Howard Makes History
June 1, 2003 | 12:03 A.M. EST
It was Howard’s second win of the season and his first career superspeedway victory. The seventeen-year-old Howard won on the half-mile Salem Speedway in April.
Running third on the final restart, Howard overtook Jason Jarrett and Rick Carelli by the time they got into turn two. He then cruised the remaining twenty-two laps to a final margin of more than 4 seconds over runner-up Brent Sherman. They were followed by Frank Kimmel, Jarrett, and Carelli.
"The Mack Trucks-Beck Dodge ran great today," said Howard. "We thought we had the car to do the job, but we knew Frank (lap leader of the day; 108 of 134 laps) would be tough to beat. We started the day off tight, but made some changes and the car was perfect at the end. The crew clicked off some great stops today and the car really responded on the restarts.
"We wouldn’t be standing here if it wasn’t for our sponsors - Mack Trucks, Beck Dodge, Celadon Trucking, Stout’s RV, MacDougall Pierce Construction, Shepherd Insurance, ASC, X-1R, and American Concrete. Without them, we wouldn’t be celebrating in victory lane."
Never running farther back than 5th on the day, Howard started off in 2nd but fell back a few spots because the car was too tight. They took a round out on the first pit stop and pulled a spring rubber the next time in.
Howard continued knocking on the door and once it opened, he drove right through it, never looking back.
Racing’s latest and youngest "young gun" has 2 wins, 5 top fives, and 6 top tens in 9 starts this year. Both victories and four of the top five finishes have come over the last 6 races.
Today’s race will be replayed next Sunday at 4 pm EDT on the Outdoor Channel.
Howard hopes to continue his winning ways next Saturday at Pocono Raceway, where he finished 5th last July. The Giant Food Stores 200 starts at 1 pm EDT and will be shown live on SPEED Channel.