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Kevin Ward Passes Away
Troy Hennig - Media Relations Silver Dollar Speedway
CHICO, CA (8-5-13) - It is with a heavy heart that I have to report we have lost another racer way too soon. Paradise resident Kevin Ward passed away today, Monday August 5, 2013, at the Enloe Medical Center in Chico. Ward was 51 years old. On behalf of everyone associated with the Silver Dollar Speedway, we want to send our condolences to the family, Richele Lundy his girlfriend, and friends of Kevin Ward.
"Kevin was a special person," said Silver Dollar Speedway promoter Dennis Gage. "He lived and breathed racing. He helped us out tremendously these past few years. He will be missed." Gage reflected upon a moment this year when he called Ward. "I needed about four or five race cars to be the back ground for our television commercials this year," said Gage. "I didn't want to have to deal with multiple people so I thought to myself who is the one person I can call to round up these cars. The first person I thought of was Kevin. Not only did he come through but I think we had eight or nine cars, way more than we needed. That just shows you what kind of person he was and how energetic he was to help out the race track."
About a week ago Kevin was rushed to the hospital after his girlfriend found him to be unresponsive in the middle of the night. It was later revealed that Kevin had suffered a brain aneurysm. Due to the severity of his situation the doctors kept him in a coma to try and help ease the swelling of his brain. While initial reports were gloomy, a family friend called me Friday to say the doctors were encouraged by some signs that possibly pointed to him surviving this terrible tragedy. Unfortunately around 4:11 pm today, Kevin passed away.
Since 2009, Kevin Ward has been a mainstay in the Street Stock division at the Silver Dollar Speedway. In 2011, Ward boasted his most impressive stats with two wins and a second place finish in the championship. Ward was on pace to accomplish the same results this season. Ward is second in driver points and recorded a main event win just three weeks ago on July 19th. Kevin owned a popular racing business called Circle Track Specialties in Paradise. Ward was responsible for numerous drivers and crew members' success at the Silver Dollar Speedway.
The social media outlets are already filling up with warm memories of Ward. Friend and Silver Dollar Speedway Media Internist Elijah Jones thanked him for teaching Elijah what it meant to work hard for his money. Casey Lee, one of the track photographers wrote, "Glad the last time I saw you was in victory lane! Thanks for the memories." Codee Funkhouser wrote on Kevin's Facebook page, "Thank you for all the times you came to save me when I was stranded! Even more, thank you for being such an amazing friend to my daddy and a great uncle to me and Amari."The Silver Dollar Speedway will hold a special tribute to Kevin at our next race, August 16th. At this time, it is being reported that family friend Mike Funkhouser will race Kevin's #52k street stock car the final two races this season at Silver Dollar Speedway.