Richmond Preview: Let's Go Night Racing!!

Ryan ColleyCorrespondent IMay 2, 2008

The first short track night race of the season is set for tomorrow evening at Richmond International Raceway. The bumping and grinding are sure to follow the green flag and it won't stop even after the checkered flag waves.

Denny Hamlin, who won the Nascar Nationwide Series race on Friday evening and the pole for the Nextel Cup race, will definitely be geared up to start tomorrow night.

The fans will always hear the rumble of the cars going by each lap, but what may seem normal on the cover, may hide new beginnings on the pages to follow.

Morgan Shepherd, a long time Nascar driver, is coming close to finishing his career. Most people who watch Nascar view him as the driver who always quits after a handful of laps and ends up finishing nearly last.

It's what we don't know about Shepherd that may lead to a interesting future. The problem that Shepherd usually has is the lack of rubber. Its normal for him to run out of funds each week to provide enough sets of tires to run a complete race.

Shepherd runs his race team out of his personal garage in North Carolina, with only a nine man crew. He just can't run more than the handful of laps because the handling on the car goes sour.

Until the past week in Talladega, Shepherd had to back out of his previous seven races early because of the same situation, but, now a fellow driver is helping a man complete a career on a high note.

In Talladega, Morgan Shepherd finished the race in 13th place because he was able to run the entire race on one set of tires, but this week, where tires are more important, Tony Stewart has saved Shepherd's team the disappointment of backing out of the race due to handling.

Stewart, who is friends with Shepherd, opted to purchase the extra sets that his team needed so that the race could be completed. It shines some light on what can happen if the situation presents itself.

It's a huge help considering Goodyear tires cost around $400 per tire, bringing a set of four up to $1600. The cost of four sets or more can compound quite quickly. Its a huge undertaking for a single car owner/driver who is working out of his own garage to spend that money every week, especially when finishing last gives you minimal cash to spend.

It's extremely rare to see a situation like this, but this shows that it does in fact happen and hopefully, Morgan Shepherd can finish well at Richmond and continue his season finishing strong where he can, especially if he has the tires to do it.