Joliet: Shelly Howard race notes

Howard takes first win in Joliet. JOLIET, Ill. - After struggling for much of the season, defending NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Shelly Howard won this past weekend's Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Route ...

Howard takes first win in Joliet.

JOLIET, Ill. - After struggling for much of the season, defending NHRA Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion Shelly Howard won this past weekend's Division 3 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago. The win was Howard's first of the year, and moved her into second place in Division 4 standings.

Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster fourth with a 5.519 second elapsed time at 260.21 mph. In round one, she took out Jeff Wilson with a 5.624 at 255.15 mph, and then took out Division 3 points leader Ken Perry in round two with a 5.652 at 253.14 mph. In the final, Howard took a sizable holeshot over her opponent Russ Lindert and managed to hang on for the win with a 5.605 at 254.52 mph to Lindert's quicker-but-later 5.587 at 251.11 mph.

"It feels great to finally win a race after struggling so much this year," said Howard. "This just goes to show the hard work of my team has really paid off. My tuner Tom Conway, crew chief Mark Gardner, and crew members Joe Monden, Rick Meyer, Mike and Chris Bowler, and my husband Paul really outdid themselves to make the car run like it did in the near 100 degree heat."

The win moved her to fifth place nationally and put her a mere six points behind current Division 4 leader Nick Copeland. Howard and her team are very pleased to be back in the Division 4 title hunt.

"As much as we struggled in the beginning of the year with the DNQ's, if you told me at this point in the season we would be in the running for the Division Championship, I probably wouldn't have believed you," commented Howard. "There hasn't been any one car really run away with the points in the division. We can't take anything for granted, even our current standing. We just have to continue taking it one race at a time and trying to get more and more out of the car. You can't really worry about points. It does no good and can distract you. If you take care of the round at hand, the points take care of themselves."

The next event for the Howard team will be the Rugged Liner Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 16-18.

For more information on the Howard Racing Team, visit their website at ShellyHoward.com.

-shr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeff Wilson , Shelly Howard , Ken Perry , Russ Lindert