Alvin Junior Shepherd passes away

INDY 500 STARTER SHEPHERD DIES AT 78 INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 9, 2005 -- Alvin Junior "A.J." Shepherd, who drove in the 1961 Indianapolis 500, died May 8 in Miami, Okla. He was 78. Born in Chester, Okla., but living much of his life in ...

INDY 500 STARTER SHEPHERD DIES AT 78

INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, May 9, 2005 -- Alvin Junior "A.J." Shepherd, who drove in the 1961 Indianapolis 500, died May 8 in Miami, Okla.

He was 78.

Born in Chester, Okla., but living much of his life in Wichita, Kan., World War II Navy veteran Shepherd was the third-ranking IMCA sprint car driver of 1960. He drove for the famed "Dizz" Wilson of Mitchell, Ind., and won nine features.

In 1961, Shepherd had six USAC National Championship starts, including the "500." Driving the Travelon Trailer Special handled the year before by track-record holder Jim Hurtubise, Shepherd was running 11th when he became involved in a multi-car tangle on the main straight at Lap 52. He was credited with 26th place.

On consecutive days in August 1961, Shepherd finished sixth in the Milwaukee 200 on pavement and fourth in the Springfield 100 on dirt.

Shepherd crashed while attempting to qualify for the 1961 Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, effectively ending his career. He attempted a comeback in the mid-1960s.

Survivors include his sons, Michael, Dennis and Robert; three sisters, two brothers, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

-ims-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General , USAC
Article type Obituary