After an up and down start to the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, David Starr and the SS Green Light Racing Team posted consecutive top-ten finishes for the first time this year finishing ninth in the Coca-Cola 200 presented by Hy-Vee at the Iowa Speedway after an eighth at Kentucky last week.
Perhaps most impressive was the fact that Starr had to start shotgun on the field of thirty-two trucks after a spin in qualifying forced the Zachry Toyota to start dead last in the field. It was the fourth top-ten of the 2011 campaign and the 111th of his career in the series.
David wasted no time charging towards the front of the field after the green flag flew in over 90 degree heat on Saturday evening maneuvering the Zachry No. 81 up to twenty-second when the first caution flew on lap twelve for a spin by Brian Ickler. Shortly after the restart, David was able to quickly turn to the inside of the track to avoid a spinning Ricky Carmichael as he hit the frontstretch wall on lap eighteen and moved into the top-twenty.
By lap forty, the SS Green Light Racing entry was solidly into the top-fifteen and began a long battle with Timothy Peters and 2010 NCWTS Champion Todd Bodine for the twelfth spot, during the fight for track position the Zachry No. 81 nearly spun on lap 65 but David’s experience helped catch the truck and avoid an accident.
Following a spin by Ron Hornaday, Starr continued to battle with Peters for a top-ten spot and was in eleventh when the caution and subsequent red flag flew after Justin Marks hit the inside wall on lap 103. A gutsy call by crew chief Jason Miller brought Starr to the pit to top-off with Sunoco racing gas to attempt to run the balance of the 200-lap event and sneak out a victory. Only three other trucks stopped to match the strategy.
Again, David did not waste any time moving toward the front of the field moving into the top-fifteen from his twenty-first position on the restart by lap 130 and was knocking on the door of the top-ten on lap 153 when Carmichael blew a right front tire and hit the wall for a second time. Miller brought his driver to the pit again, this time for fuel only and the move allowed Starr to pick-up eight spots on pit road, restarting third on lap 160.
Trucks with fresh tires were able to drop David back to seventh shortly after the restart, but David settled in and raced hard for positions within the top-ten. Contact with Nelson Piquet Jr. forced Starr to back off costing several positions and he was able to avoid disaster on lap 173 when James Buescher made contact while attempting to pass. The No. 81 was almost totally sideways and somehow David was able to catch the truck from spinning and only lost one position on the track bringing the Zachry Toyota home with a ninth-place finish behind winner Matt Crafton.
“The truck was real good, we were better than a ninth place, I lost like three spots when we got together with the 8 truck,” Starr said. “It took our truck about ten laps to come in, it started a little free, so Jason made the call to just top-off at the end to gain track position.”
“We had a great truck; it was wonderful, it handled good, it was fast,” he continued. “We made great calls and the guys did a good job. I feel we had a fifth place truck.”
SS Green Light Racing PR