HOMETRACK NOT SO KIND TO STARR "Texan Native Struggles All Night With Handling" FORT WORTH, TEXAS (JUNE 12, 2006) - David Starr wanted his homecoming to Texas Motor Speedway with the No. 11 Red Horse Racing team to be a celebration, but...
HOMETRACK NOT SO KIND TO STARR
"Texan Native Struggles All Night With Handling"
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (JUNE 12, 2006) - David Starr wanted his homecoming to Texas Motor Speedway with the No. 11 Red Horse Racing team to be a celebration, but the night was less than perfect as Starr was never a factor in the Sam's Town 400.
"Going into Texas, I really thought this would be the best chance ever for me to win at home, but we just couldn't seem to get a handle on the truck tonight," Starr said. "Nothing really went our way, but that's just how racing goes. Now, we just have to put this race behind us and focus on next week at Michigan International Speedway."
Starr and the No. 11 Red Horse Racing Toyota started in 17th-place. He picked up two positions early on the track. But at Lap 17, Starr began to slide backwards as he fell to 21st-spot.
Starr complained to his team that the No. 11 Toyota was snapping loose. When the caution waved at Lap 21, the Red Horse Racing team elected to come down pit road for changes to help improve the handling issues. The Red Horse Racing pit crew changed right side tires, added fuel and made and air pressure and a track bar adjustment. The decision to take on only two tires helped move Starr up on the track. He took the green flag at Lap 25 in 12th-place.
The crew's changes did not help Starr. Soon after taking the green flag, Starr began sliding backwards through the field once again. At Lap 29, Starr had fallen back to 18th-place. He continued to complain about a loose handling condition, but he admitted that with time the truck seemed to get better.
When the caution waved at Lap 49, Starr was 16th on the track. The Red Horse Racing team elected to bring Starr down pit road to make more adjustments in an effort to help the handling on the No. 11 Toyota. The team pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and further adjustments. Starr returned to the track in 21st-place. The adjustments on the truck appeared to help as Starr began to march through the field as soon as the green flag waved.
"My crew chief Jamie Jones made a great call on that stop," Starr said. "The truck was handling perfectly, and I wasn't having any problems getting around the competition on the track."
From Lap 60 to Lap 70, Starr picked up eight positions on the race track to move into 13th-place. During the long green flag run, Starr continued to gain spots on the track. By Lap 97, Starr had moved into the top 10, and he appeared to have a good finish in sight.
When the caution flag waved again at Lap 99, Starr reported to his crew that the truck got into the corners good. However, Starr continued to complain that the truck was still a little too free for his liking. The No. 11 pit crew made another four tire stop, added fuel and made an air pressure adjustment. Starr returned to the track for the green flag in ninth spot. Again Starr began picking up positions. At Lap 120, Starr was sitting in eighth-place on the track.
But Starr's Toyota developed a loose condition that would hurt him as the laps wound down. Starr began falling through the field as quickly as he had gained positions on the race track. By Lap 159, Starr had dropped six positions to 14th-place.
"We just got too loose as the race went on, and I couldn't keep the truck up front," Starr said. "It was just hard to drive."
When the caution waved for a spin at lap 162, Starr's crew brought him down pit road one final time. Starr returned to the track for the race's green-white-checker finish in 18th-place. With just three laps remaining, Starr could not make any progress or move up in the field. He finished the Sam's Town 400 in 18th-place. Starr fell one spot in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point's standings to sixth. He is 303 points behind leader Todd Bodine.
"This was not the homecoming that I anticipated," Starr said. "We were loose at different points in the day, but we got really loose late in the race. We had problems keeping up with the changing track conditions. It seemed like there was something wrong all night. We're going to have to suck this one up and get ready for Michigan. I know this team, and I know how good we are. One bad night doesn't ruin us. We're turning our focus to Michigan and getting this Red Horse Racing Toyota back in the top five, which is where it belongs."