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NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series News
Ward Honored By Governor Sanford
Nov 12, 2008 - updated Nov 12th, 2008 10:59pm
Web posted by Jason Christley

Daytona Beach, Fla. --

For Immediate Release:Nov. 10, 2008

South Carolina State Champion Visits Capitol

Marty Ward’s post season has been nearly as busy as his racing season.

In addition to winning the Greenville-Pickens Speedway track championship and finishing third overall in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, Ward also earned the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series South Carolina state championship. Recently, Ward’s achievement was recognized by Governor Mark Sanford in a visit to the state capitol in Columbia. Ward had 13 wins, 22 top fives and 22 top 10s in 22 starts racing at Greenville-Pickens. The 43-year-old Ward, from Marietta, S.C., was accompanied on the visit with his wife, Gina, and son Jacob, 7.

“That was awesome,” Ward said. “He knows a lot more about racing than I thought he did. We sat down and got to talking – he’s really a nice guy.” South Carolina has a long history in NASCAR. Stars such as David Pearson, Ralph Earnhardt and Cale Yarborough have won NASCAR South Carolina state championships, and Greenville-Pickens is one of NASCAR’s oldest sanctioned short tracks. It was the fifth Late Model championship at Greenville-Pickens for Ward, who had previously won track titles in 1990-91 and 2002-03.

“You really can’t put it into words,” said Ward when asked to describe the success he had in 2008. “When we started out the year, we weren’t running for points or anything. The season got going and you couldn’t have asked for a better year. It’s been a great year.” Just 26 drivers out of the thousands of participants in NASCAR’s grassroots, local-racing program – which encompasses tracks throughout the United States and Canada – earned a similar honor as U.S. state or Canadian province champion. The NASCAR South Carolina champion was determined by the driver’s highest 18 finishes at NASCAR-sanctioned tracks within the state.

The crowning of champions in a U.S. state or Canadian province continues a tradition of honoring the best short-track racers which dates back to the earliest days of NASCAR. Ward was also honored Friday, Nov. 7 at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet at the Rio All-Suite Hotel in Las Vegas, along with the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion, U.S. state and Canadian provincial champions, track champions and special award winners. The trip to Las Vegas also included a celebration of another sort, as one of Ward’s crew members took advantage of the opportunity to get married. “They had been talking about getting married for a while,” said Ward, who took nine of his crew members with him to the awards banquet. “I told him if you come out to Vegas with me, I’ll make sure you get married.”

Since its inception, NASCAR’s local racing series has served as a springboard in the careers of many top drivers. NASCAR stars Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray, Elliott Sadler and Brian Vickers all began their careers racing their local short tracks. PAST NASCAR SOUTH CAROLINA STATE CHAMPIONS


All-American Whelen Series

Year Driver Hometown
2008 Marty Ward Marietta, S.C.
2007 David Roberts Simpsonville, S.C.

Late Model Sportsman
Year Driver Hometown
1980 David Pearson Spartanburg, S.C.
1978 Buddy Howard Jr Greenville, S.C.
1977 Buddy Howard Jr Greenville, S.C.
1976 Don Sprouse Greer, S.C.
1975 Bob Jarvis Greenville, S.C.
1974 Harold Fountain Martinez, Ga.
1973 Don Miller Winston-Salem, S.C.
1972 Don Miller Winston-Salem, SC.
1971 Johnny Allen Greenville, S.C.
1970 Sam Sommers Savannah, Ga.
1969 Harold Bumgardner Kings Mt., N.C.
1968 Ralph Earnhardt Kannapolis, N.C.

Grand American Stock Car
Year Driver Hometown
1981 Joseph D. Biship Greenville, S.C.
1980 Billy Howard Jr. Greenville, S.C.
1979 Billy Howard Jr. Greenville, S.C.

Limited Sportsman
Year Driver Hometown
1981 Kevin Rainey Greenville, S.C.
1980 Will McGrew Jr. Greenville, S.C.
1979 Jimmy Mann Greenville, S.C.
1978 Greg Porter Easley, S.C.
1977 Greg Porter Easley, S.C.
1976 Mike Owens Myrtle Beach, S.C.
1975 Danny Smith Myrtle Beach, S.C.
1974 Rodger Gentry Greenville, S.C.
1962 Floyd Powell Chesnee, S.C.
1961 Floyd Powell Chesnee, S.C.
1959 R. Earnhardt Kannapolis, N.C.

Hobby
Year Driver Hometown
1974 Mike Owens Myrtle Beach, S.C.
1973 Gene Morgan Travelers Rest, S.C.
1972 Gene Morgan Travelers Rest, S.C.
1971 Campbell King Flat Rock, N.C.
1970 Harold Brookshire Travelers Rest, S.C.
1969 Leonard Sharpe Lexington, S.C.
1968 Rick Hunter Greenville, S.C.
1967 James D. Harris Greenville, S.C.
1966 Johnnie Cooper Columbia, S.C.
1965 Raymond Brown Greenville, S.C.
1964 Jack Cochram Greenville, S.C.
1963 Jim Taylot Owings, S.C.
1962 Bill Coker Greer, S.C.
1961 Carral Stokes Hartsville, S.C.
1960 Harrison Williams Woodruff, S.C.
1959 David Pearson Whitney, S.C.

Sportsman
Year Driver Hometown
1967 Ralph Earnhardt Kannapolis, N.C.
1966 Ralph Earnhardt Kannapolis, N.C.
1965 Ralph Earnhardt Kannapolis, N.C.
1964 Joe Penland W. Columbia, S.C.
1963 Ralph Earnhardt Kannapolis, N.C.
1960 Cale Yarborough Timmonsville, N.C.
1959 Earl Moss Creedmoor, N.C.
1958 Bobby Isaac Newton, N.C.
1957 Dink Widenhouse Concord, N.C.
1956 Ralph Earnhardt Kannapolis, N.C.
1954 Johnny Deaver Columbia, S.C.
1953 Bill Widenhouse Concord, N.C.

<<2008 NWAAS South Carolina Governor with Wards.jpg>>
For more information, contact:
Jason Christley, NASCAR Public Relations, (386) 947-6788 or jchristley@nascar.com


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