Phoenix: David Starr race notes

STARR'S WARRIOR ATTITUDE NETS SIXTH PLACE FINISH IN THE DESERT "Driver's Strong Run Jumps Him To Fifth In Points Race" AVONDALE, ARIZONA (November 13, 2006) - David Starr and his No. 11 Red Horse Racing Team have had two goals for the...

STARR'S WARRIOR ATTITUDE NETS SIXTH PLACE FINISH IN THE DESERT

"Driver's Strong Run Jumps Him To Fifth In Points Race"

AVONDALE, ARIZONA (November 13, 2006) - David Starr and his No. 11 Red Horse Racing Team have had two goals for the remaining two races of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- to get the best finishes possible each week and to finish in the top five in the points standings.

At Phoenix this weekend, Starr and his team did just what they needed to as they secured a sixth-place finish in the Casino Arizona 150 at Phoenix International Speedway, which moved them up to fifth place in the points standings.

"This was a great point's night for us," Starr said. "To come all the way from the 24th starting spot and nearly come out of Phoenix with a top five was just awesome. I'm so proud of what we did here today, and I can't wait to get to Homestead."

Starting 24th at the one-mile desert track, Starr would have to be on top of his game in order to finish strong in the next to last race of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. But as a former winner at Phoenix International Raceway, Starr was aware of just what he needed to do to get a good finish.

At the drop of the green flag, Starr was able to pick up four quick spots -- moving into 20th place. For Starr, that was just the beginning of the march through the field.

On the wide race track where drivers can often find various lanes in which to pass, Starr continued to pass trucks one by one. By Lap 15, Starr had moved up to 17th place. When the caution waved at Lap 34, Starr had moved up to the 12th spot.

Starr's march -- gaining 12 spots in 34 laps -- was impressive. But the team wanted more. Starr told his pit crew that his No. 11 Toyota was tight in the center of the corners, but it was also a little free when he would get back in the gas.

At Lap 35, Starr brought his truck to the attention of his pit crew. The crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment to help the handling of the truck. A lightning quick pit stop helped Starr to pick up five spots on pit road. Starr retuned to the race track in seventh spot.

When the green flag waved at Lap 39, Starr lost a couple of quick spots and fell to ninth place. But Starr was determined to get those positions back. It took several laps, but by Lap 75, Starr was back in the seventh spot.

Starr was still in the seventh spot when the caution waved at Lap 97. Starr told his crew that the truck was still tight in the center of the corners. He brought the No. 11 Toyota down pit road for four tires, fuel and an air pressure and track bar adjustment.

Once again, the No. 11 crew's solid work in the pits helped Starr to pick up a spot, returning him to the race track in sixth place for the restart at Lap 102.

When the green flag waved, Starr held on to sixth spot for several laps before making a pass to move into the top five at Lap 119. Starr told his crew that his truck wasn't too bad.

With just a handful of laps remaining, Starr was in the top five. But a hard charging No. 88 truck was determined to get in the top five, as well. After several laps of battling on the track, the No. 88 truck passed the No. 11 with just a couple of laps to go -- dropping Starr to sixth place.

"I hated to lose that spot there so late, but I just couldn't hold Matt (Crafton) off any longer," Starr said. "We had an awesome run today, and a lot of that is thanks to this Red Horse Racing pit crew. They did an amazing job on pit road helping me to pick up spots and getting me out in front of a lot of trucks.

"It was just a good point's night, and we're looking forward to going to Homestead and getting them there."

The sixth-place finish was Starr's 11th top-10 of the 2006 season. With the finish, Starr moved up two spots in the points into the top five. He holds a 17 point lead over his next closest competitor, and he is just 41 points out of fourth place.

On Friday, Nov. 17, Starr will have one more shot to get into Victory Lane at Homestead-Miami Speedway at 8:05 p.m. ET.

-credit: rhr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers David Starr
Teams Red Horse Racing