A driver competing in the SELLM Challenger Feature Event at Myrtle Beach Speedway died after being involved in a collision Friday night, according to a Myrtle Beach Speedway official.
Jackie Ward, a Surfside Beach, S.C., resident who owned Grand Strand Towing, crashed into the outside wall of Turn 1 following a two-car collision, according to Mike Neff, director of sales, marketing and announcing at the speedway.
The collision occurred around 4:45 p.m., according to Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard. Ward, 56, was taken to a hospital, where he died at 5:32 p.m. An autopsy is scheduled for Saturday, Willard said in a statement.
The speedway is holding the first weekend of the 25th annual Myrtle Beach 400. Practice for the SELLM series and the SELLM Challenge Feature Event were on the schedule for Friday, according to the Myrtle Beach Speedway website.
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Nearly 200 people gathered in chilly weather early Saturday at the speedway to honor Ward.
“(Friday) we lost a fellow racer and a great friend of ours at Myrtle Beach Speedway,” a racetrack representative wrote on Facebook. “Jackie Ward was a part of the racing community and our family at the speedway, he will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, pit crew, friends, fans and fellow racers.”