Nashville is a "Character Builder" for Howard . Lebanon, TN (4-12-03) -- Adversity builds character. In racing, adversity comes in many forms and fashions, but is usually summed up with merely two words -- that's racin'. For the second time in...
Nashville is a "Character Builder" for Howard .
Lebanon, TN (4-12-03) -- Adversity builds character. In racing, adversity comes in many forms and fashions, but is usually summed up with merely two words -- that's racin'. For the second time in three races, that was the order of the day for 17-year-old Shelby Howard. The fact that Howard had a race car capable of a 3rd or 4th place finish underneath him on Friday night makes it even harder to swallow, but he knows it will only make him stronger in the end.
"We were running lap times right up there with the leaders before the accident," Howard said after the PFG Lester 150 ARCA race at Nashville Superspeedway on Friday night. "It was just a case of 'the wrong place at the wrong time'. We will go get ready for Salem and hope that going to a short track will get us in a rhythm that will take us to the front."
Howard finished 36th after catching the brunt of an ugly- looking accident on lap 66. After starting the evening from the 7th grid position, Howard had moved up a couple of spots until coming in for fresh tires and a can of racing fuel. Trouble with a lug nut delayed their pit stop and Howard had to go back out deep into the pack. Howard said he knew a wreck was inevitable, but he had no way to avoid it. "It was getting pretty hairy with the tight, two-by- two racing that was going on. The #3 car spun right in front of me, but I had nowhere to go. I did what I could, but up high in the loose stuff there is only so much you can do," Howard said. "We would've been ok, but then for some reason, someone well down the track slammed into me. Our Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge is demolished."
Howard knew it was going to be a hard hit, but thankfully he was not hurt. What puzzles him the most was why it even occurred. "I can't understand it. They had time to be warned (on the radio). I can't explain it, so I'm not going to try. All I know is it was totally unnecessary."
Howard and the CIMCO Racing crew have a very busy two weeks ahead of them. They will be participating in the Channel 5- 205 Media Day and open test session at Kentucky Speedway on Monday, April 14. The following day they head to Salem Speedway to prepare for the upcoming ARCA 200 on April 27. The next Tuesday (April 22), Howard will be testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. Immediately following the Salem race, they have to get ready to go to Michigan for another test session on April 30.