Nearly a half century separates Joey Logano from Morgan Shepherd. On Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, daylight didn’t even separate the pair.
Logano, in second place on Sunday, saw his hopes to win, place, or show dashed when he crashed. He blames Shepherd, who has been racing for more years than Logano has been alive, for the wreck. “I feel like there should be a driving test before you get out in a Cup car to make sure you know how to drive before you drive one,” the 24-year-old racer maintained. “I don’t know. I guess there isn’t.”
The 72-year-old Shepherd, who finished 27 laps behind winner Brad Keselowski, has had to play the role of owner to continue to play the role of driver. When he couldn’t obtain sponsorship, he affixed his own message upon his car: Racing with Jesus. And he’s had to hire pit crews off Facebook instead of from a garage. “I tried to hire a bunch of guys who got laid off, and I offered them $500 a week,” he told Jacksonville.com last year. “Most of them said they couldn’t because it was less than their sign-up [unemployment]. I believe you should go out and earn your money, not have the government pay you.”
Still, ’90s-born Joey Logano isn’t amused. “It’s not NASCAR’s fault he slid up and is the slowest car on the track,” he noted after his accident. “If you can’t control your stuff, don’t even be out there. If you’re 10 laps down, what are you even doing?”
Shepherd, who last won a Sprint Cup Series race at the defunct Atlanta 500 in 1993, took offense at the whippersnapper sassing an elder. “Was he the only guy who wrecked?” Shepherd matter-of-factly asked. “That answers that.”
Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images