Life has slowed down a bit these days for Bobby Ward, 77, who spent 20 years going as fast as he could, riding roaring engines, eating flying dust and outrunning race car competition across the country.
This year he was inducted into the National Sprint Hall of Fame.
So he was a natural to be selected unanimously as the Grand Marshal of the Faulkner County Fair Parade in this year of "A Gold Medal Performance."
"I’m really proud to be the Grand Marshal and grateful they thought of me," Ward said from his Springhill home where he and his wife, Pat, spend most of their days sitting on the back porch, enjoying a breeze and watching the wildlife that comes into their backyard.
In his 20-year racing career, Ward won 369 feature races and the season title at several tracks across the country.
Because he competed in different tracks in so many different states, Ward’s Mee2 car also took on the nickname of "Arkansas Traveler."
Some of his accomplishments:
• He won four Arkansas state championships at the Benton Speed Bowl.
• He won three Southwestern Super Modified titles at Amarillo (1963, 1964 and 1968.)
• In 1965, he won 27 times in 33 starts.
• In 1969, he won 36 main events at different race tracks.
A true winner, he retired from racing in 1974.
Ward will be waving to the crowds as the Fair Parade winds its way through Downtown Conway, 5 p.m., Sept. 18, kicking off the 74th Annual Faulkner County Fair.
For up-to-date information about the Fair Parade go to http://www.facebook.com/FaulknerCountyFair.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 505-1234. Staff writer David McCollum contributed to this report.)