Hot rod Howard hyped for Nashville. Lebanon, TN (April 7, 2003) -- Shelby Howard may not win the PFG Lester 150 on Friday, but he knows he has the equipment to contend. With serious ponies from Ernie Elliott, Howard isn't concerned about ...
Hot rod Howard hyped for Nashville.
Lebanon, TN (April 7, 2003) -- Shelby Howard may not win the PFG Lester 150 on Friday, but he knows he has the equipment to contend. With serious ponies from Ernie Elliott, Howard isn't concerned about not having the power. He does have to worry about the usual suspects like Kimmel, Montgomery, and Jarrett. Newcomer Kyle Busch is also expected to be a part of the mix in his Hendrick Motorsports entry.
Then again, worrying about things he can't control won't do any good. His focus will be on running his race - smart, steady, and patient. In fact, those are traits that are consistently part of Howard's driving style. That's not to say that the 17-year-old Indiana native lacks for an adequate supply of aggression. He is just very calculated about when he "turns it on".
This will be Howard's third visit to the concrete of Nashville Superspeedway. He finished 9th in the spring race and 12th in the fall race last year. He started 11th in both events.
After a fantastic test session two weeks ago, Howard believes he should secure a solid top five starting position. "We started out with our normal setup for Nashville. After a couple of runs, we changed everything and it made a world of difference. We're the best we've ever been here," stated Howard.
Of course, a great test doesn't necessarily result in a top spot on the grid. "Having just a lap or two in qualifying, you've got what you've got. You have to have the right setup for the conditions and you have to hit the marks nearly perfect. Starting up front is important, but not absolutely critical at Nashville. We have always been strong here, so the Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge should once again be among the leaders on race day," Howard said.
Howard brings a new car to the track this week. The car has been dubbed "Happy" by the team. Hopefully, it will live up to its name. "We call the car 'Happy' because it looks like it is smiling at you," said Howard.
After the first two races of 2003, Howard is tied for 10th in the point standings. He had a career-best superspeedway finish of 2nd last month at Atlanta. He was caught up in an accident in the season opener at Daytona in February.
The PFG Lester 150 is scheduled for Friday, April 11 at 9:00 p.m. Eastern. The race airs live on SPEED Channel with a replay at 1 a.m. on Saturday, April 12.
For more information on Beck Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep and each of their locations, visit www.beckchrysler.com.