Howard scores a stunner at Salem. Salem, IN (April 27, 2003) -- Shelby Howard delivered a knockout punch Sunday afternoon to Frank Kimmel's bid for a sixth consecutive win at Salem Speedway. The 17-year-old sensation held the 4-time ARCA ...
Howard scores a stunner at Salem.
Salem, IN (April 27, 2003) -- Shelby Howard delivered a knockout punch Sunday afternoon to Frank Kimmel's bid for a sixth consecutive win at Salem Speedway. The 17-year-old sensation held the 4-time ARCA champion at bay to capture his career-first ARCA RE/MAX victory in astonishing fashion.
"It is still sinking in--beating Frank at his hometown track," stated Howard. "This is a great win for Mack Trucks and Beck Dodge. It is a huge relief for me and the team because getting at least one win was one of our goals this year. Now we need to keep the momentum going into Toledo and gain some more ground in the points."
By winning the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200, Howard becomes the youngest driver to ever win an ARCA RE/MAX event. This was his thirtieth career start in the series. He now has one win, five Top 5s, and thirteen Top 10 finishes. It was his third top ten in four starts at Salem on the ARCA circuit. He has two top fives in four starts in 2003. His other came at Atlanta last month.
Howard started the day from the 4th spot, but was too free in the corners. In an effort to get rid of the loose condition, the crew adjusted it during a stop, but went a little too far. By the mid-way point of the race, the #64 Ernie Elliott-powered Dodge was too tight.
"We weren't too good, but we kept digging," said Howard. "We knew once we got back in (to the pits) we could get this hot rod handling the way we wanted. We hung in there and were able to beat the #46 (Kimmel) out of the pits on our last stop. That was huge; I can't say enough good things about my crew."
After that late caution, Howard got around the Andy Petree-owned machine driven by Paul Menard and started to pull away. One final caution flag flew, setting up a green-white-checkered shootout between Howard and Kimmel who had moved into the cat bird seat. The youngster shut down the veteran's chances and motored to the line to take the victory.
"I was sweating bullets those last several laps," commented Howard. "I knew Kimmel was looming, but when I took the white flag I knew if I stayed smooth I had it wrapped up. This was just an amazing day for everyone on our team. I don't know what else to say; just unbelievable."
With his win, Howard climbs back into the top ten in points, holding down the ninth spot.
Howard now heads off to another short track -- ARCA's own Toledo Speedway -- for the GFS Marketplace 200 Presented by Federated Car Care next Sunday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. The race will be broadcast the following Sunday at 4 p.m. on the Outdoor Channel.