WELLS TANNERY, Pa. – The math Garrett Bard did in August added up to an IMCA national championship in September.
The second year IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car driver from Wells Tannery, Pa., went on a tear over the last two months of the season, ending the year with a division-best 13 feature wins, plus Pennsylvania Sprint Series and KMJ Performance Pennsylvania state titles to complement the national crown.
“We sat down at one point in early August, figured we had right around a dozen races left and that we needed at least seven top three’s to have a chance at the national championship,” recalled Bard. “Eight of our next nine starts were firsts or seconds, then we ended with two wins.”
“It’s cool to win it all. We’re already determined to try for it again next year,” he continued. “Hopefully next October we can get the same congratulatory phone call from IMCA.”
Bard ran 600 micro sprints in his home state and across the East Coast before making his RaceSaver debut in July of 2019 at Clinton County Speedway.
“We finished dead last. We didn’t know what we were doing and just guessed,” said Bard. “Micro sprints run on smaller tracks and help you develop and learn how to race a 305. We had talked about racing something else and so many tracks in our area were running RaceSaver Sprints.
“We learned fast and won our fourth race in our first-ever visit to Port Royal Speedway.”
While he totaled just 17 starts in 2019, Bard won four times and finished seventh in the rookie points race.
The potential for great things was obvious and once the 2020 season got underway, Bard was quick to find the winner’s circle, taking the Allegheny Sprint Tour checkers on opening night in late May.
An eight-time winner on the PASS circuit, Bard also topped three Laurel Highlands Sprint Series features and finished fourth in standings for that tour. He also won both Allegheny Sprint Tour outings.
“In Pennsylvania, we just have so many drivers who can win any week. The competition here is second to none,” Bard said. “PASS had 12 or 13 different winners and Laurel Highlands had nine or 10.”
Bard averaged better than a win a week in the decisive month of August, advancing from fifth to first in the national standings. He clinched national, series and state crowns on the final weekend of the season, sweeping features at Lincoln Speedway and Selinsgrove Speedway.
Both Selinsgrove and Port Royal were sites of three wins by Bard during the 2020 point season.
He ran out of high side luck and destroyed his car at Port Royal in an early October start.
Bard, who also counts an interview on Winged Nation Radio among his season highlights, rebuilt his ride and returned to win the PASS Keystone RaceSaver Challenge two weeks later for his 15th victory of the calendar year.
He’s the second Pennsylvania driver to earn IMCA national championship honors, following 2019 king Ken Duke Jr.’s path to the top of the RaceSaver podium.