Strong run falls short for Howard Marne, MI (May 26, 2003) -- Shelby Howard had the equipment, but didn't have the luck. Howard, the driver of the ...
Strong run falls short for Howard
Marne, MI (May 26, 2003) -- Shelby Howard had the equipment, but didn't have the luck. Howard, the driver of the #64 Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge, finished 6th in the Pork the Other White Meat 200 Saturday night at Berlin Raceway. It equals the career best finish for Howard at Berlin, but the seventeen-year-old knows he had the car to instead be celebrating in victory lane.
"We probably had the best car here," said Howard. "We just weren't able to capitalize."
A super-quick turnaround was necessary after racing Friday afternoon at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Since Howard didn't have time to head back to Indy to pick up his short track car, the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge pit crew (who couldn't make it Charlotte) brought it to Berlin. The National Guard Winston Cup pit crew subbed for them at Lowe's.
Because the ARCA RE/MAX teams weren't allowed to make changes after qualifying, Howard wasn't overly concerned about laying down a perfect lap during his solo run. He knew his Dodge had the ideal setup under it for the race, so the chances were good he would have it in prime position when the checkered flag fell.
After starting 8th, the car came to him and proved him right. "The Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge was good on long runs early," said Howard.
Staying out under a caution on lap 145, Howard led the field for 5 laps. The seventeen-year-old did a commendable job holding off all challengers, but fresh tires were too much. Howard soon came in for a set of his own, preparing for a final run at the leaders.
Quickly cutting down the gap, Howard had to deal with lapped traffic. Just like last year, he moved to the outside of a lapped car and just like last year, the same car ran him up to the fence. The difference was Howard kept his machine off the wall and out of harm's way, but it still cost him valuable real estate. Even after losing the lead pack, the young phenom still ran them down. He just ran out of time.
"I'm at a loss. I don't know why, but apparently this guy has it out for me," Howard said.
Howard continues to set new marks at almost every track he visits this year. "We've been pretty darn good everywhere we go. Things just haven't quite fallen into place. We're close," said Howard.
Now 5th in points, Howard sets his sights on Kansas. The BPU 200 at Kansas Speedway is Sunday, June 1 at 3 pm ET. It will be aired Sunday, June 8 at 4 pm on the Outdoor Channel.