Tire Issues Slow Starr at Home Track Fort Worth, TX -- November 5, 2010. David Starr was excited to race in front of his hometown crowd at the Texas Motor Speedway Friday night and midway through the Winstar World Casino 350k if looked like ...
Tire Issues Slow Starr at Home Track
Fort Worth, TX -- November 5, 2010. David Starr was excited to race in front of his hometown crowd at the Texas Motor Speedway Friday night and midway through the Winstar World Casino 350k if looked like he would give the hundreds of relatives and guests in the stands a great finish before a flat right front tire took the air out of Starr's sail dropping the Zachry Toyota to fifteenth at the checkers.
David qualified the Zachry No. 81 fifteenth on Thursday evening with a lap of 30.35 seconds at nearly 178 mph. David's fifteenth top-fifteen qualifying effort of the 2010 season was just one one-hundredth of a second behind teammate Jason White.
"We ran the fastest lap since we've been here, but didn't have the speed. It's frustrating because it drives good and I know it will race good, but as a competitor you want to start in the top-ten," David said following Thursday's qualifying session. "It's not where you start, it's where you finish. We believe we have a good truck for the race tomorrow."
The excitement started on first lap of Friday night's 147-lap race when Johanna Long had troubles causing the races first caution. David was caught in the inside line behind the incident dropping him back to seventeenth. David's Toyota was strong once the race resumed and he moved into the top-fifteen by lap twelve and up to thirteenth on lap twenty when he radioed to Crew Chief Jason-Miller that he was getting "big time tight from the center-off."
Fighting the tight condition, the Zachry Toyota would drop back several positions before the second caution flew on lap forty-two. With fresh tires and a chassis adjustment, David would make a strong move over the next twenty laps running as high as seventh in the running order before his Toyota would again get tight in the center of the turns on the fast mile and a half speedway.
On lap eighty-eight, Starr felt the right front tire of his Zachry Toyota go soft so he nursed the No. 81 around to the attention of the SS Green Light team for four fresh Goodyear tires and fuel but the damage was done as David was shown two laps down to the leaders. Luckily, the track remained green and within fifteen laps all of the leaders would have to come to the pits allowing David to gain back one lap before the fourth and final caution flew on lap 122.
Unknowingly, the fourth caution may have been a godsend for David. During the final caution the team was discovered the right front tire was once again just about to go flat with cords showing and rubber missing on the inside tread of the tire.
With four new tires and several more adjustments, David's Tundra was very fast over the final twenty-five laps, although he was a lap down, he was running in the seventh position on the track and ran his fastest lap-times of the race between laps 130 and 135. David was in the lucky-dog position as first truck one lap down to the leaders; all he needed was one more caution to get back on the lead-lap to contend for a top-ten finish. Unfortunately the caution never flew, forcing Starr to settle for a disheartening fifteenth place finish behind winner Kyle Busch.
"It's a disappointing night for the Zachry team, I guess I was just driving the right front tires off of it. The truck was tight from the center of the corner off the corner, just about everybody was tight. We blew that right front under green and that pretty much hurt us for the night," Starr said. "It's disappointing for the team, it's not the finish we were looking for the guys worked hard all night and never gave up."
"When I leave the race track, I can hold my head up high because we gave it everything we had. We're going to get better; we'll get there. It was just one of those racing deals," he added. "I'm just glad to be out here racing and doing what I love, but the competitive fire burns to be running up in the top-three or top-five. I know this team can do it; they just do not give up."
"On the positive side, our best run was the last run of the night so that says something about the direction we are headed."
Starr holds ninth in the NCWTS point standings behind leader Todd Bodine. David is now 66 points behind Mike Skinner for eighth and 85 points ahead of teammate Jason White who is tenth.
Starr and the SS Green Light Racing team will head to the Arizona desert Friday night for the Lucas Oil 150 at the Phoenix International Raceway.