Emotional Ward Steps Up For Big Victory In Va.

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ON HIS MIND: Brandon Ward celebrates a victory Sunday at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., a day after his father suffered a heart attack in the garage area. (USARacing Pro Cup Photo)

ON HIS MIND: Brandon Ward celebrates a victory Sunday at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., a day after his father suffered a heart attack in the garage area. (USARacing Pro Cup Photo)

HAMPTON, Va. — Brandon Ward earned an emotional victory Sunday in the rain- delayed Hampton Virginia Honor Flight 250 USARacing Pro Cup event at Langley Speedway a day after Ward’s father suffered a heart attack in the garage area.

Rick Ward was rushed to Sentra Careplex Hospital Saturday afternoon where he received two stents and was expected to be released Monday.

“This is the first Pro Cup race I’ve been to without him; just about the first race period I’ve been to that he hadn’t been here, so I missed him a lot today,” the younger Ward said after his third-career victory. “Any win in this series is big, but especially with the situation this weekend. Being able to get two in a row, it was a real special win.”

A late-race restart set the stage for Ward’s victory after he ran in the top five throughout the race. On lap 189, Ward found himself in second behind Matt Lofton, where he sat calmly waiting for the opportunity he needed to take the lead. That moment came on lap 206 when Ward drove below Lofton in turn three to take the lead.

The 28-year-old Ward was never challenged once he grabbed the top spot, eventually taking a 2.915-second victory over Woody Howard.

“It just wasn’t our day,” Howard said after his runner-up finish. “With qualifying rained out and having to start at the back, that just put us behind.”

Bobby Gill came home in third ahead of J.P. Morgan and Clay Rogers.

The finish:
Brandon Ward, Woody Howard, Bobby Gill, J.P. Morgan, Clay Rogers, Justin Boston, John Gibson, Caleb Holman, Derek Kale, Lucas Ransone, Jeff Oakley, Drew Herring, Tom Powers, Wally Smith, Ronnie Souders, Matt Lofton, Joe Gaita, Billy Bigley, Jr., Jeff Agnew, Brett Butler, Bryce Walker.