Lake Erie: Shelby Howard race notes

Howard speeds to 5th at Lake Erie Captures sixth top five finish in 11 starts North East, PA (July 14, 2003) -- Sidelined for a month without racing was not Shelby Howard's idea of fun. After rain postponed the ARCA race at South Boston two...

Howard speeds to 5th at Lake Erie
Captures sixth top five finish in 11 starts

North East, PA (July 14, 2003) -- Sidelined for a month without racing was not Shelby Howard's idea of fun. After rain postponed the ARCA race at South Boston two weeks ago, Howard unfortunately was left with no other choice. The last time he had raced was at Michigan back in mid-June.

So when the ARCA RE/MAX Series rolled into Lake Erie Speedway last Saturday for the series' first appearance at the 0.4-mile track, the youngster was itching to lay down some rubber as soon as possible.

It definitely showed. Howard wound his Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge up and laid down some fast laps, topping the practice chart by clocking in at 15.778 (91.266 mph). His qualifying run wasn't quite as good, but he still nailed down the 6th starting position with a lap of 15.946 (90.305 mph).

Once the race got underway, Howard quickly took over the 3rd position and ran with the leaders until contact between him and Frank Kimmel took out his right front tire. Howard had to pit, so when he came back out, he was stuck in the back of the field.

"I had a run on the 46 and got up to his door," said Howard. "I don't want to point fingers, but I'm pretty sure I held my line. I guess we were just racing each other hard and got together. He spun and my tire went down. After we pitted, we had to make our way back through the field. Being back there was just asking for trouble."

Howard flew back up into the top ten, but soon found himself involved in another mishap. He got sideways and tore up the front end of his Dodge before he could get by the wreck.

"Slow, lapped cars were wrecking in front of me and unfortunately, I couldn't avoid them," Howard said. "It tore up the nose, but we decided to leave it alone. We didn't want to come in and lose track position and there wasn't much we could've done to it anyway. It hurt us a little. The Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge was moving through the pack like it was nothing before that. We would've won or at least been a challenger if that hadn't happened. We still had a good run, all things considered."

The 5th place run was Howard's sixth top five and seventh top ten in 11 starts. He holds down 4th place in the point standings, but gained some ground on the next two spots. He is only 40 points behind Brent Sherman in 3rd.

Howard is now headed to Pocono for an ARCA double header on July 25-26. Both events will have same day coverage on SPEED Channel. The July 25th event was originally scheduled for June 7, but was rescheduled due to rain.

-shr-

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Shelby Howard , Brent Sherman