A lot of people questioned letting 72-year old Morgan Shepherd out on the track for his second Sprint Cup Series race of the year. After the performance he put on at New Hampshire, his future running races might be in question.
Shepherd spent most of the day running his Joe Falk Racing Chevrolet several miles per hour off the pace and eventually finished the race running, but 22 laps down. He was not very notable until a lap 211 incident with then second place Joey Logano.
It appeared Shepherd let Logano go on the straightaway, then in the corner as Logano went on the outside of Shepherd, Shepherd drifted up the track and hit the left rear of Logano. The contact, spin, and damage left Logano with a 40th place finish, one worse than what Shepherd finished at.
After the wreck, Logano was visibly upset, but as he talked to TNT, he admitted there’s not much that could be done at that point.
“I got taken out by the slowest car out there. You would think there would be some courtesy to the leaders. We were in second place. He gets out of the way on the straightaway and then goes into the corner and slides right up into the lane I was in. Whatever. I don’t know. We will fix it and go at it again. Daytona is Daytona and everyone else crashed but this week – we were doing a good job after having a left rear flat in practice and we were running second with our backup car. I can’t get too mad at ourselves over this. It is just dumb that it happened. I feel like that should be stuff that shouldn’t happen at this level of racing,” commented Logano.
I understand that Shepherd, a four time Sprint Cup Series winner, has the right to race if there’s a car owner willing to put him in the car. The question I have is when you have a driver who is basically a moving road block, why let him continue to run?
I’m also surprised that Shepherd’s team didn’t start and park the event. While I give them credit for running the full distance, obviously his incident with Logano calls into question if NASCAR has to get involved if he wants to race in future events.