Lebanon, TN (August 11, 2003) -- After losing some serious ground in the points battle at Pocono, ARCA RE/MAX driver Shelby Howard vowed to do something about it. That he did and in a big way last Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway. The...
Lebanon, TN (August 11, 2003) -- After losing some serious ground in the points battle at Pocono, ARCA RE/MAX driver Shelby Howard vowed to do something about it. That he did and in a big way last Saturday afternoon at Nashville Superspeedway. The 18-year-old teenager from Greenwood, Indiana captured his best finish ever at the concrete oval east of Nashville with a third-place run.
A gritty performance, along with less fortunate circumstances for his closest challengers, vaults Howard from 6th to 3rd in the standings. He has closed within striking distance of the second-place Jason Jarrett, trailing him by only 170 points.
To wind up 3rd despite having a super tight Dodge through the first half of the race is quite a testament to the determination and hard work put forth by Howard and his Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge crew.
"I couldn't get through the turns like I wanted," said Howard. "The car was pushing in the corners something fierce. We made a couple of stops and kept adjusting on it. It was starting to come to me there at the end of the race. To turn a Top 10 or 12 car into a Top 3 one is pretty amazing. That goes to show how driven our Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge team is."
Nashville was Howard's fourth Top 5 in the last 6 races. In 14 races this season, Howard has two wins, eight Top 5s and nine Top 10s. Proof wasn't needed, but Howard showed at Nashville that he's all business and has the consistency to prove it.
An on-track incident on Lap 64 could've been costly if not for some heads-up driving and quick instruction from the spotter's stand. Contact between eventual race winner Mario Gosselin and ARCA regular Brent Sherman occurred right in front of Howard, who was running 4th at the time. Howard had to check up, losing 3 spots, but he dove low and came out clean, barely missing the spinning Sherman.
After a series of cautions and one pit stop by the #64 Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge crew, Howard was running 7th with 50 laps to go. He got up on the wheel, dug his way to 3rd and was closing the gap between him and the top two finishers when the checkered flag fell.
The ARCA RE/MAX Series now heads to Springfield, Illinois for the Allen Crowe Memorial 100. The event will be held on the 1-mile clay oval at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Sunday, August 17.