Monday, July 14, 2014

NASCAR racer requests driving test for 72 year-old competitor after crash (VIDEO)

The oldest driver in the field crashed into one of the youngest during Sunday's NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and brought up an age-old question in the sport.

How old is too old to be driving?

After seventy-two-year-old Morgan Shepherd lost control of his car and spun into 24-year-old Joey Logano — who was running second at the time — it restarted the debate. Shepherd's No. 33 car was 14 laps down at the time of incident and well off the pace.

"I feel like there should be a driver's test before you get out in a Cup car and make sure you know how to drive before you drive one," Logano said afterwards.

While the white-haired Pompano Beach crowd might froth in their Geritol at excusing cautious experience for reckless youth, Logano wasn't interested in anyone's defense of Shepherd during a race.

"The slowest car on the racetrack took us out," a smug Logano told reporters.

Shepherd made his Cup debut in 1970 and has won four times in 517 Cup starts. He finished as high as fifth in the final standings in 1990 (when Logano was born) and hadn't started a Cup race since 2006. He last ran a full season in 1996.

He extended his mark as the oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series on Sunday.

NASCAR official Robin Pemberton said as long as Shepherd passed his physical, and his car passed inspection and qualified, he was free to drive.

"He met everything he needed to meet," said Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition. 

"He was above minimum speed. He pulled over to let Joey go by and it's a responsibility for all competitors. Everybody has a responsibility to lay off each other."

Shepherd, who often drives in a Racing With Jesus car, isn't ready for the Rascal 500 just yet. 

"Was he the only guy who wrecked?," Shepherd asked sarcastically about his fender-bender with the young whippersnapper in the race. 

"That answers that."

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