Pocono: Shelby Howard race report

Equipment woes plague Howard at Pocono. Long Pond, PA (6-10-02) -- Pocono Raceway can be a treacherous place. Combine that with a race car that is hard to keep off the wall and the outcome will likely be very costly. That's exactly what ARCA...

Equipment woes plague Howard at Pocono.

Long Pond, PA (6-10-02) -- Pocono Raceway can be a treacherous place. Combine that with a race car that is hard to keep off the wall and the outcome will likely be very costly. That's exactly what ARCA RE/MAX Rookie Shelby Howard was faced with this past Saturday.

After wrestling his car all day long, the 16-year-old Howard still managed a 19th place finish in the ARCA 200. A problem with the steering box turned out to be the trouble.

"The steering had so much extra play in it, it was all I could do to keep from wrecking in the corners," Howard stated. "It's unfortunate because we had tons of horsepower. When the car would turn, we were running lap times that were within one-tenth of the leaders. It was weird. . .one lap it would be fine and the next it wouldn't turn at all. I turned that wheel so much, I feel like I drove another extra 200 miles today."

After stopping for a fresh set of Hoosiers and 76 Racing Fuel under caution on lap 16, Howard thought he had a tire going down so he had to stop again 8 laps later under green for another set. Adding insult to injury, he had to come back down one more time for a stop-and-go penalty for speeding on pit road.

"Rookie mistake," Howard explained about the penalty.

Heavy rainfall on Thursday caused qualifying to be cancelled and limited total practice time to only 20 minutes on Friday, with that taking place under caution. The steering problem would likely have been discovered under normal practice conditions prior to the green flag on Saturday.

As a result of this weekend's misfortune, Howard dropped two spots in the standings to 8th. Mark Gibson is currently 15 points better in 7th place.

"It was very unfortunate the way things played out this weekend," Howard said. "We can't seem to catch a break. We know how good we can be, so we're not going to let up. Hopefully, our luck will turn around and we'll have something for them at Michigan."

Howard and the iHigh.com crew will re-group for the Flagstar 200 on Saturday, June 15 at 1:30 p.m. EDT at Michigan International Speedway. The ARCA RE/MAX Series teams up again with the NASCAR Winston Cup Series this weekend and will have same day broadcast coverage on Speed Channel at 8 p.m. EDT.

-www.shelbyhoward.com.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Shelby Howard , Mark Gibson