Ward completes IMCA Modified Southern Stampede sweep

Tim Ward completed the weekend sweep at Southern Oklahoma Speedway, winning the Saturday night IMCA Modified Stampede feature and $3,000. (Photo by Distorted Exposure, Elaura McCauley)

ARDMORE, Okla. (March 19, 2022) – Tim Ward went 372 days between his first and second IMCA Modified Southern Stampede feature wins. 

He went just 24 hours between his second and third. 

Ward completed his weekend sweep at Southern Oklahoma Speedway Saturday night, racing from eighth starting to the $3,000 checkers. He’d won $2,000 from the pole on Friday at Ardmore. 

“Weekends like this are everything we go for. We try to win every night,” Ward said. “We had a good car and really good draws both nights. Everything worked out for us.”

Ethan Braaksma, 13th starting Jeff Taylor, Matt Bonine and Drake Findley completed the top five. The more than 100 IMCA entries on Night 2 of the Stampede included 49 Modifieds.

Making a rare three-wide start, Ward took the initial green flag for the 30-lapper from the middle of the third row. 

“It took a few lap fort the top side to come in and I was about the only one up there,” he said. “I got up to second before there was a red flag and I picked the bottom on the restart. I knew I’d getter a better restart there but eventually went back to the top.”

“I threw some slide jobs at Ethan and eventually one of them stuck.” 

Also a $3,000 winner at the 2021 Stampede, Ward scored the Saturday victory by four car lengths over Braaksma. He’d become Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational eligible on Friday. 

Hard charger P.J. Egbert started 18th and finished sixth.

William Gould and Bo Day both banked $1,250 for IMCA Sunoco Stock Car and Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMod victories, respectively. 

Gould, in a car borrowed from Cullen Hill, had started outside row one and fell back to fourth before running second behind Justin Whitehead much of the way.

“He finally left the bottom open and I was able to get by,” said the two division star, newly eligible to qualify for the B & B Racing chassis All-Star Invitational. “I got lucky. I got to the front when the track was starting to take runner and I was trying to preserve my tires.”

Friday winner Blake Clark challenged on the outside before Gould, backed by Smiley’s Racing Products, Baker Boys Racing Shocks and Nikole’s Country Store, took the checkers.

Brandon Taylor, Clark, Tommy Fain and 28th starting Tathan Burkhart rounded out the top five.

Day made his way to the front in the Southern SportMod feature from 13th starting and won ahead of Kyle Robinson, running the car Day drove last year.

“I’m a cat fisher. I like to stay around the tires. (Turns) one and two got really clean and the track got racier,” he said. “Once we got up to fifth, they had a caution and we were able to roll through on the middle. We took the lead on a restart around midway and from there we just hit our marks and protected the bottom. We couldn’t let our old car outrun us.” 

Alex Hickham was third, Andy Hulcy fourth and Jeremy Henry fifth.