Houston: Shelly Howard wrap up

BAYTOWN, Texas - It's pretty hard to take a loss when you run your career best and still come up short. That was the case for Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard at this past weekend's O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at...

BAYTOWN, Texas - It's pretty hard to take a loss when you run your career best and still come up short. That was the case for Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard at this past weekend's O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil at Houston Raceway Park. Howard ran a career best elapsed time of 5.394 seconds at 259.51 mph to lose one of the quickest side by side races in the history of the class to Santos' 5.327 at 262.23 mph.

Howard, a registered nurse from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster seventh with a 5.462 at 259.31 mph. In round one, she took out Division 5 heavy hitter David Wells' "Plain Vanilla" B/AD with a 5.462 at 258.76 mph. Going into her matchup with the defending four time World Champ Santos, Howard knew she had her work cut out for her.

"It's difficult to be too upset about losing when you run the best you ever have and lose," said Howard. "We're real happy about the 5.39. Santos stepped up and ran the best he had run all weekend, so our .39 just wasn't enough. The fact that we lost was overshadowed by the fact that we had a really good e.t."

The next race for the Howard Racing team will be next weekend in Memphis, Tenn., for race four of the Division 4 series. Howard is currently tied for second with Joe Fuentes in Division 4 standings, and trails points leader Troy Buff by a mere 11 points. Howard hopes to leave Memphis with the points lead.

"We're going to try to run as fast as we can," stated Howard.  "Obviously, I 
would like to take the points lead back for Division 4.  We just want the car 
to be consistently quick.  That's our objective."

Television coverage from the O'Reilly Nationals featuring the Federal Mogul classes will air on ESPN 2 from 1-2 p.m. (EST), Wednesday, April 4.

-SHR

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Wells , Shelly Howard , Troy Buff