Topeka: Shelly Howard race summary

Howard makes semifinals in Topeka. TOPEKA, Kan. - Despite still fighting problems of heavy tireshake, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard made it to the semifinals during this past weekend's Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series ...

Howard makes semifinals in Topeka.

TOPEKA, Kan. - Despite still fighting problems of heavy tireshake, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Shelly Howard made it to the semifinals during this past weekend's Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series opener at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.

Howard, from Tulsa, Okla., qualified her Tom Conway tuned entry fourth in the eight-car field with a 5.649 second elapsed time at 253.61 mph. In round one, she defeated Jeff Wilson, who broke in the burnout with an early shutoff 6.65 at 144 mph. In the semifinals, she met up with eventual winner Paul Jones. Both cars left together, but Howard encountered heavy tireshake and slowed to a 5.779 at 246.03 mph while Jones went on to a 5.684 at 256.94 mph.

"It's just the same problem we have had all year," said Howard. "We have had violent tireshake every run this year. It really knocks us back a couple tenths of what we could run if we weren't shaking."

The Howard Racing Team's next event is the fourth stop on the Division 4 series, at State Capitol Dragway in Baton Rouge, La. There the defending Division 4 Champ Howard plans to continue the search for the right combination for her new car.

"You can keep trying or you can quit," stated Howard. "We're not quitters, so obviously that's not an option. You can't figure a car out sitting in the shop, you have to make runs down the track. The more runs we make down the track, it's only a matter of time before Tom [Conway] gets this car figured out."

-shr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Paul Jones , Jeff Wilson , Shelly Howard