NASCAR & Auto Racing

New Mexico racer dies after fiery crash

ABILENE, Texas – A dirt track racer died after a crash during weekend qualifying at the Abilene Speedway.

Ryan Bard of Farmington, N.M., died Monday at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, where he was being treated for burns, according to the International Motor Contest Association.

The 23-year-old Bard, a competitor in the association’s Southern SportMod division, was injured Sunday when his car rolled over and caught fire during a qualifying race for the Southern Challenge.

“Everyone at IMCA and Abilene Speedway are saddened by the events that occurred at the Southern Challenge,” IMCA vice president of operations Brett Root said in a statement. “Ryan is in our thoughts and prayers and we extend our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”

Bard was 10th in the 2007 national IMCA Southern SportMod championship standings.

He was the 2007 Southern SportMod New Mexico State Champion, the 2007 West Valley Speedway Winter Series Track Champion and a regular competitor at the Aztec Speedway, a dirt oval south of Aztec, N.M.