Daytona: Shelby Howard race report

Howard has hard luck at Daytona. Daytona Beach, FL (February 9, 2003) --Shelby Howard's Daytona Speed Week started so promising, but took a sharp turn and wound up instead being "Spoiled Week". The second-year ARCA RE/MAX driver started 35th...

Howard has hard luck at Daytona.

Daytona Beach, FL (February 9, 2003) --Shelby Howard's Daytona Speed Week started so promising, but took a sharp turn and wound up instead being "Spoiled Week".

The second-year ARCA RE/MAX driver started 35th but steadily moved up to 22nd before his day ended abruptly on lap 28 of Saturday's Advance Discount Auto Parts 200. The 17-year-old ARCA RE/MAX driver had to take an early exit when contact from behind turned him into the outside wall. He ended the day with a 37th place finish and a torn up race car. "I'm not really surprised because there was some careless driving out there," stated Howard.

"Considering where we had to start, we could have taken the Beck Dodge on through the pack and probably finished 10th or 12th," continued Howard. "The car was pretty loose out there and I actually had to get out of the gas right after the second restart. I lost touch with the front pack but once the other cars caught back up, we started closing the gap.

"We were all motoring along at a good clip but for some reason several cars in front of me checked up. I barely tapped my brakes, but the guy behind me wasn't paying close enough attention. He ran into me and there was nothing I could do but ride. We are disappointed but we'll keep our heads up. We'll get all of our bad luck out of the way now and go get ready for Atlanta."

The day's results could have been very different for Howard if things had not turned sour earlier in the week during qualifying. His best lap in practice was well over one-tenth of a second faster than the closest competitor. On Thursday, the #64 Beck Dodge was super fast and Howard felt comfortable with the car's setup. He was looking for a top five qualifying run until the transmission went out immediately before he took the green flag. Howard had to take a provisional, only his 2nd in 27 ARCA starts.

The best part of the whole week was when Howard and the CIMCO Racing team solidified a sponsor in Beck Dodge. The dealership, located in Palatka, Florida with additional locations in Starke and St. Augustine, will be on the car in a major associate role all season long.

Learn more about Shelby Howard by visiting his website at www.shelbyhoward.com.

-shr-

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Series ARCA
Drivers Shelby Howard