|Bud Ward was flying high during the annual McKenzie's Rage at the River Dec. 12-14 in Laughlin.
The Southern Nevada Off Road Enthusiasts wrapped up the $17,000 2014 Terrible Herbst Motorsports Garage Championship Series Dec. 12-14 and Class 10 driver Bud Ward will take home the winner’s share of a big purse when SNORE wraps up the year with its awards banquet Jan. 10 at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Ward, of Hemet, Calif., amassed 4,058 points for the year to lead the contingent of drivers of more than 200 entries that flocked to Laughlin for the McKenzie’s Rage at the River by capturing the Class 1600 class that touted a jam-packed field of 33 entries.
Ward, a 29 year-old contractor, actually rolled the car on Friday during qualifying and had to settle in the back of the field.
“We just had a great car and put a lot of time and development into it,” said Ward, who will earn about $4,000 for capturing the overall championship.
“There was no dust and that really helped out, too. We didn’t have a single problem during the race.”
There is certainly no doubt that Ward and his crew will invade the South Point for the SNORE awards. In fact, Ward is going to be a very busy man considering that he also tied in the Lucas Oil points for the Limited Buggy category. In years past, he has won the 1600 category of Mojave Off Road Racing Enthusiasts (MORE and several class 9 championships with MORE.
“We had a very good year with minimal problems,” Ward said, “Our worst finish all year long was a fifth place in both Lucas Oil and SNORE events.”
Ward said the team is putting together plans for 2015 and will compete in several of SNORE’s events. He won the last two events to wrap up the overall SNORE title that ended with the largest-ever turnout in recent history for a Laughlin race.
“I just wanted podium finishes during the season, but we had to turn on the gas at the end because it was so close at the end.”
Ironically, Class 7 driver Jon Lee of Riverside came to Laughlin with a 27 point lead but fell out when the chassis on his vehicle rubbed a hole in the power steering line. Ironically, Ward’s crew assisted Lee’s crew to get the Class 7 vehicle back during Sunday’s race.
“We want to race as hard as we can and see how the points fall,” said Ward, a native of Hemet. “We found the problem on Jon’s car and with help from McKenzie’s were able to put the power steering line back together.”
Ward has a long list of sponsors that helped throughout the year including Brister Ward Motorsports (company owner Mark Brister owns Ward’s car), Major Performance Racing Engines, BF Goodrich Tires, Ramona Tire Service Centers, Dave Folts Transmissions, Amber Racing Services, and the entire Ward family and crew.
“My crew chief Brian Weatherly and his father, Bill, were awesome all year long,” Ward said. “We had 30 races during the season and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Lee came into the season finale with a 3,460-3,433 leads over Ward. He finished with 3,910 points while Class 10 competitor Geoffrey Cooley ended up third with 3,872, Class 16 competitor Fernie Padilla was fourth with 3,826 and Class 9 charger Corey Torres rounded out the top five with 3,818.
Class champions in the event included Justin Smith in Unlimited Truck and overall; Kevin Thompson in Class 1 Unlimited; Richard Glaszczak in Class 10; Matt Ferrato in Class 12; Tori Poole in Class 13; Vincent Munoz in Class 1450; Travis Howard in Class 15; Ward in Class 16; Colton Gubler in Class 18; Justin Anderson in Class 2000; Braden Abatti in Class 3000;John Willard in Class 5 Unlimited; Michael King in Class 5/1600; Scott Davis in Class 6100; Matt Lovell in Class 7; Clint Braun in Class 9; Corey Vandermark in Stock Bug; Lori English in Stock Full; and Blayze Webster in UTV-Pro.
SNORE will kick off the 2015 season with the King Shocks Battle at Primm Feb. 20-22. The SNORE/MORE Motion Tire 300 is set for April 10-11 in Ridgecrest, Calif., while the Race Fuel Energy Drink 250 marks a return to Caliente, Nev. May 29-30.
The KC HiLites Midnight Special, another combined effort of both SNORE and MORE, will be Sept. 11-12 in Lucerne Valley, Calif. and the 46th annual SNORE 250 will debut in Kingman, Ariz. Oct. 23-24 before the Rage at the River returns to Laughlin, Nev. Dec. 11-13.
For further information, please visit www.snoreracing.net.