Howard hopes "threes" pay off at Pocono Long Pond, PA (June 4, 2003) -- Shelby Howard is hoping that the number 3 proves to be good luck for him. He has plenty of reasons it could serve him well this weekend. First, the obvious. The ...
Howard hopes "threes" pay off at Pocono
Long Pond, PA (June 4, 2003) -- Shelby Howard is hoping that the number 3 proves to be good luck for him. He has plenty of reasons it could serve him well this weekend.
First, the obvious. The seventeen-year-old Howard is seeking his third win of the season. Breaking ARCA records in the first two, he has won at Salem and Kansas so far this year. A third trip to victory lane would serve as further notice that the Indiana teenager is a serious threat week in and week out.
Second, Saturday's Giant Food Stores 200 at Pocono will be the third time he has raced at the Pennsylvania track. His first came last June. Having qualifying washed out, Howard started 6th but finished 19th due to problems with the steering box. Coming back in July, Howard's engine blew up in qualifying, so he had to start 34th. Despite the setback, he mowed his way through the field for his first career top five, finishing 5th. The July race was also the first race he had driven the Dodge in competition.
Third, Howard considers the triangular-shaped track one of his favorite on the circuit. Of course, having threes turns and three straight-aways hold true to form when considering all things '3' related.
It also doesn't hurt to mention that he is closing in on the third spot in the ARCA RE/MAX standings. Howard currently sits in 4th, trailing Billy Venturini by 35 points.
Howard and his Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge crew are bringing the same car they won with last week to Pocono. The Dodge has proven to be a good handling car and responds well to changes.
"We've got the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge running good," Howard said. "We know more about the car than we did when we were here last summer and we have a better motor (Ernie Elliott engine), so we feel good about our chances."
When it comes to knowing how to get around the distinctly-shaped tri-oval, Howard is just as comfortable as he is with his car.
"Racing here twice last year helped me figure out the tunnel turn. I know how to get through there and I have a lot of fun on this track. We've had this race circled since day one."
The Giant Food Stores 200 starts at 1 pm EDT and will be shown live on SPEED Channel. The ARCA RE/MAX Series shares the track with the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit this weekend, which is in town for their race on Sunday.