Shelly Howard Denver preview

Howard to switch back to blown for 'The Mountain' MORRISON, Colo. - Defending two-time Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Shelly Howard will jump back into her championship-winning blown car for this weekend's NHRA Division 5 Lucas Oil...

Howard to switch back to blown for 'The Mountain'

MORRISON, Colo. - Defending two-time Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Shelly Howard will jump back into her championship-winning blown car for this weekend's NHRA Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Bandimere Speedway just outside of Denver. Howard reset the National Trail Raceway track record with a blistering 5.29 with her new A/Fuel car during this past weekend's Pontiac Excitement Nationals held there, but feels in the high altitude of 'The Mountain,' her blown car will be more competitive.

Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., and her two-time World Championship winning tuner Tom Conway have enjoyed much success on 'The Mountain.' Howard won national events in Denver in 1998 and 2001, and hopes to earn her first win of the year this weekend.

"This certainly has been an up and down year for us," said Howard. "We feel like it is starting to take an upturn for us lately, though. After making the semifinals in Topeka, then running a 5.29 in Columbus, our new A/Fuel program has really taken off well, and I have to credit my tuner Tom Conway for that. However, we feel we have always ran well in Denver with the blown car, so that is what we will take."

Howard enters this weekend's event in a seemingly distant sixth place, but has only competed at two events thus far. The NHRA Lucas Oil Divisional Championship allows competitors in Top Alcohol Dragster to claim their best five out of the first eight races they attend.

"We haven't had a great start by any means," said Howard. "But you just have to stay focused, and take it one run at a time. We still have a lot of racing left to do this year, so I don't think we're out of it by any means. We're just going to try to stay focused, and see how it goes from there. We're just going to try to do the best we can for our sponsors Valvoline, NGK, InsideTopAlcohol.com, St. Moritz Machine, Therapy Concepts, Broken Arrow Powder Coating and Tulsa Sheetmetal."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars, with two more sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shelly Howard