DuQuoin: Shelby Howard preview

Howard knows he'll need the magic touch at the "Magic Mile" DuQuoin, IL (August 29, 2003) -- The "Wrangle at Winchester" leads to the "Duel in the Dirt at DuQuoin". Two days after mixing it up on the paved Winchester half-mile, Shelby Howard...

Howard knows he'll need the magic touch at the "Magic Mile"

DuQuoin, IL (August 29, 2003) -- The "Wrangle at Winchester" leads to the "Duel in the Dirt at DuQuoin".

Two days after mixing it up on the paved Winchester half-mile, Shelby Howard will unload his #64 Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge for the annual Labor Day 100-lap event at the 1-mile clay DuQuoin track.

The "Magic Mile" presents plenty of challenges on its own, but pile on the fact that defending series champion Frank Kimmel will be looking for his third straight win at DuQuoin, that makes bringing home the win significantly harder.

Howard understands all of that, but with a 10th place finish at DuQuoin last year, he feels comfortable knowing he can be competitive even though it is only his fourth race ever on the dirt in a stock car.

"We discovered last year what our car wanted in the way of a shock and spring package," Howard said. "Springfield (2 weeks ago) was the first time we've had our Dodge on the dirt (they ran a different make on the dirt in 2002), but unfortunately we fell out early. We still learned some things, so I know we'll be strong this time out. Winchester (on Saturday) is definitely important to us and we're not looking ahead, but we are anxious to get back on the dirt after a poor showing two weeks ago. We're confident we will show some major improvement; it should be the difference between night and day."

Sitting fifth in the ARCA RE/MAX points with five races after DuQuoin, Howard knows now is the perfect time to make a move. "A serious stretch run is what we need. We can't pay much attention to what everyone else is doing. We just have to put our heads down, grit our teeth, and go as hard as we can. We can still win some races and pick up some spots in the points. It's going to be exciting to watch, believe me."

The Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care is scheduled for 2 pm ET on Monday, September 1. It is event #17 on a 22-race schedule.

-www.shelbyhoward.com.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Shelby Howard