Atlanta: Shelby Howard race report

Howard Salvages a Top Ten Finish at Atlanta Hampton, GA (3-11-02) -- Shelby Howard overcame an ill- handling race car to capture his first top ten finish of the young ARCA RE/MAX season in last Saturday's Pork The Other White Meat 400 at Atlanta...

Howard Salvages a Top Ten Finish at Atlanta

Hampton, GA (3-11-02) -- Shelby Howard overcame an ill- handling race car to capture his first top ten finish of the young ARCA RE/MAX season in last Saturday's Pork The Other White Meat 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The day ended early for the second race in a row due to rain, but not until Howard climbed back up to the 9th position after what turned out to be a late-race spin in his un-sponsored Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

It was also the first career top ten finish on a superspeedway for the 16-year-old, Greenwood, Indiana resident.

After starting in the 13th position, Howard battled his car as much as he did his competitors but managed to run in the top fifteen all day. He was running 10th when he spun in turn two on lap 86.

"The rear end jumped out from under me coming out of the turn," explained Howard. "We may have had a tire going down, but we can't be sure. I overcorrected and it shot toward the wall; it was just driver error. No one was close to me, so I stayed in the gas to get the car back down the track so I wouldn't tear it up. Luckily, I didn't hit anything."

After gathering it up, Howard came down pit road to the attention of his CIMCO Racing pit crew. Unfortunately, the pits were closed so he had to go to the end of the longest line on the restart, one lap down.

"I didn't have much choice but to come in," Howard said. "Both of the front tires were flat and we didn't want to tear up the fenders anymore than we absolutely had to."

"I fought the car the entire weekend," Howard continued. "We came in with a different set-up than we had here last fall. It was 'tight in and loose off' so we kept adjusting, but never got it where we wanted it. We had good stops and I learned to search for where on the track the car would handle better, so we made the best out of what we had."

Howard is sitting in 9th in points after the first two events of 2002. He now has 3 top ten finishes in 7 career starts.

The ARCA RE/MAX Series next takes on the Nashville Superspeedway in the PFG Lester 150 on Friday, April 12th. Broadcast coverage is to be announced.

TEST SESSION: Shelby and CIMCO Racing are planning on participating in the open test session at Nashville Superspeedway on March 28.

-cr-

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Series ARCA
Drivers Shelby Howard