Shepherd to drive for Donlavey at Rockingham By Shawn A. Akers ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 17, 1999) Morgan Shepherd has been named as the driver of the No. 90 Donlavey Racing Ford Taurus for this weekend's Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 at North Carolina...
Shepherd to drive for Donlavey at Rockingham By Shawn A. Akers
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Feb. 17, 1999) Morgan Shepherd has been named as the driver of the No. 90 Donlavey Racing Ford Taurus for this weekend's Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, team owner Junie Donlavey said Wednesday morning.
Donlavey said he had talked to a couple of other drivers, including Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Stanton Barrett, about driving his Taurus this weekend, but that the 57-year-old veteran Shepherd was the best choice because of his experience at the 1.017-mile oval.
"We kinda went right down to the wire, but Morgan was our choice because he's got a lot of laps on that race track," Donlavey said. "We don't need to go down to Rockingham right now and make a lot of laps with a driver who is still trying to get acclimated with the track. We need one that can get a handle on the track right quick, and we believe Morgan's just the man to do that for us this weekend."
The No. 90 Ford is still without a primary sponsor heading into the weekend. The team qualified for the Daytona 500 last weekend, using a 1998 car owner's provisional, with Mike Wallace, a temporary driver who replaced rookie Mike Harmon when prior sponsorship plans tied to the new driver fell through. Wallace drove the car to a 23rd place finish in a one-race deal. His full-time program for 1999 is with Ultra Motorsports in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
Donlavey said he and the rest of the Donlavey Racing team have been working doubly hard this week to help prevent them from going home early for the first time this season.
"If we don't make the race, it's certainly not life-threatening," Donlavey said. "But it certainly would be a major disappointment, so we're not even thinking in those terms right now. We can't start worrying about that because it just loses a lot of time out of a good day when you do that.
"We're going to go down there and do the best we can certainly. We know we've got an experienced driver that knows his way around that place, so we'll just have to see what happens."
Donlavey said he's not certain at this point what his plans are for the next race, the Las Vegas 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but that putting Barrett in the car, with help from Barrett's sponsor Heritage Consumer Products, is a distinct possibility.
"We're hoping maybe he (Barrett) can come up with something," Donlavey said. "Going to Las Vegas would be almost like crossing the waters to go to Europe for us. Fortunately we've got a little bit of time before that happens."
Source: NASCAR Online