Cole Custer to honor Sam Ard at Darlington - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Cole Custer to honor Sam Ard at Darlington

Driver Cole Custer with Sam Ard's children. (Source: WMBF Sports) Driver Cole Custer with Sam Ard's children. (Source: WMBF Sports)

Story courtesy of Stewart-Haas Racing

DARLINGTON, S.C. – While the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang is piloted by a relatively fresh face in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, it was a tenacious veteran whose heroics in the early 1980s made the No. 00 synonymous with winning.

The No. 00 of today is driven by 19-year-old Cole Custer, who is competing for rookie-of-the-year honors in the stepping-stone division to the elite Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. And while Custer makes a name for himself in the XFINITY Series, he drives a car with a number made famous by Sam Ard.

In just 92 career XFINITY Series starts between 1982 and 1984, Ard drove his No. 00 machine to 22 victories, 67 top-five and 79 top-10 finishes while earning 24 poles and leading 4,035 laps. His average finish was an astonishing 5.5 and it led Ard to back-to-back championships in 1983 and 1984 in what was then known as the NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series.

Ard passed away earlier this year, but his legacy lives on. Custer’s No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang will feature a paint scheme honoring Ard when he competes in the Sept. 2 Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway. The same white paint and red lettering that can be seen on Ard’s No. 00 Oldsmobile Omega on the Glory Road display inside the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina, will be emulated on Custer’s No. 00 Ford Mustang at Darlington.

“The 00 number has been a part of my entire NASCAR career, and over the years I’ve gotten to know its history and met some of the people who worked with Sam and saw him race,” Custer said. “The more I learn about Sam and all that he accomplished, the more impressive it becomes. I feel like I’m driving his car, and I want to make him and his family proud. Guys like Sam Ard helped shape the sport into what it is today. Without him, I don’t know if the opportunity to drive racecars for a living would exist. I’m grateful for it and I’d like him and his family to know it.”

Ard was born in Pamplico, South Carolina, roughly 45 minutes southeast of Darlington. Ard was a U.S. Air Force veteran who worked on aircraft at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina, as part of the war effort during Vietnam. He competed in four XFINITY Series races at Darlington. While he didn’t win, he never finished lower than sixth, with his best result being second, earned twice, in 1983 and in his final Darlington race on Sept. 1, 1984.

“Sam Ard was a terrific ambassador and champion for the NASCAR XFINITY Series. It’s great to see a team like Stewart-Haas Racing, and their rising star Cole Custer, pay tribute to Sam with a special throwback paint scheme in his honor,” said Kerry Tharp, president, Darlington Raceway. “Sam is from nearby Pamplico, and it’s great to have a local racing hero like Sam, and his family, recognized in this manner. Cole’s paint scheme will be one of the highlights of our Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 race on Sept. 2, and we thank him and Stewart-Haas Racing for remembering one of our sport’s heroes this way.”

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Highway Patrol troopers provide tips to holiday drivers at Welcome Centers

    Highway Patrol troopers provide tips to holiday drivers at Welcome Centers

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 8:55 PM EST2017-11-23 01:55:38 GMT
    Interstate 95 sign (Source: WMBF News)Interstate 95 sign (Source: WMBF News)

    When you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving, state law enforcement wants to make sure you drive safe. South Carolina Highway Patrol was at the Welcome Center in Dillon County just off I-95 and others cross the state to hand out safety material and talk with motorists traveling for the holiday, especially those from out of state.

    More >>

    When you’re hitting the road for Thanksgiving, state law enforcement wants to make sure you drive safe. South Carolina Highway Patrol was at the Welcome Center in Dillon County just off I-95 and others cross the state to hand out safety material and talk with motorists traveling for the holiday, especially those from out of state.

    More >>
  • Last minute Thanksgiving shopping helps local business owners

    Last minute Thanksgiving shopping helps local business owners

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 8:48 PM EST2017-11-23 01:48:45 GMT
    Last minute shoppers rushed to check items off their grocery list while supporting local business owners in the process. (Source: WMBF News)Last minute shoppers rushed to check items off their grocery list while supporting local business owners in the process. (Source: WMBF News)

    The countdown to Turkey Day is underway, with less than 24 hours to go, plenty of people are making last-minute grocery stops. That shopping made it a busy day for local business owners in Horry Country, especially for the grocery stores and local meat markets.

    More >>

    The countdown to Turkey Day is underway, with less than 24 hours to go, plenty of people are making last-minute grocery stops. That shopping made it a busy day for local business owners in Horry Country, especially for the grocery stores and local meat markets.

    More >>
  • Deal Diva: ‘Travel Deal Tuesday’ the latest shopping holiday

    Deal Diva: ‘Travel Deal Tuesday’ the latest shopping holiday

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 7:27 PM EST2017-11-23 00:27:40 GMT
    While searching online for the deals, Christel found starting Thanksgiving Day, hotel giant Marriott and SPG will have its cyber sale. (Source: WMBF News)While searching online for the deals, Christel found starting Thanksgiving Day, hotel giant Marriott and SPG will have its cyber sale. (Source: WMBF News)

    You might score big on a TV or a game system this Black Friday, but you also might be able to land a getaway trip at a great price soon too. Deal Diva Christel Bell explained how you can save if you are looking for travel deals, airfares, and hotels. You have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and now add “Travel Deal Tuesday” to the list.

    More >>

    You might score big on a TV or a game system this Black Friday, but you also might be able to land a getaway trip at a great price soon too. Deal Diva Christel Bell explained how you can save if you are looking for travel deals, airfares, and hotels. You have Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and now add “Travel Deal Tuesday” to the list.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly