and
there was no power steering.
Sam Ard and the Thomas Brothers were a perfect team. Ard did all
of the work on his cars in the shop on the Thomas Bros. Country Ham