Heavy tireshake ends Howard's weekend in round one MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Despite looking strong in qualifying, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard lost in the first round of this past weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series ...
Heavy tireshake ends Howard's weekend in round one
MILLINGTON, Tenn. - Despite looking strong in qualifying, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard lost in the first round of this past weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park, just outside of Memphis, Tenn. In her first round matchup with Michael Gunderson, Howard's car launched into heavy tireshake, then made a violent move towards the wall, forcing Howard to lift and lose the round.
Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster second in the eight car field with a stellar 5.416 second elapsed time at 257.24 mph. Against Gunderson in the first round, Howard gained the advantage off the line with a .451 to .472 holeshot, but things went downhill from there as the tireshake was severe enough to ruin the entire wingstrut assembly. Gunderson won the race with a 5.506 at 262.59 mph, and went on to win the event.
"In the first round, I really had no choice but to lift," said Howard. "It was either lift or hit the wall. It came so close to hitting the wall with the rear slick that my crew actually had thought that I did hit it, but I must have barely missed it. It's really disappointing to lose, but in those circumstances you don't have a choice."
The team's next event will be the O'Reilly Spring Nationals in Houston, Apr. 11-14. With two races under their belt with the new car, Howard and her team are confident of their chances.
"This car shows a tremendous amount of potential," stated Howard. "It just takes time to figure a new car out. I'm getting more and more comfortable in it. I'm looking forward to Houston. It will be a new, fresh race, and we'll give it our best shot."