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NASCAR: Can Shepherd Win the Pole at Michigan?

14 August 1998

Mooresville, NC- Veteran Cup driver Morgan Shepherd and car owner Joe Falk know what they have to do this weekend. The LJ Racing team is geared up for a return to the site of their best start ever when they qualified fifth for the running of the Miller Lite 400.

But the conquest wasn't just in that start. Saturday, during second round qualifying, Morgan Shepherd, who was filling in at the time for another team turned a qualifying speed that was almost 1 1/2 mph faster than the pole speed from the previous day. Rumor has it, he received quite a bit of help from the 91 team.

Now, the two elements are together again. Crew Chief Doug Richert expects the car to be good right off the truck, and Morgan thinks he can take it to the front. "We hit on the setup at the last minute in the spring," says Richert, "and we expect to be able to start with that this weekend and get even better."

Falk is equally optimistic. "We have been proving we can run with the big teams week in and week out. We beat a lot of good cars in qualifying last time, and we expect to do it again. I don't know about the pole, but we're turning heads, and sooner or later those things will come. We're happy with the success of our program so far, the sponsorship is the only piece that is eluding us. Once that part falls in to place, we expect that we can continue to make these kinds of showings, such as we did in the spring."

For more information, visit the LJ Racing web site at