Logano Wrecked by Shepherd
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on July 13, 2014 | 3:45 P.M. EST
Logano was running second with less than 100 laps left when he tried to pass Shepherd and they made contact and crashed. (Photo: Getty Images)
LOUDON, N.H. - Joey Logano says NASCAR should require a driver’s test to make sure what happened to him Sunday isn’t repeated.
Logano was upset with 72-year-old Morgan Shepherd after they made contact and Logano wrecked. Logano was running second at the time, while Shepherd was about a dozen laps behind the leaders.
“I just got taken out by the slowest guy out there,’’ Logano said after parking his car in the garage and placing 40th.
“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. It is just dumb that it happened. I feel like that should be stuff that shouldn’t happen at this level of racing. I feel there should be a driver’s test ... I guess there isn’t.’’
Shepherd’s response to Logano’s suggestion?
“It’s not like Joey hadn’t never had a problem and he’s a lot younger than me,’’ Shepherd said.
Robin Pemberton, NASCAR vice president of competition, said no test is needed.
“He’s been approved for decades,’’ Pemberton said of Shepherd, the oldest driver to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. “You take a physical at the beginning of the year, you pass your physical, you pass inspection with your car, you qualify for the race and you run the event, so he met everything he needed to meet.’’
Pemberton said NASCAR never warned Shepherd for running too slow. Shepherd placed 39th, finishing 27 laps behind the leaders. Pemberton saw the incident between Logano and Shepherd as “an accident. It could have happened to anybody.’’
That’s how Shepherd described the incident.
“He was close to me and just pulled my car around,’’ said Shepherd, his burned heels resting on bags of ice at the team’s hauler. “Nobody’s fault. Maybe he didn’t realize how wicked loose I was, that I was having to tip-toe through the corners.’’
The incident unleashed a torrent of comments on social media with many saying Shepherd didn’t belong on the track.
“Was I the only guy that wrecked?’’ Shepherd said.
No was the response from the questioner.
“That answers that.’’
Shepherd was making only his second start of the season. He finished last at Phoenix, completing 28 laps. He said he plans to race in more Cup and Nationwide races this season but doesn’t know when or where.
Shepherd was driving for car owner Joe Falk on Sunday. Falk said a “benefactor” provided the money to put Shepherd in the car for this weekend.
“A small team like ours, we’ve got to have the money to survive to next week,’’ Falk said.