Trevor Ward Honors Father Dean in CARS Tour Throwback 276

Trevor Ward Honors Father Dean in CARS Tour Throwback 276

Trevor Ward is hoping for a huge race this weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway in the CARS Tour Throwback 276. Ward, whose a member of the CARS Tour Touring 12 program, is ready to honor his father in the best way possible, by getting a win at Hickory in their biggest event of the year.

Ward is a part of the famous Ward family that’s won all over the region and it started with his grandfather Gene Ward who won hundreds of races up and down the East Coast. His father Dean has won a ton of races in many different states, he’s even won races in four decades stretching from the mid-1980s to the 2010s. Dean’s success in the ’90s is the most impressive, he won titles at South Boston Speedway and Ace Speedway and finished second in the ValleyStar 300 at Martinsville Speedway.

Dean Ward in victory lane at South Boston Speedway after winning a Late Model Stock Car race on April 10, 1999. (Ward Family Collection photo)

Fast forward 20 plus years later his youngest son will pay tribute to him with a throwback scheme to one of his winningest cars in the 1990s.

“It’s a really cool scheme has a lot of history with my dad racing it back in the day and he ran it from the year I was born (1997) up in tell I was four years old,” Ward told RACE22. “I thought it would be cool to bring it back to life. I really want to do good in this car my dad ran it for years and had a lot of success and it wouldn’t be any cooler to make it happen for this race.”

Trevor said his dad Dean has plans for the car if he is able to win in it.

“He told me if I won he would have to take the car and cover it up,” Ward said. “He really thought it was sharp and couldn’t have been anymore replicated. I just like to replicate the good things he did in it, I’d take this win over any win, except for Martinsville.”

Trevor Ward’s #02 entry for the Throwback 276 CARS Tour race at Hickory Motor Speedway. It’s a throwback to his father Dean Ward’s 1999 Late Model Stock Car. (Trevor Ward photo)

The CARS Tour will head to historic Hickory Motor Speedway for the 3rd Annual Throwback 276 presented by Baker Distributing. The Throwback 276 is an event consisting of the Super Late Models and the Late Model Stock Cars with both races going 138 laps apiece. The best part about the event is it gives drivers, teams and their cars a chance to don the retro paint schemes and look of that time. If the fans want to join in it’s encouraged to do so with special best appearing contests for the drivers, teams and even the fans.

Ward has been racing on the CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour for two seasons, but he’s only made three starts at the “birthplace of the NASCAR stars” with one being a DNQ in last year’s throwback event. He’s had pretty decent runs in both races, qualifying 20th or lower and finishing in the top 15 in both events. 

“It’s hard to say where we will be” Ward stated. “I’ve really changed up some stuff on the car and it’s good out of the box, but hopefully this put us where we need to be at. My first year it was hard, I knew the competition would be good and I hate losing, but after a while, I realized they put their pants on just like I do. I’m still struggling to be where we need to be. I’m out of a small shop in Wallburg, but I think if we keep staying on it and keep trying each week we will find that sweet spot we need.”

Trevor Ward as a kid hanging out the side of his father Dean Ward’s #02 Late Model Stock Car with his late grandfather, Randy Thompson. (Ward Family Collection photo)

Ward has limited experience at Hickory compared to a bunch of drivers on the entry list, but he knows what it takes to survive and win. 

“You need to save your tires,” Ward explained. “If you shoot off too early you’ll burn up your equipment. The car is the key to your success, you have to know how hard to press it and how much throttle to use early on, the least amount of throttle you use early on, you’ll be there on fresher tires and will be a contender for the win.”

Ward knows he couldn’t do this alone.

“I couldn’t do it without the support and the good Lord for giving me this opportunity,” Ward said. “I also would like to thank AAR Roofing, Mike Kurth and my Ward Performance Team, they made it possible. If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t do this.”

A front view of the #02 AAR Roofing entry for Trevor Ward for this weekend’s Throwback 276 CARS Tour event at Hickory Motor Speedway. (Trevor Ward photo)

Cover photo by Trevor Ward.