We’ve had good cars this year, just been in a little bit of a slump,” Ward said on Speed51’s “The Bullring” Tuesday. “Definitely not from a lack of effort, both from my deal at New Day Motorsports and Coulter Motorsports. Both groups have done a really good job. We ran second and third a few times at Bowman Gray and with the SMART Tour and just had a hard time breaking through, and finally we were able to do it at Motor Mile.
The win came against stout competition, as has often been the case with the SMART Modified Tour this season. The series drew an impressive 28 car field for the event at Motor Mile Speedway, which Ward sees as a testament to the series’ success in its first full season of operation.
“I think that Chris Williams has really put together a really good format for the SMART Tour. It’s been something really good for Modified racing in the south. You’ve seen a good, consistent car count throughout the season, but Motor Mile having 28 cars is just impressive. It goes to show the job they’re doing, and hopefully they can keep going in the right direction.”
The win coming at Motor Mile Speedway carried extra sentimental value for Ward. While Tour-type Modifieds hadn’t visited the track since 2006, Ward has deep roots at the track and in the state of Virginia track dating back to his time racing Late Models and Pro Cup cars before going Modified racing.
“I have to say, there are some good race tracks up there. I love to go to Motor Mile, Langley, South Boston. Franklin County, we raced there last year and got a couple of wins. The state of Virginia has been good to me over the years in terms of race wins. Motor Mile was where I got my start Late Model racing, which led me to the UARA series in 2006. I got my first Pro Cup win at Motor Mile in 2007.
“It had been several years since I got to race at Motor Mile, so it was cool to go back. You can really race good there. You can run up high or go to the bottom. It puts on a good show for the fans. It’s always a good time to go to Motor Mile.”
Entering the finale, the SMART Modified Tour championship will be decided between Burt Myers, John Smith and Brian Loftin. While Ward will not be part of the title fight, he hopes to get the last laugh and of the points-paying season and carry that momentum into the winter.
“They’ve got three really good team racing for that championship, and it should be a good battle all the way to the end. We’re just trying to get two wins in a row. With some things we’ve got going on and momentum on our side, we can go there, go for the win and try to finish the year strong.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Director of Digital Content – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo