Most modified fans are fairly familiar with the name Brandon Ward. But there's much more than just modifieds to Brandon's story. Luckily I had the chance to catch up with him and ask him about his racing background.
Ward would attend local drag races with his father and family friends regularly. When he turned eight, Brandon began racing kart's, like most drivers I have covered so far. Once he hopped behind the wheel hasn't looked in the rear-view since. Through his adolescence, he traveled up and down the East Coast running numerous World Karting Assoc. (WKA) events winning all sorts of races and titles. Around the day Ward turned sixteen they moved him up to the Goody's Dash Series which is now referred to as the ISCARS Dash Touring Series. Most older fans know that this series was packed with talent from Hut Stricklin to Robert Huffman. Brandon has raced in many top named series from UARA to Hooters Pro Cup and has had nothing but success along the way. He won the UARA Championship in 2006 and won National Rookie of the Year in the 2007 Hooters Pro Cup season.
Brandon first got his chance in a modified in 2006 driving a handful of races for David Pinnix. Fast forward a couple years and he was given the opportunity to race the infamous #44 Fishel Racing machine owned by Bryan Fishel. Brandon actually won in an upset in South Boston beating Andy Seuss and Danny Bohn to claim his first career modified victory in 2012. Brandon raced off and on in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour while also racing PASS Super Late Models up until the last couple years.
Last year he and his team made some changes and decided to go full-time modified racing. With the help of Will Spaugh, Jeff Day and Kevin Powell this team was set up for success. Will had been working on building his own LFR tour modified and was also Brandon's crew chief on his super late model. Once Spaugh had finished building his car they officially made the switch. Brandon now drives for Spaugh on the SMRS Tour and Kevin Powell at Bowman Gray full-time, which Will also crew chiefs on. Brandon stated " I do miss racing the supers but I really enjoy the mods. As a driver, I like them both and hope to be able to race in both again in the future."
Ward clearly stated that he has never "bought" a ride and has worked his way through the ranks strictly on driving ability, which as most of you know in today's times is a rarity. Brandon started off this year on a roll winning three races and claiming four poles on the SMRS Tour and actually holds the point lead in this series as well. His goals moving forward are obviously to win races and championships but also to keep finding more speed and getting their Bowman Gray program back on track after losing a motor on opening night.
Brandon made sure to tell me that he owes the success his team has had to Kevin Powell, Will Spaugh, Jeff Day, the remainder of his crew and the following sponsors he carries on his machines: Kevin Powell Motorsports, kpmoto.com, Foothill Ford, Spaugh Racing Technologies (SRT), Q104, Precision Built Spindle, Miller Welders, Gold's Gym, Robbins Sandblasting, Amsoil, Broken Buggy Print Co, David E Day Inc. and Progressive Racing Engines.
Make sure to follow along Brandon as he will start on the pole and will try to seal his first Bowman Gray win of the season in Saturday night's fifty lap event in his Q104 car!