Teamwork Nets First Top-Ten of 2011 for Starr
Darlington, SC – March 12, 2011. After being involved in accidents each of the first two races of the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 2011 season, the SS Green Light Racing team needed a little good luck. Unfortunately, one lap into Saturday night’s Too Tough To Tame 200 at the Darlington Raceway, it appeared that streak of bad luck would continue as David Starr was forced into the outside wall on the very first corner of the race at NASCAR’s oldest race-track.
The Zachry Toyota was solid in morning practice with top ten lap times and Starr qualified thirteenth in the thirty-six-truck field with a lap of 28.68 seconds around the mile and a third speedway at a speed of 171.44 mph.
“My crew chief Jason Miler, Matt Faulkner and all the guys did just an exceptional job again preparing the truck,” Starr said. “It was just excellent in practice; it was consistent, it handled great. It was awesome in qualifying.”
David brought the No. 81 Zachry Toyota to the green flag from the thirteenth starting position and before the field had cleared the first corner two trucks got together right in front of him and he was hit from behind and slammed hard into the outside wall causing considerable damage to the right front of his race truck and it looks as though the streak of bad luck would continue this weekend.
Before completing even one lap on the tough old egg-shaped track, Starr brought his wounded mount to the attention of the SS Green Light crew and they went to work patching and repairing the nose and fender of the No. 81 Tundra. Each caution over the first half of the 200-mile race the crew would continue to work on the truck fine-tuning the steering, suspension and body work to improve the handling for David.
“After the crash on the first turn of green it was disappointing because it took us out of contention to having a great finish or a win,” David continued. “But I can’t say enough about the team.”
Under the races fifth caution on lap 78, David was awarded the “lucky dog” free pass and sped around the track to the tail of the lead field where he restarted in twenty-sixth place. Over the second half of the 147-lap race, David overtook the trucks in front of him one by one moving up to eighteenth by lap 110 and then around several more trucks to thirteenth by lap 120. David reached eleventh place when the final caution of the race flew on lap 141 and in the final four laps of green at the end of the race Starr was able to maneuver into tenth position, a fantastic finish through everything the team had endured.
“When your back is up against the wall like that, it says a lot about our organization. They never gave up; they just kept working, we must have raised the hood six or seven times. They kept making the truck better and better and we finished up with a top-ten, it was awesome, it felt almost like a win for us.”
“The finishing result doesn’t show how good a truck our Zachry Toyota was,” Starr concluded. “But, under the circumstances it was a great finish. It was a real team effort and something we can all be proud of. Just a great, great job by the team.”
The top-ten finish is just what Starr and the SS Green Light team needed in the NCWTS point standings with David jumping eight spots to thirteenth in the driver’s standings and the No. 81 jumping nine places to sixteenth in the owner’s standings.
Starr and the rest of the NCWTS teams have several weeks off before the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2nd.