STARR SALVAGES 11TH PLACE FINISH IN MEMPHIS "Driver And Team Fight Handling Issues All Weekend" MILLINGTON, TENNESSEE (July 17, 2006) - The Red Horse Racing Team returned to Memphis Motorsports Park this weekend as the defending winners of the...
STARR SALVAGES 11TH PLACE FINISH IN MEMPHIS
"Driver And Team Fight Handling Issues All Weekend"
MILLINGTON, TENNESSEE (July 17, 2006) - The Red Horse Racing Team returned to Memphis Motorsports Park this weekend as the defending winners of the O'Reilly 200. Knowing that the No. 11 team had visited victory lane the previous season gave driver David Starr a shot of confidence at the Tennessee short track.
"It's good to go to a race track where you know the team has won before," Starr said before the race. "It gives the team a little bit more confidence."
Starr and the Red Horse Racing team struggled to find the set-up they wanted for the race in two practice sessions on Friday and qualified in 28th-place for the O'Reilly 200. Starr would have his work cut out for him on the race track and the crew would have to be flawless in the pits if the Red Horse Racing Team were to return to Victory Lane. After all, no winner at Memphis Motorsports Park had come from deeper than fifth in the field in eight previous races.
Starr picked up a couple of positions quickly after the drop of the green flag. When the caution waved at Lap four, Starr reported that the No. 11 Toyota was loose from the center off. But Starr thought the truck might come to him with time. Over the course of the race's first long green flag run, Starr was unable to make up much ground on the race track. By Lap 55, Starr had moved into 24th-place.
The race's second caution at Lap 60 couldn't have come at a better time for Starr and the Red Horse Racing team. Starr brought the truck to the attention of his pit crew. They changed four tires, added fuel, made an air pressure adjustment and took a half of a rubber out of the right rear. With all those changes, Starr's team still helped him to pick up positions on pit road. Starr returned to the track in 21st-place. After the restart at Lap 66, Starr slowly began to pick up positions on the race track.
At Lap 75, Starr had moved into the Top 20 -- in 19th-place. Starr reported to the crew that they still seemed to be getting beat in the center of the corners.
Another long green flag run from Lap 89 to Lap 175 gave Starr the opportunity to show his prowess on the race track. Starr picked up five more spots and was sitting in 14th-place when the caution flag waved at Lap 175. The Red Horse Racing team changed four tires, added fuel and made an air pressure adjustment to the No. 11 Toyota. A quick stop helped get Starr back on track in 11th-place.
Starr was able to move into the top 10 in the closing laps of the race, but contact with the No. 98 caused minor damage to the truck. The damage, coupled with a green-white-checker finish at the end of the race relegated Starr and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota to an 11th-place finish.
Starr dropped to eighth-place in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point's standings. He is 289 points behind leader Todd Bodine.
"I'll be honest when I say that I am disappointed with our finish tonight," Starr said. "When you come into a race track where you know the team is the defending winner, I guess you have some higher expectations for yourself.
"Our short track program has been so good this year, too, I think we just thought we would do better -- at least a top 10. We'll just put this race behind us and go out there and get them at Indianapolis. It's another short track, so I think we will come out of there with a solid finish."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will take the next two weekends off and return to the race track at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis on Friday, Aug. 4th.