STARR HANGS TOUGH FOR ANOTHER TOP-10 FINISH "Driver And Team Persevere In Caution Filled Race" Madison, Illinois (May 1, 2006) -- As the most recent winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, David Starr and the No. 11 Red...
STARR HANGS TOUGH FOR ANOTHER TOP-10 FINISH
"Driver And Team Persevere In Caution Filled Race"
Madison, Illinois (May 1, 2006) -- As the most recent winner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, David Starr and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra team came to Gateway International Raceway full of confidence and enthusiasm and they left that way after a hard fought eighth place finish on Saturday night.
"Anytime you can win in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is a big deal. It is just so competitive these days," Starr said before coming to Gateway. "We knew we had our work cut out for us if we wanted to repeat our trip to victory lane, but I know if any team can do it -- it is this Red Horse Racing Team. We're still learning, but I know we are gaining on it every week and I am confident going into any race with this team and this Tundra behind me."
With rain washing out qualifying, Starr and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra started fifth for the Dodge Ram 200. Before the race, the team had just about an hour of practice to get acclimated to the challenging race track. Starr and the team worked to fix a tight condition throughout practice. At the conclusion of practice, Starr and his team believed the truck would be good during the race.
When the green flag waved, Starr dropped temporarily from his fifth-place spot. By Lap five, he was back in fifth-place. Starr reported to the team that the tight condition he had experienced in practice was now gone, but he was loose off. Starr told the team he would like for the truck to be tightened up on the first stop.
At Lap 16, Starr was still struggling with the handling of his race truck. He told the team that he couldn't get into turn three like he needed to and that he was working with the truck, but he would like for it to be tighter.
Despite the loose handling condition, Starr managed to hold his spot in the top-five. When the NASCAR competition caution was displayed at Lap 44, Starr was in fourth-place. He brought his No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra down pit road. The team pitted for four tires and fuel and made an air pressure adjustment to help the loose condition.
On the restart at Lap 48, Starr would start in 20th-place due to varying pit strategies. He was hit from behind when the green flag waved. Starr told the team that everyone had gotten stacked up on the restart, which caused him to be bumped. But he told the team that he thought the truck would still be ok.
With the fresh tires, Starr began moving through the field. At Lap 61, Starr had picked up four positions and was in 16th-place. He told his Red Horse Racing crew that the truck was awesome. With a steady hand behind the wheel, Starr began moving through the field. Lap after lap, Starr was ticking positions off on the race track. At Lap 75, Starr was 13th. Just seven laps later, Starr and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing team had moved into the top-10.
At Lap 100, Starr was in sixth-place, but he couldn't hold his position. Starr's truck was getting tight and the tires were falling off. Trucks with fresher tires were lined up behind him. By Lap 103, Starr had fallen to 11th-place. The caution waved on Lap 104, just in time for Starr as his truck was getting tighter. The Red Horse Racing crew came in on Lap 107 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. The team restarted in 20th-place on Lap 110.
Two laps after the restart, Starr told his crew that the truck wasn't bad. The key to getting back into the top-10 would be to settle down and patiently make his way through the field. Starr's plan seemed to work. By Lap 123, he was in 14th-place. That's when Starr narrowly avoided disaster. Starr was in the path of the No. 6 truck as it wrecked on the track. Starr's truck suffered cosmetic damage, but he was confident the truck would be fine for the rest of the race.
After the restart at Lap 127, Starr continued to come up through the field. Fresher tires helped him to move up into the top-10 by Lap 142. As the laps ticked off the board, Starr reported to his crew that his truck was getting tighter and that he was having problems especially coming off Turn Two.
At Lap 153, Starr had moved into the eighth-place on the race track. He would hold his position until the checkered flag. It was Starr's second top-10 finish of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Starr fell one spot in the points to sixth-place. He is 154-points behind first-place Todd Bodine.
"I think tonight's race and finish proves just how good this Red Horse Racing Team is going to be this year," Starr said. "We battled handling problems today on the race track, but we were able to overcome those problems and come out of here with another solid finish. I have told everyone that it would take me a few races to get settled in with this new team, but that we are really hitting our stride right now. I really feel that we are going to contend for the win every week thanks to this great Toyota Tundra program and to crew chief Jamie Jones and my crew. I'm looking forward to Charlotte."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes the next two weeks off. It will return to action on Friday, May 19 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. for the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 at 8:45 p.m. ET. The race can be heard on MRN and XM Satellite Radio and seen on SPEED.