Topeka shows ray of hope for Howard team.
TOPEKA, Kan. - After nearly half a season of struggling with severe tireshake problems, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster racer Shelly Howard may have put the worst behind them after this past weekend's O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol Syntec at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan. Howard posted a quarterfinal finish in the race, and had a very favorable test session on Monday.
Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster No. 12 with a 5.541 second elapsed time at 255.58 mph. In round one, she upset No. 5 qualifier Mitch Myers with a stellar 5.502 at 254.66 mph. Tireshake once again rendered it's ugly nose in the second round, and slowed her to a 5.577 at 250.69 mph, which was not enough for eventual runner-up Alan Bradshaw's 5.533 at 254.66 mph.
"Even though we didn't win, it was a good weekend for the team," after struggling like we have the last few races, it felt real good to win a round. Tom and the team found a few things over the weekend, and the tireshake problem seems to be getting better. It's drivable now, whereas a lot of runs before this weekend it wasn't. Being able to stay over on Monday and test was a big step in the right direction for us; we learned some valuable data. It definitely is a boost to leave a race on a positive note, after leaving so many on a negative note this year."