David Starr was filled with enthusiasm prior to Friday’ nights NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Winstar World Casino 400k at the Texas Motor Speedway. He had a special Texas-based associate sponsor in The Boot Campaign onboard the Zachry Toyota and a large following of hometown fans in the stands for the race just miles from his home.
All of the excitement of returning to Texas to race at his home track came to an abrupt halt on lap sixty-seven when contact between Starr and Todd Bodine sent both trucks hard into the outside wall relegating the Zachry Toyota to a thirtieth place finish.
The Winstar World Casino 400k was a two-day show for the NCWTS with two practices and qualifying on Thursday prior to Friday’s 167-lap event. In the Thursday evening qualifying session, David posted the twelfth best lap of 30.39 seconds at over 177.64 mph giving the Zachry Toyota a starting spot on the outside of the sixth row for Friday night’s race.
Qualifying showed how competitive the NCWTS is in 2011 with the top fourteen trucks all being within one-quarter second of James Buescher’s pole winning lap of 30.16 seconds.
At the drop of the green Starr would drop back several positions and was running in sixteenth when the first caution flew for oil on the track at lap nine. There is always a lot of tight side-by-side racing at Texas and David was caught on the outside following the restart dropping back to eighteenth before making a move back to fifteenth when the second caution flew for a spin on lap twenty-three.
Starr brought the No. 81 to the attention of the SS Green Light crew for four Goodyear tires, Sunoco fuel and several adjustments to help the handling and dropped back to the twenty-fifth position when numerous trucks did not pit, only took fuel or two tires under the caution.
The adjustments paid off as he moved up four spots in the first seven laps following the restart. With different pit strategies throughout the beginning portion of the race, David would restart in twelfth on lap fifty-six and following another quick caution on lap sixty-two he would move up into the top-ten.
All of the hard work and strategy would go away on lap sixty-seven as five trucks were battling for the tenth spot in turn two. David was caught three-wide with Migel Paludo and Travis Kvapil on the inside and Joey Coulter on the outside. Defending series champ Todd Bodine was directly behind. The three-wide sandwich caused the No. 81 to get loose and loose momentum to avoid sliding up the track into Coulter. Bodine had a strong run from behind and the two Toyotas made contact sending both trucks hard into the outside wall.
Although they were able to drive back to the pit area, the damage to both trucks was too severe to continue and David was credited with thirtieth place in the final rundown behind Ron Hornaday Jr. who was credited with the victory when Johnny Sauter was black flagged for leaving his lane during the green, white checker finish of the 167-lap race.
The disappointing finish is the third DNF of the season for the SS Green Light Racing team and dropped Starr into a tie with Miguel Paludo for nineteenth in the 2011 NCWTS drivers point standings after nine of twenty-five races.
SS Green Light Racing PR