Howard just misses Indy win CLERMONT, Ind. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard came up one round short of winning this past weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the biggest race in all of drag ...
Howard just misses Indy win
CLERMONT, Ind. - NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard came up one round short of winning this past weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the biggest race in all of drag racing. Howard used consistent 5.40 elapsed times to make it to the final where she lost to Morgan Lucas.
Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned Blown Alcohol Dragster tenth in the second quickest field in class history with a 5.470 at 258.57 mph. In round one, she defeated Keith Stark with a 5.499 at 250.04 mph and then took out veteran Mike Kosky in round two with a 5.424 at 257.28 mph. Howard then took out her semifinal opponent, current Division 3 points leader and recent Columbus winner Jeff Wilson with a 5.424 at 257.73 mph.
In the final, Howard would square off with the 19 year-old Lucas, who is currently second in national points. Howard encountered heavy tireshake roughly 200 feet down track, slowing her to a 5.512 at 257.68 mph which was not enough for Lucas' 5.412 at 262.13 mph.
"This was a very good weekend for our team," said Howard. "After the mess in Brainerd of hitting the wall, then having to front half the car, this was a good boost for us. We fought tireshake for most of the weekend, but after round one, Tom found a tune-up that got rid of the tireshake. In the final, the right lane went away, and it shook hard again. Even though we didn't win, it's still an honor to have made it to the final at Indy. I really have to thank Tom, my crew chief Mark Gardner, my husband Paul, Brian VunCanon for giving me a car to get to the final."
"We wouldn't have made it if it wasn't for a lot of help," Howard continued. "We had a problem with the intake after the second round and Mike Kosky and Lance Flanakin was over to help us get it ready for that round. Then John Haley loaned us an oil pan for the final because we had a crack in ours. I also have to thank Will Hanna for coming in and helping us the past two weeks. We were short handed and he helped fill in for Joe Monden, who recently had knee surgery."
The runner-up kept Howard in the top ten nationally, where she is currently in eighth place. Next weekend, Howard and her team will focus on regaining the Division 4 Championship at the Division 4 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, La.
For more information on the team, visit their website at ShellyHoward.com