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Morgan Shepherd of NASCAR wins a race -- on foot

Morgan Shepherd's Salvation Army Car No 89 2-11

Morgan Shepherd for president.

Or at least for the pole position in Sunday's NASCAR race in Las Vegas.

And, while you're at it, Crimefighter of the Week.

As Shepherd parked his rental car in a Wal-Mart parking lot Monday evening, three young men burst out the front door.

OK.Salvation Army NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd

Two seconds later security guards burst out the same door.

You don't have to be from Ferguson, North Carolina, to figure out that scenario.

So naturally, as a fairly fit visitor to Sin City, Shepherd lit out too -- in pursuit. "I just got out and took off after them," Shepherd recalls.

He tackled one of the young men just as he reached a parking lot fence. Shepherd sat on the struggling fellow. Seconds later a Las Vegas police officer raced by, tossing good samaritan Shepherd a pair of handcuffs.

The young man pleaded with Shepherd to let him go. "I told him he shouldn't be stealing stuff," Shepherd says. Adding, "There is just too much of this stuff going on."

All three suspects were apprehended. And Shepherd continued his Wal-Mart shopping trip with wife Cindy.

The good Shepherd drives the No. 89 car for Faith Motorsports for, of course, the Salvation Army -- "Doing the most good."

Oh, by the way, Morgan Shepherd is 69 years old.

He's been racing since 1970, 288 races so far. He's been on the pole seven times, come close to a win 67 times as a Top Ten finisher and driven into Victory Lane 15 times in all those years.

Monday night he ran in.

Who you gonna cheer for this weekend?

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Chris Graythen / Getty Images; Matthew Stockman / Getty Images.

 
Comments () | Archives (3)

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Hi can be my President any Day of the Week.

Shame that Morgan didn't have his roller skates on, he would've caught all three.

I knew I liked him the first time I met him in Daytona when I was working at D.I.S. My guys were given instructions that no one enters the Pepsi Paddock Area with out proper CREDENTIALS. He told me that he told my guys that he had just come back from Halifax Hospital after being involved in a crash and was pretty Physically Sore and that his Credentials were in his Pit Area. I was pretty sure I recognized him but when I saw the wrist band (from the Hosp.ED) still on his wrist with his name on it I let him right through, with him thanking me and then told my guys to use some common sense, Drivers don't race with their Credentials with them. I just can't believe he is 69 and still racing. I am pretty sure that this was the year that Pesident Reagan gave the command for the Daytona 500 Drivers to Start their Engines while his 747 was in the process of landing at Daytona just abreast of the Track.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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