1970s and 1980s
Shepherd made his Winston Cup debut in 1970 at Hickory Motor Speedway, driving the #93 Chevrolet for Bill Flowers. He started tenth but finished nineteenth out of twenty-two cars due to rear end failure. He made two more starts that year, his best finish a fourteenth at Hickory. He did not race in Cup again until 1977, when he finished tenth at Dover International Speedway in a Jim Makar-owned Mercury. He ran two additional races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway.
After running two races in 1978, Shepherd moved to the Cup Series full-time in 1981, driving the #5 Performance Connection Pontiac for Cliff Stewart. He won the pole in his first race at Richmond International Raceway, and also picked up his first career win at Martinsville Speedway. Despite a thirteenth-place points finish in points, Shepherd was runner-up to Ron Bouchard for Winston Cup Rookie of the Year honors. The following season, he moved over to the #98 Levi Garrett Buick for Ron Benfield. Although he did not win a race that season, he won the pole at Nashville Speedway USA and Atlanta, respectively, and had six top-fives, finishing tenth in the championship standings. That season, he also ran the Busch Series on a part-time basis for Ed Whitaker. He won his second start at Hickory Motor Speedway, then again at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Shepherd finished twelfth in points that season.
Shepherd began 1983 without a full-time ride, running the Richmond 400 with Wayne Beahr and the Virginia National Bank 500 with Emanuel Zervakis, before driving the #2 ACM Equipment Sales Buick for the rest of the season for Jim Stacy, his best finish being a second-place run at the Firecracker 400. His abbreviated season left him 20th in points. He continued to run for Whitaker in the Busch Series, winning at Bristol and Richmond International Raceway, but dropping to eighteenth in the final standings. Shepherd struggled in 1984, driving for multiple teams before closing out the year with Benfield, with whom he finished sixth at North Carolina Speedway. In the Busch Series, he drove a majority of the races for Lindy White, winning at Bristol, Indianapolis Raceway Park, and Martinsville.
For 1985, he drove for multiple Cup teams, the most of which for the #00 Helen Rae Special. After failing to finish all but two Busch races in 1985, Shepherd drove for Whitaker and himself the following season, winning a career high four Busch races during the season. In the Cup Series, he won his second career race driving the #47 Buick for Jack Beebe. He ended the season driving the #75 Pontiac Grand Prix, finishing 3rd at Richmond International Raceway. The following season, he drove to the #26 Quaker State Buick for King Racing, winning the pole at Martinsville and finishing seventeenth in the standings. It was also the first time in his Cup career that he competed in every scheduled event. He won another three races in the Busch Series, including his only career road course win at Road Atlanta.
In 1988, Shepherd continued to drive for a variety of teams, beginning the year with Tom Winkle in the #97 AC Spark Plug Buick, before driving a handful of races in his own car. He then drove five races for Mach 1 Racing, finishing 2nd at Dover after leading 110 laps, then moved to the #75 Valvoline Pontiac for RahMoc Enterprises, winning the pole at Pocono Raceway. After posting two top-tens in the #88 Red Baron Pizza Oldsmobile for Buddy Baker, Shepherd finished out the year in his own #57, before his team was purchased by RahMoc for the season finale. That year, he won his final Busch race at IRP. In 1989, he returned to RahMoc, winning his final pole at Watkins Glen International and finishing thirteenth in points.
Read more about this topic: Morgan Shepherd
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