Marty Ward, one of the all-time greats in short track racing from the state of South Carolina, has passed away.
Ward, 58, suffered a heart attack while competing with the Southeast Super Trucks at Anderson Motor Speedway (SC) on Saturday. According to a post by the series on Sunday, the legendary racer passed away on Sunday surrounded by family and friends.
Ward had also won earlier in the evening at Anderson, taking the victory in the Southern Classic Stock Car feature race.
“Marty brought much fun and laughter to everyone he was around,” stated the series’ announcement. “His stories brought back great memories for us all. Marty never knew a stranger and made you feel like you had been friends since childhood.
“He was a man of integrity and honor. And in true Marty fashion, he left us with that huge smile and a victory lane flag in in hand, winning the very first race for the Southern Classic Stock Car division. Marty will be greatly missed by his racing family and friends.”
Ward was a six-time track champion at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, and a three-time South Carolina State Champion in what is now known as the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Racing Series.
He was also a race-winning driver in several notable touring series throughout his career, including the Hooters Pro Cup Series, the UARA STARS Late Model Series, the NASCAR Sportsman Division, and the NASCAR All-American Challenge Series.
Ward also had a win earlier this season with the Southeast Super Trucks, taking the victory at Anderson in the tour’s season opener on April 29.
Racing America offers its condolences to Ward’s family and friends.
-Photo Credit: Keith H. Anderson Photography