ARDMORE, Okla. (March 11) – The race Tim Ward has watched on TV is the race he won Thursday at Southern Oklahoma Speedway.
Ward charged all the way from 12th starting to win the IMCA Modified main event and $3,000 on opening night of the Southern Stampede. The victory was the first in Oklahoma for the much-traveled Ward and the second of the season for the Arizona native.
Already on the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot, he was one of 53 Modified and 120 IMCA entries for the season-opening special.
“We guessed right on the car,” he said following a 30-lapper interrupted by a single caution. “We had watched this show the last couple years and it looked fun. I’m glad we’re here.”
Into the top three before midway, he’d passed the ninth starting Ethan Braaksma for the lead with 13 laps to go. That pair got into lapped traffic with five circuits left; early leader Jared Baird took third from Jimmy Day late in the contest.
Tommy Fain won a second straight IMCA Sunoco Stock Car Stampede title while Shelby Williams scored the Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod checkers, also good for $1,750.
Fain also started deep in the field, motoring from 11th to the lead just eight laps in. He’d checked out on everybody long before lap 18 and 23 yellows, then out ran Jeffrey Abbey the last seven times around the track.
“I was able to roll the bottom pretty good early. When the first caution came out, maybe it was a good thing because it gave me an open track,” Fain said. “The car was fast and luck just happened to be with me tonight.”
Williams started from the pole and ran second to Dean Abbey much of the Southern SportMod distance before a late caution. Abbey was then sent to the back for getting into a lapped car and Williams impressed in beating Cullen Hill and Matthew Day to the checkers.
All three divisions are on the Friday card at Ardmore for night two of the Southern Stampede, also broadcast by IMCA.TV.
Racing starts at 6 p.m.