NASCAR veteran Morgan Shepherd will proudly carry The Salvation Army’s logo on the hood of his #89 race car at this Saturday’s Daytona 500 in Florida.
The NASCAR legend, who at age 69 currently holds the title of the oldest active driver in the sport, shared that he approached The Salvation Amy in hopes of assisting the organization when it needed it the most.
Rumor has it that the car has already been nicknamed “The Salvation Army car” at the race.
Shepherd has been driving since 1970 and has driven an astonishing 800 races over the past 40 years. After five years in the sport, he decided to turn his life over to Christ after hitting rock bottom following a weekend of partying.
Although he was a churchgoer at the time, he confessed that he never did give his life to God until that moment. While he had previously found comfort in drinking, it was in 1975 that God took away the desire for alcohol.
Since that event, he has been a devout Christian. But it wasn’t until 2001, when he launched Faith Motorsports, that he could finally connect his faith with the race car world.
The close similarities between his ministry and The Salvation Army – donations, food for the hungry, clothing drives, etc. – are some of the reasons why Shepherd decided to display the red shield on the hood of his car.
“Well, you gotta respect anything that’s been around longer than I have. (Laughs) But Man! What an honor. The Salvation Army has been around for what, over 130 years?” he said, in a statement.
“They are so dedicated to ‘doing the most good’ for those in need helping the needy and the impoverished and most importantly in a Christian manner that makes our team really excited to show off their Red Shield and ‘Doing The Most Good’ motto branding promise at Daytona.”
Shepherd has never carried another logo in past races besides his own. His team doesn’t have a major sponsor like most competitors. For them, it has always been “Racing with Jesus” on their #89 red Chevrolet. They currently carry “Racing for Souls” on the back of the car.
Even though sponsorship would help them financially, Shepherd insisted that driving for God and displaying faith are the most important things for the team members.
In its early years, NASCAR approached the team asking the members to remove the logo. But due to public outcry, the team was allowed to keep the message of Jesus on its race car.
David Pack, Shepherd’s publicist, said, “We may not have a lot compared to the other teams, but what we do have is a race car and the opportunity to spread the message to America on a national level in the name of Christ.
“We are a team that can give something to help others. And if we can market for the Salvation Army to create awareness, we are certainly proud to have them on our car.”
The Christian Post was scheduled to interview Shepherd, but due to his small crew and a few car troubles, he could not make it to the interview.
In reference to Shepherd, Pack shared, "He is 69 years old and doing 185-200 MPH in a race car that's over 130 plus degrees during the race. He is in strong shape and he has incredible faith.
“Faith is something you believe in when common sense tells you not to. He has the faith and NASCAR is very supportive of our team and what we do.”
The Morgan Shepherd team qualified today at 4pm EST on ESPN 2 and will race on Saturday at 1pm EST. They currently have two special guests on their team. Two kids from the local Salvation Army program, siblings Kevante and Dijonae, will have the opportunity to walk through the track and check out the car.