Dallas: Shelly Howard preview

ENNIS, Texas - Just minutes before she was to get the call to run in her first final round in two years, rain and cold weather put an end to Federal Mogul Dragster pilot Shelly Howard's hopes of a win in Houston. This weekend, during the NHRA ...

ENNIS, Texas - Just minutes before she was to get the call to run in her first final round in two years, rain and cold weather put an end to Federal Mogul Dragster pilot Shelly Howard's hopes of a win in Houston. This weekend, during the NHRA Division 4 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series race at the Texas Motorplex, just south of Dallas, Howard will not only get a shot to win the rained out Houston race, but to pick up a win this weekend's event as well.

Howard, a registered nurse from Tulsa, Okla., will face Troy Buff in this weekend's final qualifying session to serve as the Houston event's final. Howard lead the Houston event from qualifying on, qualifying No. 1 with an elapsed time of 5.443 at 252.90 mph and stayed in the 5.40's throughout eliminations to the finals. The 5.47 she ran in her victory over Division 2 Champion Michael Gunderson will earn her lane choice in her final round match up with Buff, who ran a 5.63 in his semifinal round win over Gene Snow. Howard feels that if she puts her focus on winning this weekend's event, the Houston final will take care of itself.

"We're going to go into this weekend concentrating on the Dallas race the most," said Howard. "Whatever happens in that round with Buff happens. We can't focus too much on the Houston final, or we will lose focus on this weekend's event."

Rather than attempt to "blister" the track with phenomenal times and speeds, Howard feels that consistency will put her in the winner circle on Sunday.

"If I can be consistent in the 5.50's or 5.40's, that's really all I can ask for," Howard commented. "It really depends on the weather and the track. Running really killer numbers like 5.30's is not our priority, consistency is what we are shooting for."

Qualifying begins at 4 p.m. Friday for the Federal Mogul Dragsters, with two more sessions following on Saturday. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday, starting at 11 a.m. Stay tuned to the Howard team's award winning website www.ShellyHoward.com for updates of the team's progress at the Motorplex.

- Shelly Howard Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Michael Gunderson , Shelly Howard , Troy Buff