Brainerd: Shelly Howard preview

Howard looking for repeat success in Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn. - One year ago, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard came within one round of winning her fourth career national event at Brainerd International Raceway. As the NHRA Lucas...

Howard looking for repeat success in Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. - One year ago, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard came within one round of winning her fourth career national event at Brainerd International Raceway. As the NHRA Lucas Oil tour heads back into Minnesota for this year's Lucas Oil Nationals, Howard and her team hope to return to a national event final round, and ultimately, get win No. 4.

Howard, a registered nurse from Tulsa, Okla., knows the task at hand will be difficult, in fact more difficult than last year, she cites. In last year's final, she was defeated by World Champion Art Gallant's A/Fuel Dragster, who ran a string of 5.30's to take the win. This year Howard feels the A/Fuelers will be even tougher to deal with.

"We go to every race hoping to win," said Howard. "But this year it has been pretty disheartening. You're really just hoping they [A/Fuelers] just mess up this year. If they don't mess up, shake, or drop a cylinder you're pretty much done in a blown car. I have all the faith in the world in my tuner Tom Conway, but with the current rules, there's only so much you can do with a blown car. We just hope to do the best we can for our sponsors Valvoline, NGK, InsideTopAlcohol.com, St. Moritz Machine and Broken Arrow Powder Coating."

Howard comes into the event fresh off a semifinal finish at the Division 5 Lucas Oil Series event in Scribner, Neb.

"Even though I redlighted in the semifinals in Nebraska, this is a new race for us, so it's behind us," Howard commented. "As a driver you just have to put stuff like that behind you and concentrate on the race at hand. That's what I plan on doing this weekend."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars with two qualifying sessions. Qualifying will conclude Saturday morning with one final session followed by first round of eliminations that afternoon. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to InsideTopAlcohol.com for the latest news in alcohol racing."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shelly Howard