Howard faces 'double' with confidence

Time demands not a problem with 'driven' teen Concord, NC (May 22, 2003) -- Back-to-back races in three days. Over two thousand miles traveled in less than one week. That's what seventeen-year-old Shelby Howard is currently facing. Howard left...

Time demands not a problem with 'driven' teen

Concord, NC (May 22, 2003) -- Back-to-back races in three days. Over two thousand miles traveled in less than one week. That's what seventeen-year-old Shelby Howard is currently facing.

Howard left the shop in Indianapolis Monday afternoon and drove to the Charlotte, NC area to prepare for a 100-mile ARCA RE/MAX race at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Thursday night. As soon as the race is over, the Greenwood, Indiana teenager will climb out of his #64 Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge race car and into his street ride to head back to Indy immediately. Planning on arriving back at the shop sometime early Friday, no sooner than the team switches the speedway car for a short track car, he hops in the rig again for the haul to Marne, Michigan where he faces another 100-mile battle at Berlin (Raceway) on Saturday night. Quite a nice, little jaunt in such a short time.

Not that Howard is complaining. Not that most other competitors don't likely face very similar circumstances. That's what the schedule requires and if you want to race, you suck it up and keep on keeping on. While it could be said that Howard willfully chose to be a full-time racer, at the same time it's easy to forget he is also a full-time student. After all, he is only 17, so he has schoolwork to worry about in between his traveling around the country.

He just looks at it as another challenge. It forces him to stay organized and focused. With a goal of some day moving to NASCAR, he knows he must concentrate on "taking care of business" and everything that is demanded of you to be successful in this sport.

With his 18th birthday coming up on July 25, he will meet the first requirement toward becoming NASCAR-eligible. The next step isn't quite as obvious, but it is something that is being explored. In the meantime, Howard is confident about his chances at Berlin in the Pork the Other White Meat 200 on Saturday.

"We had a good car here last year," said Howard. "We are going to make some slight changes based on what we already know. We should have a shot at the win. Berlin is the perfect place to take the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge back to victory lane."

Howard has two career ARCA starts at Berlin with a best finish of 6th in September 2001. He finished 12th last year after an incident on the last lap cost him a definite top ten.

The Pork the Other White Meat 200 presented by GFS will be contested on Saturday, May 24, 9:15 pm EST, at the 0.5-mile Berlin Raceway, "one of the most difficult tracks in the country", according to NASCAR driver Johnny Benson.

-shr-

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Series ARCA
Drivers Johnny Benson , Shelby Howard