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The Reason behind Unusual ‘Steering Wheel’ NASCAR Incident That Shocked Everyone

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In a sport where split-second decisions can make or break a race, NASCAR drivers rely on their finely-tuned machines to navigate the high-speed ovals. But what happens when a crucial piece of equipment goes astray? Enter Morgan Shepherd, the veteran driver who recently found himself in an unexpected situation during a race.

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Picture this: The roar of engines, the smell of burnt rubber, and the adrenaline pumping through Morgan Shepherd’s veins as he hurtles around the track. It’s a typical NASCAR race day, and Shepherd is behind the wheel of his #89 car, aiming for victory. But fate had other plans.

As Shepherd exited the pit road, something caught the attention of fans and fellow drivers alike. Perched on the roof of his car was none other than his steering wheel! Yes, you read that correctly—the very device that allows a driver to control the car had somehow dislodged and found its way to an unconventional location.

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Why was a Steering wheel on the top of the NASCAR car?

NASCAR Martin Truex Jr Aero Blocking
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – MARCH 31: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota, leads Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, on the restart to win the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on March 31, 2024 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Alex Slitz/Getty Images)

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. Morgan Shepherd operates on a shoestring budget. His team has only one full-time employee, and that person likely handles multiple roles during race weekends. Imagine the scene: Shepherd’s lone crew member juggling tasks, including attaching the steering wheel, making adjustments, and ensuring the car is race-ready.

Before we delve into the details, let’s address the second piece of tape on the steering wheel. At 12 o’clock, there’s a strip of tape that helps the driver index the wheel. When the car stops in the pits, this tape ensures that the wheels are straight. Tight fender clearances mean that front tire changers need easy access to remove and replace the wheels during pit stops.

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The steering wheel on the roof wasn’t Shepherd’s primary wheel. NASCAR teams use two steering wheels over the race weekend—one for crew members to turn the car while pushing it through the garage area (the “crews pushing in neutral” wheel) and another for the driver during the race itself. The crew’s wheel lacks radio buttons or switches and has a larger diameter for better leverage when the car isn’t running (as it lacks power steering).

READ MORE: Kyle Larson’s Crew Chief Calls ‘Double’ Attempt a ‘Big Win’ – Here’s Why

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Moin
Moin
I'm Moin Akhunji, a passionate sports writer renowned for my unique storytelling approach. My expertise spans across various sports, notably NASCAR, F1, and IndyCar. I hold a profound admiration for athletes like Chase Elliott and Dale Earnhardt Jr. When I'm not crafting articles, you'll likely find me trekking in the hills, indulging in my favorite hobby.
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