Dean Ward began his career driving jalopies in 1959 and won his first race in 1961. Next came the modifieds, and in both 1962 and 1963, he won long-distance events at North Platte. Beginning in 1967, the potent combination of Ward and car owner Mel Earnest of Grand Island resulted in many wins at the start of his supermodified career. Don Wilson supplied the team with Rambler engines starting in 1971, and they had 26 feature wins that year, along with a track championship at Hastings. In 1976, Ward turned his attention to late model stock cars with Terry Klatt and Ron Schwabaurer. In 1982, he was with Klatt as they went midget racing. Ward was a natural in a midget, with prestigious wins in Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. While standing in victory lane after taking both nights of the 1990 Mile High Classic, Ward decided to call it a career after 31 years of winning. He was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.