PERSISTENT STARR FINISHES 11TH AT MONSTER MILE "Rare Penalty Costs No. 11 Toyota Precious Track Position" DOVER, DELAWARE (JUNE 5, 2006) - It was an uphill battle for David Starr and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing team at the Dover International...
PERSISTENT STARR FINISHES 11TH AT MONSTER MILE
"Rare Penalty Costs No. 11 Toyota Precious Track Position"
DOVER, DELAWARE (JUNE 5, 2006) - It was an uphill battle for David Starr and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing team at the Dover International Speedway from the drop of the green flag. Despite handling issues and a NASCAR penalty, Starr managed to bring home an 11th-place finish at the 'Monster Mile' and remained in the top five in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point's standings.
"Some days are a challenge, and this was one of those days," Starr said. "Our Red Horse Racing Tundra wasn't that bad, but we had to fight through so many issues including the penalty and then traffic on the track. Having good track position was so key and when it mattered the most, we were mired in traffic. We just couldn't get that top 10 finish that I thought we deserved. The Red Horse Racing team did a great job for me on this truck though, and I'm proud that we stayed with it and hung tough out there today."
Starr qualified the No. 11 Toyota Tundra in 14th place. After a slight rain delay late in the afternoon, the AAA Insurance 200 finally got under way. The No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota lost a couple of positions early on the one-mile concrete oval. By Lap five, Starr had found his rhythm and began regaining the positions he had lost. At Lap 18, Starr was sitting in 13th-place. He reported to his team that the truck wasn't that bad as the caution flag waved for a spin on the track at Lap 19.
Starr held his 13th-place position over the course of a long green flag run. Despite not moving up through the field, Starr told the Red Horse Racing team that he was happy with the truck. The second caution of the race waved at Lap 63 for debris on the track. Starr brought the No. 11 Toyota down pit road to the attention of the Red Horse Racing crew. They changed four tires and added fuel. Starr returned to the track in 14th-place for the restart at Lap 68.
At Lap 82, Starr retook 13th place. Over the next few laps, he and another competitor switched 13th and 14th place several times. At Lap 98 when the third caution flag waved, Starr was in 14th place. Starr told the team that the handling on his Red Horse Racing Toyota was not perfect.
"I am tight from the center off and loose with someone behind me," Starr told his crew.
Starr pitted for four tires and fuel. The Texas native returned to the track in 13th place, but a fueling penalty assessed to the team by NASCAR sent the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota to the end of the longest line. Starr restarted the race in 20th position at Lap 104. Although there was a setback due to the infraction, Starr told the Red Horse Racing crew that his No. 11 Toyota was still good enough to climb through the field.
Starr began ticking off positions as he passed truck after truck on the track. By Lap 126, Starr was in 17th place. Less than 20 laps later at Lap 142, Starr had picked up another two places and was sitting in the top 15. Fighting his way back through the field, Starr posted some of the fastest laps of any truck on the track at Lap 152. He reported to the crew that the truck had come in pretty good following the last pit stop. When the fourth and final caution waved at Lap 158, Starr was back in 13th place. Starr brought the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Tundra to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel.
Following the final pit stop, Starr returned to the track in 13th place. In the closing laps of the race, Starr was able to pick up two more positions on the track. He moved into the 11th spot at Lap 198, which is where the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota would finish the race.
"We were just too aero tight today," Starr said. "I really thought we had a Top 10 truck, but the tight handling condition and then getting that penalty really hurt us. It was just hard working through traffic," Starr said. "The important thing is that we finished the race, and an 11th-place finish at Dover isn't that bad."
With the 11th-place finish at Dover, Starr fell to fifth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. Starr is currently 20 points out of fourth-place and 232 points behind current leader Todd Bodine.
"If you would have told me back in Daytona that this Red Horse Racing team would already have one win and be sitting in the top five in points this early in the season, I'm not sure I would have believed you," Starr said. "I was confident that we would be a contender for wins every week, but I didn't know that we would click the way that we have. I couldn't be prouder of this team, and I am really looking forward to getting back home to Texas with this team next week."