Shepherd: ‘I’m here as long as the Lord wants me to be’

By Dominic Aragon

April 7, 2018

FORT WORTH—After he climbed out of the racecar from his 1,000th NASCAR national series start, Morgan Shepherd went to work with his crew in the garage area of Texas Motor Speedway on his machine.

Shepherd completed 33 laps in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race Saturday before retiring from the event with a suspension issue.

The 76-year-old, whose NASCAR career has spanned across five decades, stopped turning wrenches under the hood for a moment and reflected on how far his career has taken him.

“When I started out racing, I thought 40 years old was old,” Shepherd said. “We’re here for a reason, we use it to help our charity, help the handicapped people, so I’m here as long as the Lord wants me to be.”

Shepherd became the eighth driver in NASCAR history to start in 1,000 races across NASCAR’s top-three series. The other drivers to accomplish the feat are Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, Mark Martin, Terry Labonte, Joe Nemechek, Richard Petty and Michael Waltrip.

Shepherd is a four-time winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and 15-time winner in the XFINITY Series.

The owner-driver has attempted to qualify for all six XFINITY Series this season, qualifying for five races. Shepherd failed to qualify for the season-opening Daytona race.


Marcus Leno/TRE