Racing with Jesus
Walking the WalkVeteran driver Morgan Shepherd spreads the name of Jesus across the hood of his entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He began a ministry to help the needy 17 years ago and for the past two years has sported the "Racing With Jesus" logo on entries in the NCTS, Busch Series and Winston Cup.Photo by Austin Bishop / The Meridian Star
August 16, 2003
By Austin Bishop/ EMG regional sports director
GLADEVILLE, Tenn. There are two things that Morgan Shepherd is passionate about auto racing and spreading the word of Jesus Christ.
Throughout most of his 32-year career as a NASCAR Winston Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series driver, the 61-year-old Shepherd has been able to do both.
While Shepherd hasn't been making a lot of visits to the victory lane lately, he has been turning a few heads. That was also true last weekend at the Nashville Superspeedway, located in this small community just southeast of Nashville.
The words "Racing With Jesus," complete with a big cross, are emblazoned in blue and orange across the hood of his race truck.
While appreciation goes a long way in Shepherd's book, it also takes funds to operate a race team in any of the three top NASCAR series. That's why Shepherd is appealing to other athletes to help spread the word.
So far he has no takers.
Motorsports teams sell advertising space on their hoods, quarterpanels, and about anywhere else that artwork can be fit in order to raise the money to compete.
Sponsorships in NASCAR are usually six figures, but can range from small contributions to more than a million dollars.
Seventeen years ago the driver began the Morgan Shepherd Charitable Fund. "Now we have a charity that goes into the Virginia mountains every Christmas and we help strictly handicapped people," he said. "You know, when the Lord comes into your life you want to do things for others."