Trevor Ward finished the 2018 season as one of the hottest Late Model Stock Car racers in the region. He picked up his first career Late Model win at his home track of Ace Speedway and followed that up with a top ten performance all weekend at Martinsville Speedway in the ValleyStar 300 finishing fourth.

As the 2019 season approaches its opening act, Ward is looking to take his program to the next level as a member of the CARS Tour Touring 12. Ward, who ran almost all of the CARS Tour races last season, is set to compete in the full tour and is hungry to compete with the best Late Model Stock Car drivers in the country.

The CARS Tour season starts with a 150-lap Late Model Stock Car race at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, NC. For Ward, it’s his first time racing on the high banked 4/10 mile track and he’s looking forward to the challenge.

Trevor Ward takes a look at his car during practice at Tri-County Motor Speedway as he prepared for the CARS Tour 2018 season opener. (Jaden Austin photo)

“I’ve never raced at Southern National,” Ward told “I think on that list of CARS Tour races Southern National and Dominion are the only tracks I haven’t raced at. I just want to see how all the work we’ve done on the car this year and hopefully everything pays off and we can come out and build on things from there.”

Ward’s decision to run the CARS Tour full-time comes from knowing that he’ll be competing against the best drivers out there.

“It’s a great tour man. There’s a lot of good drivers in there and the only way you’re going to get better is to race the best. I learned a lot last year and I think looking back at it now, there at the end, I learned how to save tires and prepare the car week to week.”

Trevor Ward (77) at speed during practice at Martinsville Speedway for the ValleyStar Credit Union 300. (Brad Newman photo)

His fourth-place finish at Martinsville last fall he attributes to what he learned on the tour and racing the guys who would run up front in that race as well.

“Went to Martinsville and we didn’t win the race but all day we’re top ten on the board. We were a contender all race and at the end the way it worked out we finished fourth. I don’t think I could have prepared myself for that race without being with the tour.”

Ward also credits Lee Pulliam with teaching him how to save tires even though he says Pulliam doesn’t even know it.

“I learned a lot from Lee Pulliam at Hickory and he probably don’t even know it.  I followed him there and we both qualified not very good and we rode in the back.  I knew if I followed behind his pace that at the end of the race he’d be a contender to win.  I sat there and stayed with him right there and thought we weren’t going anywhere. After the next caution he got through traffic better than me and I finished in the top ten and he finished in the top five.”

Trevor Ward (77) and Lee Pulliam race door to door at Ace Speedway during the June 9, 2018 CARS Tour race. (Jaden Austin photo)

“That was a point proven that this is what I need to do, I need to save tires and I might be burning up my stuff too early.  When you figure out what your car has and you save your equipment it makes you better.  You know how much to push it.  You’ll be there as a contender to win on these long races.  When I learned that it was a turning point in my career.”

Ward is hoping to get a good finish at Southern National Motorsports Park but goal expectation is to be a top-five driver in the championship points. He says that being a part of the Touring 12 program will be a big help.

“I wouldn’t be able to do it without the Touring 12 deal,” continued Ward. “I have AAR Roofing on board and they’ve been a loyal sponsor but without the Touring 12 program we wouldn’t have been able to commit to running the full tour.”

Ward is recovering from surgery and doesn’t feel good but he’s focused on running good.

“I’ve been really sick. I had surgery two months ago to remove a lump on my chest and I’m just trying to go to this race and do the best I can. Got rid of that and I think I’ll be alright. I’ve been running a 102 fever the last week or so but I think if we get through this week I’ll be alright.”

Ward isn’t going to let being under the weather keep him from being at the track and if he gets his car dialed in, he could easily be in the mix for the win in the CARS Tour season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park. A win is a cure for all things.

Interview conducted by Brandon White