Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Challenge today at Texas Motor Speedway, his tenth win in the Nationwide Series this year. Kyle tied Sam Ard’s record and in victory lane pledged to give $100,000 Sam and his family. How cool was that? I was genuinely proud of Kyle in that moment.
Sam Ard is a former Nationwide Series Champion who once won 10 races in 1983. In only three seasons, Ard accumulated 22 wins, 24 poles, 67 top five and 80 top-10 finishes. Instead of battling for wins these days he’s faced with Alzheimer’s disease along with financial woes and his wife Jo has a degenerative eye disease that is slowly taking her vision.
I encourage you to check out the online auction for the Sam Ard Fund that is going on now through November 17th, 2008. Visit www.nascar.com/foundation
Last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway Kevin Harvick donated the van that was used in the Shell commercials to Sam Ard:
“Sam Ard has been a huge part of NASCAR and an inspiration in my career,” said Harvick. “A lot of people don’t understand how hard those guys raced and how different it was back then. Those guys spent everything they won on racing and I am just happy that we are able to help Sam because none of us would be able to do what we love to do if it weren’t for guys like Sam Ard.”
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet, presents a minivan to Robert Ard, the son of former Nationwide Series Champion Sam Ard, while DeLana Harvick and Jim Hunter, Vice President of Corporate Communications for NASCAR join them outside the Media Center, prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)