In that time, she has shown that she’s consistent, competitive and cherished by fans, and she has shown that she has what it takes to earn a championship, as she took the title in 2007 in her Mustang powered by a Two-Valve Modular engine built by Livernois Motorsports and topped with a Vortech supercharger.
Soon after that, she stepped away from the NMRA to focus on building a career as a Human Resources Business Partner for Norfolk Southern Railway, which took her from Michigan to Virginia, but she knew that someday she would return to the series, and that day came in 2016.
In her car which is nicknamed Tweety, equipped with a Performance Automatic-built C4 and cranks out mid 9s, Shepard, whose husband and fellow racer Barry Shepard, is her crew chief, finished fourth in points that year after making every race, sixteenth in points in 2017 after missing two races, and eighth in points in 2018 after missing one race.
“Modular Muscle has really tough competition and some of the best racers in the NMRA,” said Shepard, who also competes in the Ford Fever Classic event at Maryland International Raceway and select events at Virginia Motorsports Park. “Having that competition makes me a better racer, whether in NMRA or at local events.”
Now, with no significant changes to her car or combination over winter, Shepard is committed to being even more competitive this year with the hopes of earning a trip to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle, and while she missed the 25th Annual Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout in March at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida, she made it to the third round at the 11th Annual Scoggin-Dickey Parts Center NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in April at Atlanta Dragway, and the semifinal at the Inaugural NMRA Ford Gateway Rumble in May at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois.
She’s currently in the seventh spot in NMRA Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle points heading into the 14th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing, this weekend, July 25-28 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.
“I’m excited to be back in competition, but I also know that I need to go rounds in order to maintain or improve my points position,” said Shepard, whose sponsors include Performance Automatic, Vortech Superchargers, Booze Brothers Performance, Livernois Motorsports, DTP Racing and Weldon Racing Pumps. “Joliet is usually a good event for me. The track treats me well. I would like to see about getting back to that NMRA winner’s circle.”
(Photos courtesy of NMRA)