Ryan Howard Pumped For Daytona; Season DAYTONA, Fla (February 6, 2006) - - For 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Ryan Howard, this is his year to shine and he knows it. Beginning with this week's ARCA 200 from ...
Ryan Howard Pumped For Daytona; Season
DAYTONA, Fla (February 6, 2006) - - For 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Ryan Howard, this is his year to shine and he knows it. Beginning with this week's ARCA 200 from Daytona International Speedway, Ryan will pilot the No. 59 Williams Bros. Lumber Chevrolet vacated by longtime driver and owner Mark Gibson. Howard will compete not only for ROY (Rookie of the Year) but for the prestige ARCA RE/MAX Series championship competing in all 23 races on the tour.
"I am really looking forward to Daytona and the season," said Tipp City's Ohio Ryan Howard. "I've been waiting for an opportunity to run the full ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule and thanks to Mark Gibson and Williams Bros. Lumber my dream is coming true."
Gibson, a four-time ARCA RE/MAX Series winner will aide Howard in his quest for the titles and his first start at the breathtaking 2.5 mile-Superspeedway. "Mark will be a huge asset to my season," continued Howard. "Mark has been around the ARCA series since the 1980s, he knows his stuff. I couldn't ask for a better mentor. He has the confidence in me to get the job done."
After just missing the season opener in 2005, Howard wants to kick off this season on the right foot with a good qualifying effort and good finish. "These restrictor plate races can really make or break your season," Ryan commented. "With the entry list this year, we really have to focus on our setup and make sure we have a comfortable setup for qualifying with the intent to start as close to the front as possible. When the race rolls around, I want to find a good drafting partner and stay there. It's usually all about luck when it comes to the "big one", and I am going to do everything to stay out of it."
Preparing for Saturday's event has not been easy, two grueling test sessions at Daytona last December and a recent test at Talladega Superspeedway had the former open wheel driver getting more time on the restrictor plate tracks and working on the perfect setup hoping to steer his way to victory lane. "We've used the test sessions to our advantage. I wanted to get as much seat time as possible and we wanted to see what worked and what didn't with the car. I have a good feeling about how we are prepared for this weekend's race. We will be a contender."
In addition to Williams Bros. Lumber who will serve as the title sponsor for the season opener, James Hardie Siding Products, AdvanTech Flooring & Sheathing, Owens Corning, Huber and G-Force Racing Gear will all serve as associate sponsors on the No. 59 Chevrolet Monte Carlo this weekend. "We have a good list of sponsors for this weekend's race," explained Ryan. "My goal is to give them the best exposure and finish possible. I think we can do that."
Thundering into Daytona, Howard has 18 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts under his belt with a career best finish of sixth at Salem Speedway in 2004. With 23 races to add to his resume this season, Howard has a few goals this season. "I really would like to win some races, but more important consistency in the name of top-ten finishes. "I'm also really going to try hard and win Rookie-of-the-Year that would really mean a lot to me."
Said Ryan, "More importantly, I have to perform for our sponsors, they deserve it. Even with Mark taking a sabbatical from fulltime racing ,Williams Bros Lumber agreed to stay onboard with the team and take a chance on me. That means a lot, they believe in me, and I plan on making the best of it."
Mark Gibson Racing is still actively seeking additional sponsorship for the No. 59 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. Interested parties can contact the team at 678-985-2394.
The ARCA 200 is the first of 23 events on the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. Practice begins Thursday, February 9th with a morning and afternoon session planned. Qualifying is on tap for Friday, February 10th with the race set to take the green flag Saturday, February 11th. The Speed Channel will air the event live beginning at 4:00pm EST.