Shelly Howard Baytown wrapup

Howard opens 2003 with win in Houston. BAYTOWN, Texas - In a stark contrast to her start last season, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard opened her 2003 season with a win during this past weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing ...

Howard opens 2003 with win in Houston.

BAYTOWN, Texas - In a stark contrast to her start last season, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard opened her 2003 season with a win during this past weekend's Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Houston Raceway Park. Howard dominated the event from start to finish, taking the low qualifier spot and running low elapsed time of every round and setting top speed of the meet.

Howard, who is a registered nurse in Tulsa, Okla., when not racing, qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster No. 1 with a 5.442 at 260.71 mph. In round one, she defeated Erica Credeur with a low e.t. of the event 5.429 at 259.81 mph. In the semifinals, Howard squared off against defending Division 4 Champ Lee Callaway. Howard took the win in the monumental matchup, running a 5.480 at 256.49 mph to advance to the final. In her final round matchup against James Thompson, Thompson broke at the line, giving Howard the win, in which she soloed to a 5.640 at 232.95 mph.

"It feels real good to start the year off with a win," stated Howard. "After struggling so much at the beginning of last year, it feels good to get a win under our belt right off the bat. This is just the first race in a long series, I'm sure we'll face stiff competition all year long. The crew did a great job, especially considering we have several new members to the team this year. Tom [Conway] supplied an excellent tune-up as always, and we were able to take the win."

The next event for the Howard Racing team will be the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. There Howard hopes to be able to have another good outing.

"Gainesville is always a tough race," cited Howard. "Its a pretty good racetrack, and I'm sure a couple of the A/Fuel heavy hitters will be there, so it will be interesting to see what kind of shot the blown cars have. The way things are now in the class a few A/Fuel cars can run 5.20's or better on a regular basis, and it would take an absolutely perfect run by a blown car just to dip into the high .20's. We'll do our best, but our best just might not be enough."

-ShellyHoward.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers James Thompson , Shelly Howard