STARR BATTLES IN LAS VEGAS "Driver Earns Hard Fought Top-20 Finish" LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (September 26, 2006) - With one win and one pole already to his credit at the old Las Vegas Motor Speedway, David Starr was looking forward to scoring similar...
STARR BATTLES IN LAS VEGAS
"Driver Earns Hard Fought Top-20 Finish"
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (September 26, 2006) - With one win and one pole already to his credit at the old Las Vegas Motor Speedway, David Starr was looking forward to scoring similar results on the newly configured race track with his Red Horse Racing team.
After a full day of testing, Starr and crew chief Jamie Jones hoped they had learned enough information about the progressively-banked race track to help them land a top five finish and keep their No. 11 team in the top five of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point's standings.
But Starr would have his work cut out for him behind the wheel of the No. 11 Toyotaforklift.net Toyota as he qualified 24th for the start of the race.
Starr had initial trouble making any progress on the field. With the drop of the green flag, Starr fell back one position to 25th. He complained to his crew that the truck was having some handling issues as he was free getting into the corners and tight coming off of the them.
The first caution at Lap 24 proved to be a much needed break for Starr who was battling his truck. Starr brought his No. 11 Toyota to the attention of his Red Horse Racing pit crew. The crew changed four tires, added fuel and made a track bar adjustment. A quick stop helped Starr to gain several positions on the field. He restarted in 15th place when the green flag waved at Lap 29.
Although Starr picked up positions in the pits, the changes didn't help the No. 11 Tundra as the team had hoped. By Lap 40, Starr had slid back to 17th place and was being passed by faster race trucks.
By the third caution at Lap 51, Starr had settled into the 19th spot on the race track. He was still battling a handling condition in the corners. The team elected to pit under the caution for four tires and fuel. The Red Horse Racing pit crew also added a rubber to the right front of the truck. The crew had some difficulty getting the rubber placed, so Starr lost some positions on pit road.
Starr returned to the track for the restart at Lap 56 in 26th place. But again, Starr struggled to get the truck to competitive form. By Lap 66, Starr had only gained one spot on the field. He complained to his crew that the truck was still too tight from the center off.
When the caution flag waved again at Lap 74, Starr pitted in hopes of getting some much needed assistance. The team removed the rubber from the right front, made a track bar adjustment and added fuel. Starr returned to the track in 22nd place for the restart at Lap 79.
But again, Starr couldn't seem to make moves on the trucks in front of him as he had hoped.
"I can't go anywhere," Starr told his crew under the caution at Lap 87 while sitting in 23rd place on the track. "I can't get off the corners and the other trucks are killing me down the straight-aways. We're missing something. I just don't know what it is."
The team elected to pit under the caution for fuel only, which meant that Starr would be able to make it until the end of the race without stopping again. Starr returned to the track in 16th place.
When the green flag fell at Lap 95, Starr again struggled to get his No. 11 Red Horse Racing truck going. In just 10 laps, he lost four positions and fell to 20th.
"I'm not sure what to stay," Starr told his crew under the Lap 106 caution. "We're just not going anywhere."
In a final effort to help their driver gain positions and retain his spot in the points, the Red Horse Racing crew brought Starr down pit road. The crew made a track bar adjustment, added fuel and changed tires. Starr returned to the track in 25th place with the goal of picking up positions on the track.
Finally, the changes seemed to help as Starr began to steadily pick up positions from the trucks in front of him. Over the final 40 laps of the race, Starr was able to gain five spots and salvage a top 20 effort.
With his 20th place finish, Starr fell to sixth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point's standings. He is 358 points behind leader Todd Bodine, and just 37 points out of the top five.
"It was a rough day out there for us today," Starr said. "We just couldn't get the No. 11 Toyotaforklift.net Toyota running the way it needed to be. We were battling a handling condition all night long and that kept us from gaining any ground on the field.
"We can't have any more off nights if we want to make a run for the top three in points or even this championship. We're too good of a team, and I know that we can do better and finish this season on a high note."
After a week off, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will return to action on Sat., Oct. 7 at Talladega Superspeedway for Series inaugural race at the track. The race will begin at 2:15 p.m. CT on SPEED and MRN/XM Satellite Radio.