Indianapolis, IN (September 26, 2003) -- Shelby Howard, the youngest race winner ever in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, plans to make his NASCAR debut in the October 4th NASCAR Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway. Howard will be behind the wheel of...
Indianapolis, IN (September 26, 2003) -- Shelby Howard, the youngest race winner ever in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, plans to make his NASCAR debut in the October 4th NASCAR Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway.
Howard will be behind the wheel of the #43 Dr Pepper/Curb Records Dodge, competing under the Curb-Agajanian Motorsports banner. Veteran Dan Glauz will handle crew chief duties and the #77 Jasper Motorsports Winston Cup crew will perform the over-the-wall duties.
"Lots of people have really stepped up to help make this happen for me," stated Howard. "I'm excited about the opportunity to drive the Dr Pepper Dodge. When Mike Curb and Cary Agajanian offered me this chance, I was immediately interested. They are proven winners and Kansas is already a favorite of mine, so this will make it even more special."
The 18-year-old Howard has some success at Kansas to draw from. Howard broke the record set by another young gun, Kyle Busch, when he won the ARCA race back in June at the 1.5-mile Kansas City-area track, becoming the youngest superspeedway race winner ever in that series. Howard also is the youngest race winner overall and the youngest driver to ever compete in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
Now eligible to compete in the world of NASCAR, the young phenom has chosen his first steps carefully.
"I work with a good group who have had a lot of input and helped me decide what direction to take next," commented Howard. "The time seems right to make the next jump (to NASCAR). Running a couple of races before hopefully running the full Busch or Craftsman Truck schedule (next year) is the smart thing to do. We're working on some things for next year, so we hope to have everything ironed out in the coming weeks."
With another sponsor being on the #26 car for a handful of races to close out the 2003 season, Dr Pepper decided to jump on board with the #43 team. Wrapping up their sixth year of involvement in the NASCAR Busch Series, Dr Pepper will be a part of the excitement surrounding the debut of NASCAR's next sensation.
Curb-Agajanian Motorsports co-owner Cary Agajanian is also extremely high on the youngster. He is equally optimistic about what Howard can do once he gets used to the NASCAR ranks.
"Shelby is very talented and very mature for his age," Agajanian said. "I'm certain he will adapt quickly once he gets in these cars. Busch is a lot different than ARCA in not only the type of car, but in many other aspects. He's ready to make that move, so we wanted to put him in the #43 car for a couple of races to give him a head start on next year. This kid will open some eyes."
Howard, who hails from Greenwood, Indiana, knows the Busch Series competition will be tough. He is realistic when it comes to his expectations for the day.
"I'm only focused on learning as much as possible," Howard said. "I want to get a feel for the Busch car, race clean, and make as many laps as I can. If I can spend some time in the top 15, it will be a successful first run."
Howard is also scheduled for the October 25th Aaron's 312 NASCAR Busch race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.