Shelly Howard Heartland Park preview

TOPEKA, Kan. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard has had her share of highs and lows this year. Both of her wins on the year have been followed with first round losses at the next race. After suffering a first round loss in Hallsville,...

TOPEKA, Kan. - Federal Mogul Dragster driver Shelly Howard has had her share of highs and lows this year. Both of her wins on the year have been followed with first round losses at the next race. After suffering a first round loss in Hallsville, Texas, two weeks ago following her Memphis win, Howard and her team hope to rebound with another win at this weekend's NHRA Division 5 Federal Mogul Drag Racing Series opener at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan. She also hopes to expand her 20 point lead over second place Troy Buff.

Coming into this weekend's race, Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., has two wins, a runner-up and two-first round losses on the divisional level. Drivers in Federal Mogul Dragster can only claim points at their best five out of eight division races attended. Anything better than a first round loss this weekend will replace one of those losses towards her Division 4 points standings. She could improve her points total by as much as 48 points, with a win.

"My main focus this weekend will be to replace one of my first round losses with a better finish," said Howard. "That's really the top of our priority list right now. If we can get a win in the process, then I would be extremely happy."

Howard's last outing at Heartland Park Topeka was last year's Advance Auto Parts Nationals, where she made it to the semifinals. Howard ran in the low 5.50's (elapsed time) there last year, and hopes to get down into the 5.40's this year.

"Hopefully we can get back down into the 5.40's," stated Howard. "I don't look for us to get down into the 5.30's this weekend. I think if we can be consistent like we have the rest of the year we will be doing good. Not only do I want the car to be consistent, but I strive to be consistent as a driver. That's how we won the races we have this year: with consistency. We're not worried about going out there and setting low e.t. and killing the world. We just want consistency with a good e.t."

This will be the out of Division 4 race this year that Howard has competed in. Howard enjoys running at Topeka, and looks forward to seeing some new racers she doesn't get to see that often.

"We've been to Topeka a lot over the years," commented Howard. "Other than Noble [Oklahoma], its the next closest track to home for us. I'm really comfortable there. I've raced with so many of the people there, that it is nice to see them when I haven't seen most of them over the winter. Division 5 is a nice division to run your out of division races at."

Qualifying begins at 4 p.m. on Friday for the Federal Mogul Dragsters. They will have two more qualifying sessions on Saturday, with final eliminations concluding the event on Sunday. Stay tuned to SummiRacing.com's Drag Race Central</A> for round by round updates from Heartland Park.

For more information on the Howard team, visit their website at www.ShellyHoward.com</A>

Please visit Howard's sponsor, RacerPage.com</A>, Drag Racing's leader in website design and marketing.

-SHR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Shelly Howard , Troy Buff