#6 ALL TIME MOUNTAIN MOTOR PRO STOCK DRIVER – LEE SHEPHERD
SPARTANBURG, SC – If Lee Shepherd hadn’t lost his life in a testing accident in March of 1985, there’s no doubt he would have rewritten virtually every Pro Stock standard.
Shepherd was the soft-spoken fan favorite driver for the popular Reher & Morrison team out of Arlington, Texas. When the NHRA adopted their 500-inch format, it made crossover feasible for Shepherd and the team.
IHRA Pro Stock was never the same after the 1982 season.
In just three seasons, Shepherd drove his way to nine victories in thirteen finals. He joined a select few drivers who were able to win championships under the IHRA and NHRA sanction simultaneously.
Shepherd added a second “double-up” championship in 1984.
“Racing the IHRA’s mountain motor program was a lot of fun,” said Reher. “The IHRA people and Winston were always good to us in those days. There were a lot of dedicated drivers running in the IHRA back in those days.”
The impressive part is the Reher & Morrison team ran a 500-inch engine in their early years but never put an engine in the car larger than 632-inches in displacement. They often raced and beat teams with engines in excess of 700-inches.
Shepherd made his debut in IHRA Pro Stock in 1982 during the IHRA Winter Nationals in Darlington, SC. His first run with a 500-inch engine established a new elapsed time record. The next race the team brought out a 540-inch powerplant and went event quicker.
Shepherd’s passing left fellow racers heartbroken. One competitor admitted that Shepherd had a way of making a driver feel honored to lose to him. If you beat him, then you had accomplished something huge.
In fact, when Billy Ewing won the first race of the season, he dedicated the victory to Shepherd.
A testament to the resolve of the Reher & Morrison spirit was in the weeks following Shepherd’s passing. Bruce Allen was appointed as the next driver and he honored Shepherd’s legacy by winning the 1986 title.
Keep pace of the countdown to #1, by logging onto
Torco Racing Fuel's Competition Plus.com - Drag Racing's Internet Magazine - Torco's CP.com Pro Stock
The Top 20 IHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock drivers of-all-time is an ongoing feature sponsored by Torco’s CompetitionPlus.com in observance of the 30th year of Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing. In the weeks leading up to the $20,000-to-win Torco’s CompetitionPlus Pro Stock Showdown, September 29 in Budds Creek, Md., each inclusion will be announced. The #1 driver will be announced prior to the final round of the prestigious event.
These articles are complimentary for the various media outlets that cover drag racing.
The Top 20 IHRA Mountain Motor Pro Stock Drivers of-all-time panel of judges included Torco's CompetitionPlus.com publisher Bobby Bennett, veteran drag racing journalist Jon Asher, former Drag Review editor David McGee, former IHRA Vice President Ted Jones, Current IHRA President Aaron Polburn and engine builder and former mountain motor Pro Stock racer Sonny Leonard.