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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Super-Morgan Shepherd to the rescue

If Morgan Shepherd ever decides to quit driving, I think he may have found a new career -- man of the law.

Shepherd made news this week when he happened upon some fleeing thieves outside a Walmart, and decided to take action. He may be 69 years old, but anyone who has ever talked to Morgan knows he is not someone who sits in a rocking chair. He regularly exercises, is famous for his roller skating, and has plenty of spring in his step.

In true Morgan Shepherd fashion, when saw the thieves running with security people following, he took charge and managed to take down one of the fleeing thieves.

"I just got out and took off after them," Shepherd said. "I caught one of them just as they were getting ready to hop a little wall at the end of the parking lot. I yanked him down and got on top of him."

In a scene I would have loved to seen on video, the police then tossed Shepherd a pair of cuffs and he restrained the suspect while the police went after his cohorts.

"I cuffed him and sat on top of him," Shepherd said. "The police department officers showed up and asked if I could hold him a while longer while they ran down the others. I told them he wasn't going anywhere."

And in my favorite part of the story, Shepherd spend his time with the suspect lecturing him about the poor choices he made in life. So not only did he get taken down by a senior citizen, he also got a good talking to.

As someone who has talked to Morgan several times, I can say I am not surprised at all at this incident, as it fits very well with his belief system. Unlike some people who would have sat and watched, Shepherd knew he had to step in, because that’s just what comes natural to him. And those kind of beliefs are part of why so many people in the garage respect him and love the fact he’s still racing after such a long career.

Drivers getting antsy earlier
If you watched the first part of this past weekend’s race at Phoenix, you saw a lot of cars bouncing around like pinballs. Perhaps it was a sign that in the new NASCAR, with its new points system, things might get a little dicey more early in the race.

Despite a denial from Kenseth, Brian Vickers said that Matt Kenseth got a little to close and ruined his day at Phoenix – and that he won’t forget it.

"The 17 ran us into the wall, door slammed us into the corner coming out of turn two, just 67 laps into a very, very long race. I felt like it was unnecessary and I'm sure it will come back to him."

Vickers said he’s noticed an increase in aggressiveness right out the gate in 2011.

"In general, I think everyone is racing hard because track position is important. All the cars are so even and it's so hard to pass right now.
You can get besides someone and it's very difficult to complete the pass. Guys are really racing hard for that position -- for every single spot. But in general, I didn't have anybody that I felt raced me unnecessarily hard or unnecessarily rough until we got wrecked."

Clint Bowyer – who got caught up in a wreck -- said that while points are very important, drivers need to be smarter or it will be an ugly year on track.
“They were driving like it was the last lap! Man, if we keep this up we’ll only about four cars to end all these races,” Bowyer said. “I have no idea what happened. Everybody was checked-up all over the place and running into the back of us and we got crashed. But it’s just stupid. To be racing this hard this early in a race; we’re all smarter than this. We’re driving like idiots. It’s just stupid.”

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