BAYTOWN, Texas - The last time Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard was at Houston Raceway Park for the Division 4 opener in February, she was the low qualifier, and had set low e.t. of every round going into the final round when persistent...
BAYTOWN, Texas - The last time Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard was at Houston Raceway Park for the Division 4 opener in February, she was the low qualifier, and had set low e.t. of every round going into the final round when persistent rains and cold weather canceled the event. When the race was resumed two weeks later, Howard lost to Troy Buff in the race's final when she smoked the tires off the line. However, Howard feels it may have been a different story if they had ran the final in Houston, and she will be looking to pick up where she left off during this weekend's O'Reilly Nationals presented by Pennzoil just outside of Houston in Baytown, Texas.
The Tulsa, Okla., based racer also comes into the event after a race she would easily like to forget at the Division 4 race in Baton Rouge, La. After qualifying No. 2 with an elapsed time of 5.51 seconds at 257 mph, an internal transmission problem caused her to slow to a 5.77 which was enough for rookie driver Jason Cannon to get by her with a 5.60. This weekend, Howard hopes to put that behind her, and concentrate on running strong at her first national event of the year.
"We just hope that the car will be consistent, and I will be consistent," said Howard. "We're not going to change our gameplan up because of one race. Baton Rouge was definitely not a positive race for us. Hopefully everything will fall into place this weekend, and we won't run into those kinds of problems."
At the Divisional race here earlier in the year, Howard ran a near career best e.t. of a 5.44 at only 252 mph. Howard stayed in the 5.40's in eliminations, and hopes to return to the 5.40's this weekend.
"If the air and track is good, I think we can get back down into the 5.40's," stated Howard. "It's been a little over a month since we were there, so we'll just have to see because there is a lot of variables involved. You can relate to previous races in some ways, but in others you can't. We'll just give it our best as usual."
Qualifying begins on Friday for the Federal Mogul Dragsters at 10 a.m., with another session at 1 p.m. Qualifying will resume Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m., with first round of eliminations at 4:30 p.m.
Stay tuned to the Howard team's award winning website, www.ShellyHoward.com , for day by day updates of the team's progress in Houston.
-Shelly Howard Racing