Biography of Morgan Shepherd
Morgan Shepherd is an American semi-retired professional stock car racing driver and current team owner. He last competed part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 89 Chevrolet Camaro for Shepherd Racing Ventures. He currently owns Shepherd Racing Ventures and has Landon Cassill as a full time driver.
He is a born again Christian who serves as a lay minister to the racing community. Morgan Shepherd competed in NASCAR for over 50 years, having one of the longest careers in the sport. Shepherd became the second-oldest race winner (after Harry Gant) in 1993, when he won the spring race at Atlanta at the age of 51 years, 4 months, and 27 days. Morgan Shepherd holds the record for oldest driver to start a race in a Sprint Cup race at the 2014 Camping World RV Sales 301 at age 72.
Career before NASCAR
Shepherd’s racing career began in 1967 when he started racing Late models at Hickory Motor Speedway nearby his home. Shepherd proved to be fast but he crashed out quite often in his early days. In 1968 Shepherd started racing full-time at a Hobby division in Hickory, driving a 1955 Chevy. That year Shepherd won 21 out of 29 races.
The next year Shepherd drove the same car this time with a 1957 Chevy body on the car. After winning seven races early in the year he wrecked, which almost destroyed his car. Shepherd did not win another race that year after putting a 1966 Chevy body on the car. Shepherd later sold this car to Harry Gant.
Shepherd made his Winston Cup Series debut in 1970 at Hickory Motor Speedway, driving the No. 93 Chevy for Bill Flowers. He started tenth but finished nineteenth out of twenty-two cars due to rear-end failure. Shepherd made two more starts for Flowers that year but failed to finish in both of them. His best finish that year was a fourteenth place at Hickory.
Shepherd would not return to the Cup Series until 1977, driving a Mercury for Jim Makar. He first attempted the Daytona 500 that year but he failed to make the race. Later that year Shepherd took his first top-ten finish at Dover International Speedway. He also ran two additional races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Shepherd stayed with Makar for the 1978 season, qualifying for his first Daytona 500. Shepherd started the race in 37th place but only finished 40th when his engine failed after only eight laps. He only ran one additional race that season, finishing twelfth at Charlotte. Shepherd only attempted the Daytona 500 with Makar in 1979, but failed to make the race.
Full-time Cup Series switch
Shepherd moved to the Winston Cup Series full-time in 1981, driving the No. 5 Pontiac for Cliff Stewart. They missed the first two races of the season, Riverside and the Daytona 500. Shepherd took pole position in his first race for Stewart at Richmond, finishing the race in fourth position. A few races later Shepherd won his first Winston Cup race at Martinsville. The win marked the first win for Pontiac in 18 years.
Shepherd dominated the race and led a total of 203 laps. Shepherd left Stewart’s team after the Talladega 500 after he had a falling out with his team. For the next race at Michigan Shepherd drove for Bud Reeder his team. Shepherd qualified in the fourteenth position but retired from the race after he crashed on lap twenty.
For the next couple of races Shepherd drove for Cecil Gordon and his team, finishing in the top ten at North Wilkesboro and Charlotte. During the last part of the season, Shepherd also drove some races for Ron Benfield. Shepherd finished thirteenth in points with ten top-ten finishes.
Going from ride to ride
For the next couple of years, Shepherd did not have a full-time ride and practically picked up whatever he could find. Shepherd started off his 1984 season at Richmond driving the No. 2 Buick for Robert Harrington. Shepherd drove two races for Charlie Henderson early in the season. He also drove four races for Dick Bahre his team, with a best finish of seventeenth at the 1984 World 600. Shepherd made one start for Phil Barkdoll at Michigan finishing the race in the 22nd position.
After driving the No. 6 Buick for D. K. Ulrich and the No. 52 Chevy for Jimmy Means, Shepherd drove six races for Roger Hamby. Shepherd had two top twenty finished for Hamby, with a best finish of twelfth at Richmond. Shepherd made another start for Ulrich at Charlotte, before rounding off the season driving the No. 98 Chevy for Ron Benfield. Shepherd scored his only top ten finish that season at Rockingham, finishing in sixth position.
Cup return with his own team
Shepherd started racing for his own team on a part-time basis in 2002, driving the No. 89 Ford. He attempted his first race at Loudon, qualifying in 43rd position. Shepherd finished the race in 40th position. As his team practically received no sponsorship money, Shepherd was unable to compete for full races and he often had to park early to save money and resources.
At the next race in Pocono, Shepherd qualified 43rd and finished 42nd, after leading during a rain delay. He made six more attempts in the No. 89 and qualified for three of them, with his best finish of 40th at Kansas. Shepherd also made two additional starts for Ware Racing Enterprises, but he failed to make the race at Dover and Talladega.
Driving for Ed Whitaker and Lindy White
Shepherd made his Busch Series debut at Hickory Motor Speedway in 1982, the series’ inaugural season. That year, he drove twelve races for Ed Whitaker. At Hickory, Shepherd won his first race in only his second start in the series. Later that season, he won at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Shepherd scored a total of eight top-five finishes that season, also earning the pole position twice. Despite only starting twelve of the twenty-nine races in the schedule, Shepherd finished eleventh in the final points standings for that year.
- Full Name: Morgan Shepherd
- Date of Birth: October 12, 1941
- Age: 78 years
- Birth Place: Ferguson, North Carolina, United States
- Car no., team: No. 89 (Shepherd Racing Ventures)
- 2019 position: 61st
- Spouse: Cindy Shepherd
- 2014 position: 72nd
- 2015 position: 102nd
- Achievements: 1980 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman Division Champion, Oldest driver to start a NASCAR Cup Series race (72 years, 9 months, and 1 day)
- Awards: 2005 NMPA Man of the Year
- Net Worth: $25 million
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Reference Net Worth of Morgan Shepherd