Ryan Howard Eager For Solid Run In Music City LEBANON, Tennessee (April 12, 2006) - - For 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Ryan Howard, scoring a top-ten at Nashville Superspeedway would be a boost to his rookie season after...
Ryan Howard Eager For Solid Run In Music City
LEBANON, Tennessee (April 12, 2006) - - For 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Ryan Howard, scoring a top-ten at Nashville Superspeedway would be a boost to his rookie season after notching a solid 16th place finish at Daytona International Speedway nearly two months ago.
Howard, driving the No. 59 Williams Bros. Lumber Chevrolet under the Mark Gibson Racing banner 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. After qualifying on time in the season opener in February, Ryan maneuvered his green and white Chevrolet to a respectable finish at Daytona. With the restrictor plate gone for now, Howard is eager to get back to "real racing".
"I'm really excited about racing this weekend," said Howard, a native of Tipp City, Ohio. "We've worked hard since Daytona trying to prepare this racecar and I think we are going to unload really strong." Ryan has one prior start at NSS (Nashville Superspeedway) in August of 2005. After qualifying a very solid 24th, the No. 56 Chevrolet developed overheating problems forcing an early day to the second entry for MGR (Mark Gibson Racing).
Said Ryan, "The goal for the weekend is survival. It's still early in the season but if we can keep all the fenders on our Williams Bros Lumber Chevrolet, then we should leave the track with a good finish."
Currently sitting 16th in the ARCA RE/MAX Series standings, Howard is motivated to move up the ladder. "It's still early in the season, but I would like to trickle our way into the top-ten. Mark Gibson (owner) has put together an impressive program for several years; it's no different this year. I know I am a rookie, but I have the best teacher in the garage. Mark is teaching me new things every day and I know that we can continue to put our No. 59 upfront."
As for the race lineup, It's shaping up to be a very competitive field. "With 60 plus drivers and teams entered, there is going to be a lot of good cars going home. We're locked into the field, but our goal is to qualify inside the top-15," remarked Ryan.
In addition to Williams Bros. Lumber who will serve as the title sponsor for the second event of the season, James Hardie Siding Products, AdvanTech Flooring & Sheathing, Jeld-Wen Windows & Doors, 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 the same sponsors from Daytona and that's great!," explained Ryan. "We're still trying to find some additional help, but right now we are concentrating on keeping our current sponsors happy. A good run on Saturday would help our efforts."
Thundering into Nashville, Howard has 19 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts under his belt with a career best finish of sixth at Salem Speedway in 2004.JWith 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."
Nashville will also mark the first race of the season where Mark Gibson Racing will work with a new teammate Jack/Cole Racing, Inc's driver Johnny Leonard
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 PFG Lester 150 (150 miles/113 laps) is the second of 23 events on the 2006 ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule. Practice begins Friday, April 14th with a two-hour ten minute (12:00pm-2:10pm EST) session planned. Pork pole qualifying is also on tap for Friday (5:30pm EST) with the race set to take the green flag Saturday, April 15th. The race will be televised live on the SPEED channel beginning at 1:30pm (EST).