Career best at Kentucky by Howard Sparta, KY (May 12, 2003) -- Shelby Howard has made some pretty significant strides this season. The seventeen-year-old, ARCA RE/MAX driver stepped up once again and delivered a 4th place finish in the Channel...
Career best at Kentucky by Howard
Sparta, KY (May 12, 2003) -- Shelby Howard has made some pretty significant strides this season. The seventeen-year-old, ARCA RE/MAX driver stepped up once again and delivered a 4th place finish in the Channel 5-205 on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. The performance tops Howard's previous best of 8th place on the 1.5-mile oval.
Starting from the 5th position, Howard quickly finessed his way into the third spot despite having tires that were slow to pick up heat. Once the temperatures rose in the Hoosiers, the #64 Dodge picked up a push. Coming in under caution on lap 42 for their first stop, the crew removed the rubber from the left rear hoping that would help the car turn better. Unfortunately, they lost four spots when the car stalled leaving pit road. Howard and the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge crew kept their heads up because they knew they would make it back up.
Another stop under caution, this time on lap 92, called for one round in the right rear. Howard then tucked his Ernie Elliott-powered Dodge in the 4th position on the restart after picking up a position on pit road.
Running in the top five the rest of the way, Howard held off a hard-charging Jason Jarrett over the last 17 laps to come home 4th. Kyle Busch, Frank Kimmel, and Matt Hagans held down the top 3 spots.
"We had a pretty good night tonight," said Howard. "The rain held off, we got another top five and we don't have a scratch on the Dodge. I have nothing to complain about. The Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge crew did an excellent job getting me off of pit road and we gained a spot in the points. Things are going well for us right now so we want that to continue at Charlotte."
A pattern is starting to take shape each time Howard takes the track. For the past 3 races and 4 of the last 5, the Greenwood, Indiana teenager has achieved a new track best. Howard has not only out-qualified his prior efforts at each track, but he has also finished higher than he previously has. In each of these 4 races, Howard has finished higher than he started. That's no easy task when the average starting position is 4.25.
Howard moves up a notch to 6th in the ARCA RE/MAX point standings. He trails the twosome of Ron Cox and Mark Gibson who are tied for 4th by only 60 points.
Howard and the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge crew next head to Charlotte for the ADG 100 presented by EasyCare. The race is scheduled for Thursday, May 22 at Lowe's Motor Speedway and will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel at 9:00 pm ET.