David Starr’s No. 95 Jordan Truck Sales Ford Finishes 22nd in Sprint Showdown
CONCORD, N.C. (May 25, 2011)— David Starr did not win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown on Saturday. But that doesn’t mean Starr wasn’t a winner.
The Leavine Fenton Racing (LFR) driver Starr finished 22nd in the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday night in the No. 95 Jordan Truck Sales Ford, the second start for the newly-formed team.
The goal for Starr and the LFR team was to take baby steps, even at 200 mph. So any improvement is a step in the right direction.
“That was fun,” Starr said climbing out of his No.95 machine. “We had a plan that we were going to use the Showdown as a test session. We had a really good car; our Ford Fusion was pretty awesome today.”
The NASCAR Camping World veteran, who made the jump to the Cup Series in April with a debut at Texas Motor Speedway, showed such an effort at the Charlotte Motor Speedway that the rookie team showed signs they can compete as a major player in the Sprint Cup Series.
Friday’s opening day gave the 27 entries an 85-minute practice session so they could fine tune their machines for Saturday night’s shootout.
Later that evening, Starr rolled off the grid ninth in the qualifying session. He toured the 1.5-mile Quad-oval at 185.281 mph to position himself in 22nd in the time trials. Despite starting deep in the field, Starr and the LFR team were pleased with the performance of the No.95 Ford Fusion in Friday’s practice session and hoped that it would translate over to the 40-lap Showdown.
Starr started from outside of row 11 for the Showdown, looking to earn a transfer spot into the “A-main” All-Star race.
The race, which precedes the annual Sprint All-Star event, consists of two 20-lap segments where both green flag and caution laps count toward the first segment, with a caution flag waved in the middle for an optional pit stop followed by another 20 laps where only green-flag laps are scored.
Narrowly missing a two-car racing incident on Lap 4, Starr restarted in the 18th- position for the old-fashioned Saturday night racing, where everyone competes for the trophy and the cash.
The veteran Truck Series driver moved into 20th by Lap 11, 18th on lap 13, and cracked the top 15 at lap 19.
At the halfway point, the mandatory caution flag flew on Lap 20 providing an opportunity for Wally Rogers, the veteran crew chief, to summon Starr to pit road for a for four-tire pit stop that included a full tank of fuel. Re-starting 19th, the Cup Series rookie placed himself for the 19-lap shootout.
The Houston, Texas, native traveled to 16th on lap 27 as the third caution of the race brought out the yellow flag. However, with only 11 laps remaining an ignition failure on the restart forced Starr to an early exit.
It is these baby steps that show – according to Starr – that momentum is building as a new team, with new owners – it is all new, building for the future.
“Not bad, a pretty good outing for our team,” Starr said. “There are a lot of races we want to run, the Brickyard 400, Daytona 500 – and coming back to attempt the (Coca-Cola) 600. It is all like a dream come true to be able to do that. Now, we are looking forward to coming back to the Coca-Cola 600 next week.”
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing continues the action at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday for the longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600. The green flag will wave at 6 p.m. ET.