Joliet: Shelly Howard wrap up

Shelly Howard Racing PPG Automotive Finishes/RacerPage.com Parts failure ends Howard's day early JOLIET, Ill. - Sir Isaac Newton stated that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Strangely, the same seems to hold true ...

Shelly Howard Racing
PPG Automotive Finishes/RacerPage.com

Parts failure ends Howard's day early

JOLIET, Ill. - Sir Isaac Newton stated that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Strangely, the same seems to hold true for NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard's 2001 season. While this year has been the best of her career, with three wins and two runner ups, every win has been followed by a first round loss. The pattern stayed true during this past weekend's Lucas Oil Products Nationals at Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago. Howard came into the event hot off a win in Topeka, but lost in round one when her engine let go off the line.

Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster eighth with an elapsed time of 5.460 seconds at 259.06 mph. In round one she faced No. 9 qualifier Jeff Hamelink. Howard took the starting line advantage, but could not capitalize on it when a dropped valve caused a blower explosion at around the 100' mark. Hamelink had problems of his own, and coasted to a 6.19.

"I cut a good light, took off, it spun the tires, dropped a valve, and banged the blower," said Howard. "It was just simple as that. There really isn't much more to say than that. It was a pretty simple series of events. It was pretty costly, but we'll get it back together, and be back in St. Louis."

Howard will be hoping for another equal and opposite reaction to put her back in the winner's circle at her next race, the Sears Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway, June 21-23.

"We'll be shooting for consistency there like we always do," commented Howard. "We try to get the car to be consistent as possible, and I try to cut good lights as a driver. Hopefully we won't have any more mechanical problems. Every time we have went out in early rounds this year, has been because of mechanical problems."

Stay tuned to the Howard Racing Team's award winning website, ShellyHoward.com </A> for more news from the team.

-SHR-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shelly Howard