Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Former NASCAR driver living in poverty

"Ard hasn’t raced since suffering severe head trauma in a 1984 accident at North Carolina Speedway. He had to learn how to walk and talk and feed himself, and did much of his therapy on an old sawdust pile near the woods behind his house.

“That’s where I learned how to walk again, I’d run up and down that sawdust pile because if I fell, it didn’t hurt,” he said. “I about wore that sawdust pile out.”

Before the accident, Ard seemingly had the perfect life. A job as a Ford mechanic and a four-year Air Force stint gave him the financial security to quit the 9-to-5 grind and focus strictly on racing.

In his early 40s, he had enough money put away for all four children to attend college and had the talent for a successful NASCAR career.

It ended the moment he hit the wall at Rockingham."

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