Fans Vote Morgan Shepherd and Jack Smith To Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame
The fans have spoken... and Morgan Shepherd and Jack Smith will be the next drivers enshrined to the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 31. Shepherd won the active driver nomination over Michael Waltrip and Kasey Kahne, while Smith won in the inactive driver category.
The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR’s greatest names and a tribute to one of racing’s brightest stars – the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans’ vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines.
Shepherd, 67, of Ferguson, NC, made his NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) debut in 1970 at Hickory Motor Speedway. And, for nearly 40 years since, Shepherd has competed in one of NASCAR’s top divisions. He is a four-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and has 15 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series where he currently competes. Shepherd is the 1980 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman division champion and recipient of the 2005 NMPA Pocono Spirit Award.
For Shepherd, his work in the racecar is only part of his duties at the track each weekend. As co-owner of his Faith Motorsports team, he oversees all daily operations of the race team including car preparation, engine building, testing and racing. Shepherd also serves as a lay minister, spreading the gospel to the NASCAR community.
Smith, of Metropolis, Ill., was one of NASCAR’s pioneers. He first raced in what is now considered the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 1949, beginning a career that would span 15 years. He recorded 21 wins and is a member of the NMPA Hall of Fame. Smith passed away in 2001 at the age of 78.
Past active driver inductees have included Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Hamilton, Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Bobby Labonte. Richard Petty and Benny Parsons were the first inactive drivers to be inducted, later joined by Alan Kulwicki, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Junior Johnson, Harry Gant, Lee Petty, Tim Flock, Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Red Byron, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, Fonty Flock, Herb Thomas, Terry Labonte and Rex White.
The first inductees – “ Alabama Gang” drivers Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Red Farmer and Neil Bonnett – were inducted by decree of the board.
In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway. For additional information, visit www.talladegawalk.com.
In 2009, Talladega Superspeedway proudly celebrates forty years of the most competitive racing in NASCAR. While the track has seen changes made to the cars that circle its high-banks, the surface that they race on and the grandstands that thousands of fans fill twice a year, one constant remains; Talladega Superspeedway is authentic NASCAR racing at its finest.
Race fans should make plans now to experience HALLOW-DEGA℠ during the AMP Energy 500 weekend, Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. This weekend features the Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race and Race Number Seven in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the AMP Energy 500. For information on tickets, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday- Friday.