Howard has Getz Motorsports Off to Great Start in 2023 – DTD Excluisve


Duane Howard has had a long and storied career driving a Modified stock car and his accomplishments have been well documented throughout the years. Howard has amassed 271 total wins in his career with 90 of those coming at the Big Diamond Speedway, second to only Craig Von Dohren’s 103 wins. Howard picked up the nickname “The Diamond Cutter” early in his early days at the speedway and to this day Howard has kept up the nickname as he surgically worked his to the lead on Friday night to win the $10,000 first place prize in the track’s annual “Money in the Mountains” race.

Friday’s win was the team’s third win already this season out of five starts after what Howard would call a lackluster season in 2022 despite winning four races and the championship at Big Diamond. Those would be the only wins of 2022 for the team, leaving them wanting to better that mark in 2023.

If the first month of the season is any indication, Howard and the Getz Motorsports team will be one to watch as the season progresses. The team started the season with a win at Lincoln Speedway and backed that win up with a dominating win at BAPS Speedway. The opener at Big Diamond found the team getting a flat and having to battle back for a top ten finish and then at their new Saturday night home Bridgeport Motorsports Park the team finished third on opening night. This Friday night the team put out a warning to the competition that they will be tough to beat as Howard bested a star-studded field of modifieds to take the big win. 

“Yeah, you know what, it is really enjoyable to start the season like this,” said a happy Howard in the team’s trailer after the race. “In the off-season we made some plans to race elsewhere and travel to some other shows and we have been fortunate to come out of the box with a really good car and it’s just going to translate and make you better wherever we race and at our local tracks as well. We have a really good car for here (Big Diamond) and it gets around the bottom. Tonight the track was a little bit more bitey than usual for a 50 lapper, but we were able to work the bottom and get it done.”

As in most races, restarts are the key and that was no different on this night as Howard made the winning pass of Timmy Buckwalter on one of the late race restarts.

“Everything was done on the restarts,” explained Howard. “If you got a good restart, you could make passes. He (Buckwalter) would creep up on me on the restarts and then I would creep up on him on the restarts. We were playing games with each other but with $10,000 on the line we both had to do what we had to do. It all came down to the restarts which you don’t like but that’s what we had tonight with the track. The outside wasn’t the place you wanted to be but I was able to get a jump there when we took the lead and beat him into one and that was the race from there.”

The middle portion of the race saw Buckwalter being able to maintain a safe lead over Howard but his No. 15G started to come to him during the latter stages allowing Howard to close the advantage.

“About 15 (laps) to go, I changed some of the brake bias that allowed me to keep the car lower on the track,” cited Howard. “The track was starting to slick up just a little bit and the track started getting to the way I like it to be so I could rotate the bottom more and keep the car from sliding up the track and I could see Timmy was starting to struggle a little bit and pushing up the track a little. I didn’t want to overdrive the corners and was trying to take it easy but with 15 to go, I said to myself I better get up on the wheel and get after it. At that point I thought I could get to him but without a restart I wasn’t sure if I would be able to pass him. It was tough to pass tonight, the track needs to get a little wider and I know Jake will get it that way as the season goes on and the weather cooperates a little more.”

With the way the cars are set up nowadays using the coil over suspension and the left side panhard bar they can be a handful to drive.

“You just couldn’t make the outside work tonight, it was very sketchy when you put the car up there,” mentioned Howard. “These cars today are so bitey and you have so much side stick that they just start bouncing. It’s a shame we came to this with these cars. When it is dry and slick you can get them hooked but when the track has bite, and it is a little rough they are a handful to drive, and you can’t really move around a lot.”

Obviously when you are winning everyone is having a good time but for Howard and the team winning is great, but they are also having a good time so far in 2023.

“We are all having a good time, it is fun going to the racetrack each week,” said Howard. “It just seems different this year, we are having a lot of fun and if we have a bad night and we will, we’ll just let it roll off our backs and come back stronger the next time. Last year got us down and the mindset for myself was down especially at Grandview but this year is much better and of course winning early makes that easier and right now we just have to keep riding the wave that we are on. I am pumped up and ready to race and I feel like a teenager right now. I don’t know why but I do. I feel like now that I can’t wait to get to a racetrack and want to run seven nights a week. I feel like I am up on the wheel and really confident in my driving.”

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