Shepherd's last Sprint Cup start came in 2006, also at New Hampshire
Morgan Shepherd, 71, is scheduled to become the oldest driver to start a race in NASCAR’s premier series this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Shepherd is listed as the driver of the No. 52 Toyota owned by Bob Keselowski in Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 (1 p.m. ET, TNT). The entry list, released Monday by NASCAR, has 43 cars entered for 43 starting spots; barring a late entry or substitution, Shepherd will break the record.
Sports-car racer Jim Fitzgerald holds the record at 65 years, 6 months and 22 days when he finished 17th in a Rick Hendrick-owned car at Riverside International Raceway. Herschel McGriff, a longtime West Coast competitor, also made one Sprint Cup start at Sonoma Raceway at 65 years, 5 months and 2 days.
Stock-car veteran James Hylton attempted to start in the 2007 Daytona 500 at age 72, but failed to advance to the starting field in a qualifying race.
Shepherd -- born in 1941, less than two months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor prompted the United States’ entry into World War II -- made his most recent Sprint Cup start at age 64 on Sept. 17, 2006, also at New Hampshire. He wound up 42nd in the 43-car field, retiring after 61 laps with overheating trouble.
Shepherd, who still races on a part-time basis in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, has four career Sprint Cup victories, with three of those coming at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He made his first big-league NASCAR start June 20, 1970 at Hickory Motor Speedway.