Howard's day marred by malfunction Driver still 4th in points despite 23rd place finish Saturday Brooklyn, MI (June 17, 2003) -- Seventeen-year-old ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Shelby Howard had a nice streak come to an end at Michigan with his...
Howard's day marred by malfunction
Driver still 4th in points despite 23rd place finish Saturday
Brooklyn, MI (June 17, 2003) -- Seventeen-year-old ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Shelby Howard had a nice streak come to an end at Michigan with his 23rd place finish in the Flagstar 200. The worst finish Howard had tallied over the past six races had been a fairly competitive 13th. Two wins and four top fives over the same time span had made a powerful statement about what the young driver was capable of in a race car.
Even with his Dodge being ill-equipped from the outset of Saturday's race, Howard managed to hold his ground, finishing exactly where he started (23rd). A loose race car can be a very difficult thing to overcome at times and that was exactly the case for the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge team at Michigan.
"The car was super loose right from the beginning of the race," said Howard. "The handling was off right out of the box and nothing we did seemed to help all weekend."
More problems developed almost immediately after the drop of the green flag, when Howard discovered there was something wrong in the motor. A clutch had gone out which caused the engine to slip, but there was nothing he could do but ride around the rest of the day. Being uncompetitive is definitely not a fun state to be in, but it happens sometimes even to the best of teams.
"All I could do was ride around and hug the bottom of the track," Howard said. "It's amazing that we only finished four laps down. We stayed out and gained some valuable points, but it was just one of those days."
The team discovered further problems once they got their Dodge back to the shop. A problem in the rear end also appeared to have contributed to their troubles.
"We've been fortunate to avoid this type of thing all year so it was bound to happen sooner or later. We'll recover from this and move on to South Boston," proclaimed Howard.
Howard maintains the 4th spot in the ARCA RE/MAX point standings, trailing Brent Sherman by 40 points for 3rd. Howard will look to close the gap when the series heads off to South Boston, Virginia for the Big Daddy's Liberty 200 on Wednesday, July 2.