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  • tombergie01

Father and Daughter Battle on the Track, and Bond Off of It

There aren’t a lot of father/daughter teams in dirt-track racing – and there are even less who race against each other in the late model class.

That makes Scott Ward and his daughter, Morgan Ward Grosz of Watertown, a bit of an anomaly in racing. Not only do they travel together and pit together, they also race against each other. On the track they compete; off the track they have a racing bond.

“It gets interesting,” Morgan said. “At the end of the night we both know we’re in the same division, but we have to go to the same shop and help each other. A lot of respect – I take every lap that I get to race against him to heart because I don’t know when he’s going to quit. It’s always memorable.”

“We race hard with each other,” Scott said. “I race her like anyone else. If she’s going to win, she’s going to deserve it.”

To say racing is a huge part of the Ward’s family life might be an understatement. Scott, 53, has raced 36 years and been a top modified and late model driver in eastern South Dakota for many years; Morgan, 31, has raced since she was 18. Morgan’s husband, Lee Grosz, races a Wissota Modified; and Scott’s son-in-law (who is Morgan’s brother-in-law as well), Tyler McDonald, races a Wissota Late Model as well. Often at Casino Speedway, all of those cars, along with Tyler’s father David, pit together.

“My dad races, my brother-in-law races, my husband races – I was born and raised around it,” Morgan says. “It’s just something that’s in my blood…I’m pretty blessed.”

“It’s usually me, Morgan, my modified, and David and then Tyler and Lee parks right here too,” Scott said.

Scott, nicknamed the Wild Child, has raced about every type of car during his three-decade plus racing career. He started in the street stocks, and then moved into the modified, and into a late model. He has piloted both a modified and late model in recent years. He’s a threat to win in no matter what class he races --- since 2017, he’s compiled 43 feature wins.

“I’ve raced everything except for a sprint car,” Scott said.

Morgan started out in the Midwest modifieds and then moved into the modifieds. She’s in her fourth year in a late model.

“It’s interesting and it’s fun,” she said. “Watching everybody I’m racing against now growing up, I idolized them. Being able to race against them every week is a dream come true.”

“I like it when she beats me; that gets me more pumped up,” Scott said. “I have more fun watching her race than (racing) myself.”

Scott has switched to a Longhorn Chassis by Wells this seasonScott has a new modified he plans to bring out in the weeks ahead. He will continue to run some Tri-State Late Model shows along with local events.

“I’m hoping we can pick it up a little more; I’d like to get five or six feature wins,” Scott said. “I’m going out there to have fun.”

Morgan, still looking for her first late model feature win after a successful stint in the modifieds, has switched to a XR1 chassis this year.

“I’ve looking for consistency,” Morgan said. “To be able to finish every night is a win. And to have fun.”

Scott has piled up in the feature wins in both the modified and late models. But he does have a preference when it comes to driving.

“The mod is more fun to race with; it’s more forgiving,” Scott said. “The late models are so temperamental. They get mad at you really fast.”

Morgan not only races against her father; but also gets to watch her husband race against her father in the modifieds.

“It’s fun; it’s nerve-wracking,” Morgan said. “I like that he’s in a mod and I’m in a late model. That’s the best place for us, not racing against each other.”

Whether it’s the competition on the race track, or the camaraderie and relationships in the pit areas before and after the race, Scott and Morgan love being at the track.

“The adrenaline and the people,” Morgan said. “I’ve always said I couldn’t race I’d still be as big a fan watching at the racetrack.”

“We love it,” Scott said. “We get to see everybody every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s kinda fun.”

Driver Profiles

Scott Ward

Wissota/Tri-State Late Model #37

Residence: Watertown, S.D.

Age: 53

Morgan Ward Grosz

Wissota/Tri-State Late Model #37Jr

Residence: Watertown, S.D.

Age: 31

Sponsors: Boldt Construction, Cloud 9 Bar and Grill, DFS Insurance, MyRacePass, Lift Gator, Jesse Vincent Construction, Grangaard Construction, #1 Welding, Fleming Farms, Weelborg Crop Insurance, Proline Inc. of Watertown, Stockman’s Livestock, George’s Sanitation, Lone Pine Bar Grill & Casino, CNC Motorsports, Heinrich Excavating, Nickelson Harvesting, Kristi Endres – Aflac

The Ward team would like to thank their crew: Will, Brent, Justin, Josh, Bob, Tom and Bekah, Mason, John with a special thanks to Connie, Whitney, Lauren and Lee

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