Howard dominates in Denver for second win MORRISON, Colo. - NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard has won national events, and even qualified No. 1 before, but never before has she done them both at the same event like she did at ...
Howard dominates in Denver for second win
MORRISON, Colo. - NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard has won national events, and even qualified No. 1 before, but never before has she done them both at the same event like she did at this past weekend's Mopar Parts Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway just outside of Denver. Howard dominated the event by qualifying No. 1, setting low elapsed time and top speed of the event in round one, all while going on to win her second national event of the year and moving to fourth place in national points standings.
Howard, a registered nurse from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster on top of the Denver field with a 5.683 second elapsed time at 249.03 mph. In round one, she defeated fellow Oklahoma resident Larry Traugott with a 5.654 at 251.20 mph blast that stood as the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend, then was faced with the challenge of running the No. 3 man in the world last year, Jeff Wilson in round two. Howard maintained her performance advantage with a solid 5.695 at 250.04 mph pass to put him away. Due to the low car count, Howard received a competition bye in the semifinals. Howard made the most of it, running a 5.750 at 248.98 on her single. In the final, she would face off with the No. 5 car in the world last year, Billy Bybee. Bybee gained a slight advantage off the starting line, but Howard quickly erased that to win the third national event of her career at the place where she won her first, Bandimere Speedway. Howard's 5.704 at 249.28 mph was enough to overshadow Bybee's trailing 5.823 at 250.23 mph.
"Our tuner, Tom Conway has won on the mountain more than anyone else," said Howard. "His ability as a driver in his own car, and tuner of our car rolls over to give us an advantage up there. The car and team performed excellently as usual. In a couple of the rounds, we had some problems staging that made my lights not as good as usual, but luckily, we had a performance advantage that helps in a case like that. It definitely helps when the other things don't go quite as good as they should."
"I didn't contribute everything this weekend to the win," continued Howard. "The team and Tom's tuning ability kept the car consistent. They were as much a part of this win as I was."
With the win, Howard hopes to stay at her current event-winning level of performance the remainder of the year, and hopes to stay in the top five nationally.
"We're just going to focus on each event we go to," explained Howard. "You never know what is going to happen. You can have a really good weekend, as we have in the past, then the next weekend can be awful. If you go into an event thinking that you have a huge chance at a national title, with touring people like Hentges, Santos, and Bernstein, that are already ahead of us, then Strasburg, Shields and numerous others that are close to us in points, you just have to take each event and do the best you can. If you set your eyes completely on the national title, then you can't deal with the issues at hand. You have to be able to deal with the immediate issue at hand, winning the race you are at, rather than worrying about what's down the road."
For more information on the Howard team, visit their website at ShellyHoward.com.
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