Shelly Howard remembered...

Discussion in 'System One Pit Buzz' started by Will Hanna, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Will Hanna

    Will Hanna We put the 'inside' in Top Alcohol
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    Right now, I think all of us in the racing community, especially the alcohol community are reeling from the loss of Shelly and Brian. Tragically Shelly and Brian lost their life in what very well may be the worst accident in the history of drag racing. If not the worst, certainly one of the worst.

    Rather than focus on the details of what happened Saturday night, I would like for us to start looking at the great woman and racer Shelly was.

    Without a doubt, Shelly was one of the most passionate racers out there. Whether you agreed with her or not, there was no doubt she meant business when it came to the category she loved, Top Alcohol Dragster.

    I think she was also one of the best racers in the alcohol ranks with the fans. She always took the time to talk with fans, and had a large following. I know that first hand as I wasn't much more than a kid wondering around the alcohol pits a few years back when I met and befriended Shelly in the mid 90's. I'd talk to her every year at the nationals in Houston after that, and the friendship grew from there.

    I became involved with Shelly in 2000 initially as PR rep, but eventually started working on her crew that year doing bottom end with Mark Gardner, finishing the year out with them, and working on and off with them over the next few years. I also sponsored her car as an associate from 2000 to present.

    Shelly was a very close friend, and much like a mother to many of us at the track. Regardless of what I had going, whatever happened, I always had a place to stay with the Howards at the track.

    It's really tragic to lose her, and Brian, who was a really nice guy. I'm not sure what his exact ailment was, but he was mentally handicapped, and Shelly took care of him. That was one of Shelly's main concerns if anything ever happened to her, that Brian would be taken care of.

    I'm really going to miss having her at the track. I think we all are. I can't imagine the pain the family is going through, but I'm sure everyone is praying for them. I'd also like to ask people to keep Tom Conway, Joe Monden and the crew in your prayers as well.

    Next Saturday in Heaven, it's the alcohol match race of the century, Shelly Howard vs. Darrell Russell. Rick Meyer will rejoin Shelly as crew chief, and I'm sure Heaven will get one great show...

    They will be sorely missed, but they are in paradise now.

    RIP Shelly and Brian
    God's Speed

    please feel free to use this thread to reflect your memories of Shelly. I'm sure we could all use good stories of better days right now.
     
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  2. tjenna

    tjenna Top Alcohol

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    Thoughts and prayers for the Howard Family and Friends.
     
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  3. Dale_F

    Dale_F Super Comp

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    I am so profoundly sad that I cannot express in words how much this hurts.

    I first met Shelly online on the old compuserve tuesday nite dragracing chat in 1997. We usaully talked most evey week there. They came to Denver for a D5 race in 1998, Shelly said stop by and my son and I did. Shelly asked if we could help as they were low on crew for that race. We did, and the friendship with the Howards grew from there. I had the pleasure to help a few times on their car since then and Both Paul and Shelly always treated me like family. I will miss Shelly's friendship greatly.

    Dale Fackler
    Aurora, Colorado
     
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  4. Hemi Parts

    Hemi Parts Top Fuel

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    I got in very late last night from the races or perhaps I should say early this morning feeling kind of low because we had failed to qualify for the eveny in San Antonio for just a bunch of dumb non-performance realted things. The phone rang very early this morning with this tragic news. All of a sudden none of this racing stuff seems very important. This too will pass but for me and my team right now our thoughts and prayers are with Howard and his family.

    At the memorial for Darrell Russell many of were greeting one another and exchanging hand shakes. In the group was Shelly Howard and I reached out to her for a hand shake. Perceptively Shelly sensed that I was struggling a good bit with the situation and instead of shaking my hand she gave be a big hug and I felt better. That is how I choose to remember Shelly.

    God Speed Shelly, I will miss you.
     
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  5. TulsaDragFan

    TulsaDragFan New Member

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    I got to know Shelly online through another drag racing site several years back. I then would see her at the division 4 races in the region. She would always take the time to talk and she would say come on by (to their shop) anytime to hang out and help if we wanted.

    The last time we spoke was in '03 but I followed her racing each week like she was family. She made you feel that way. I am still in shock as it seems like I lost a family member.

    I meant to go out to TRP for their opener yesterday but life kept me away. I didn't know she was going to be doing testing passes but I was always hoping to see her run at her 'home' track.

    I will miss seeing her and the team at the races and be thankful I was one who got the chance to have her touch my life. I am sure she did many.
    Our prayers, love and blessing go out to each of her family and team members.

    Matt Arbuckle & family

    Even though I don't race and am just a lifelong fan, I am thankful to have places like these to share as it is helpful to be among those in the drag racing family who understand.
     
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  6. TheBlondeCrewChief

    TheBlondeCrewChief Almost A/F

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    Since her first year in the alcohol ranks, we have known her as a driver, fiercly dedicated to the sport and to her family.

    I have no words for this.

    Our prayers are with you, Jennifer, Tracy, and Paul.
     
    #6
  7. The Zone

    The Zone Member

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    Words cannot describe how I am feeling right now. It is one of the saddest days of my life. I am in the process of putting together a memorial for Shelly on her new site which I completed only a month ago. It will take a day or two to put together this deal, but please email me speedzone@telus.net with your thoughts so I can make her site and her something to remember. I have many photos thanks to David Smith and Guy VAn syckle for the past three years, but if you have any you would like to share please send those as well.
    God speed Shelly and Brian.

    Dean
     
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  8. KathyL

    KathyL Super Comp

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    Will what a great thread to start...

    my memories of Shelly are all great she was just that kind of lady. I will remember her as she was at the last Houston Divisional '05, we talked, we laughed, it was an awesome weekend...my highlight was when she won and then asked me to be in her winner circle photo. I will cherish that forever, Shelly was a great competitor, true to her fans always had time for them just a great person. Shelly will be greatly missed by the racing community.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Paul, Tracy, Jennifer and the crew at this time.

    RIP Shelly & Brian and thanks for touching my life

    [ April 03, 2005, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: KathyL ]
     
    #8
  9. ATC Racing

    ATC Racing New Member

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    Will,
    Please represent ATC Racing by offering any assistance possible to the Howard family and friends. Let us know how we can help.

    H. Clack

    "Show class,have pride,and display character.If you do,winning takes care of itself".
    Paul Bryant

    Shelly and family had all three.
     
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  10. Wes Tarkington

    Wes Tarkington Megalomaniac

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    My mom and Shelly attended the same high school in Muskogee, OK just a couple years apart. Funny how our family's lives stayed in parallel throughout the years when we found ourselves racing in some of the same events (Super Comp, 7.90, the NHRA division races in different classes). Shelly and Paul granted me my first hands-on experience working on a blown alcohol Hemi not long after they jumped into the TAD fray. Ironically it was at the end of my first weekend turning wrenches on a TOp Fuel car that I learned of this tragic news.

    The Howard Family was always as kind and accomodating to ours as they could be. I recall one crisp morning during a national event at Ennis when I had some friends over for breakfast....some good ol' stick to yer ribs biscuits and sausage gravy. I had mentioned it in passing to Shelly and the whole crew showed up...to help cook so I could eat a bite and go make first-round in super comp. They made it to the line to watch me race.

    We will miss Shelly and Brian most terribly. This sad news is just setting in about 24 hours after they left our plane of existence. OUr condolences to the entire family and team.
     
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  11. David Christy

    David Christy New Member

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    Shelly was a very good friend and a great competitor.Who will be sorely missed. Shelly an Paul would do anything they could to help a fellow racer. Shelly had a love of racing.I have spent some time with Brain and he was a fun loving kid to be around. They will truly be missed God Speed Shelly an Brain .

    Our thoughts and prayers are with,Paul,Tracy,Jennifer,and the crew

    David Christy
     
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  12. David Smith

    David Smith Member

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    My Thoughts and prayers go out to the Howard family. I am still in shock and a loss for words but Shellys friendship meant alot to me I am just glad I got the chance to know her. It is kinda funny how I got to meet Shelly back in 2001 as I was playing a joke on her daughter Tracy as everytime in the chatroom she would always say I will be right back have to do the laundry so I told her I was gonna stop by her moms trailer and drop my laundry off in Chicago. It took me until Saturday of that Chicago event to get the guts to walk up to somebody I did not know and hand them a laundry bag with a few Joliet event shirts inside but I am glad I did as I got to meet and make a great friend. For the remainder of that race I would always drop by and no matter who Shelly was talking too she would stop and come over and talk to me. That was my last race to attend that season so from there through phone conversations and email s I became great friends with Shelly. No sooner then we met and she had the accident in Noble I was pretty upset about that and wanted to do something for her to help save what was her best season ever in the TAD class so I made up a special award for her called the Beat Your Best Award and awarded her a plaque and Thanks to Bill who helped me get new front wheels for her new blown car. From there on out I attended as many races as I could to help out where I could I always enjoyed cleaning her car off before she made a pass and through her friendship I got to meet a ton of Top Alcohol Teams and new friends. We did have our ups and downs as we did not see eye to eye at times on the parity issuie it almost torn our friendship apart but after time went by we worked things out and I am very thankful for that as last year I got to spend a weekend with Shelly and Paul in betweeen races and see what a team has to go through to get ready to race back to back weeks. I also got to meet her son Brian then too as Shelly was always very proud of him. Then onto Joliet we went it was pretty cool stopping on the side of the highway sleeping at night and then heading to the track the next day and see what its like for a team to travel from race to race. Heck I do not know what I am talking about anymore just know I will miss calling Shelly every few weeks to say hi. Will miss her hugs, and I will miss my best friend.

    I made a tribute gallery on my webshots page of some of the pictures I took last season of Shelly.

    here is the link In Memory of Shelly Howard
     
    #12
  13. Lee Callaway

    Lee Callaway The Gov

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    This is a sad situation...

    I just couldn't believe the news of the tragic loss this morning. RIP Shelly and Brian. Shelly and I have become good friends over the last 8 years. She would always welcome me into her trailer, were we would share laughs and jokes. She was definitely a fierce competitor, and the last person you would want in the lane next to you. I will miss Shelly, off and on the track, like everyone else.

    My family's thought and prayers are with Paul, the family and the crew.

    Lee Callaway
     
    #13
  14. Darren Smith

    Darren Smith New Member

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    I never had the Chance to Meet Shelly, I saw her race in Dallas in '03. But everything I heard about her from friends told me she was a First class woman and Racer! Godspeed My friend!
     
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  15. nitrohawk

    nitrohawk New Member

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    Racing has lost a true legend. The whole Holley family and Holley & Woosley Racing Team has deep sorrow at Shelly's loss and send our prayers out to the Howard family.
     
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  16. The Little Lizard

    The Little Lizard New Member

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    Shelly, was one of the current racers I actually felt some connection to and could identify with. I am in the health professions as Shelly was. I admired how she could do the racing, her profession and balance family life. She was an inspiration for me and I admired her ability to get it all done. Very few people have that gift.


    A Sad
    Little Lizard
     
    #16
  17. Michael Gunderson

    Michael Gunderson New Member

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    I have no words that will start to express my sadness. Shelly was a great person as well as a great racer, we will truly miss her. I want to send my prayers for her and son.
     
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  18. Katie Vaughn

    Katie Vaughn New Member

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    I would like to Thank Will for calling my family last night to let us know the aweful news. I cant believe that one of my mothers is gone. To anyone that entered her pits she took care of them. I had the honor of staying with Shelly at the track on several occasions. She took me right under her wing and treated me like a daughter. The racing world not only lost an incredible driver, a woman, a friend and a sister. She will always live on in all of our hearts.

    I miss you Shelly,
     
    #18
  19. SMcLEMORE

    SMcLEMORE New Member

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    My thoughts and prayers go out to the Howard family and crew. May God be with you every step of the way. Stacy McLemore
     
    #19
  20. T. Baird

    T. Baird New Member

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    We were so sadden to hear of the tragic loss of Shelly Howard and Brian. She was a great racer, wonderful wife, mother, friend and a very classy lady. Whenever we came to the races, she always offered food, drink, and a place to rest. She was a great leader in TAD, and whether or not you agreed with her opinions, she truly did care about the TAD class and it's racers.
    Our sincere sympathy to Paul, her family, and her crew. Shelly was a very special lady and she will be missed.
    With love and sympathy,
    Tina and Chuck Baird
     
    #20

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