Kentucky Speedway Experience in Starr’s Favor
Starr Looking for Horse Power in Kentucky
CONCORD, N.C. (July 6, 2011) — David Starr may have limited experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, but very few drivers have as many laps around the Kentucky Speedway as the driver of the No. 95 Leavine Family Racing (LFR) Ford Fusion.
Saturday night’s Quaker State 400 will be just the third race for the newly-formed Texas-based team, but with Thursday’s Camping World Truck Series race, Starr will have 10 career starts at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in Sparta, Ky.
That should put him on equal footing with the full-time series drivers in the event. Counting the opening weekend in 2000 with the inaugural truck race, Starr will be one of four drivers who have appeared in both the Truck Series and the Cup Series inaugural races at Kentucky Speedway. The others include Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch.
“It is a great honor to participate in another inaugural event at Kentucky Speedway,” Starr said. “To have run the inaugural truck race there was a dream come true, and now I am going back to run the Cup race; words can’t describe what that means to me.”
Synonymous with Kentucky is the Kentucky Derby’s Running of the Roses, complete with its big hats and seersucker suits. Starr will concentrate on his own kind of horse race – one that involves horse power. And like the famous horse race at nearby Louisville, Ky., where the fans sip on a Mint Julep, both are looking for victory circle.
More than a decade after debuting NASCAR at the Kentucky Speedway, the Texas native has come full circle. He will drive in Thursday’s truck race as well as in Saturday night’s 267-lap main event.
Theoretically, Starr has a leg up on all the competition by having the luxury of nine career series starts at Kentucky, highlighted by a track-best finish of third in 2004.
In all, Starr has completed a combined total of 1,353 laps (2,029.5 miles) around the Kentucky circuit.
Even though NASCAR officials will give drivers extensive practice time on Thursday, crew chief Wally Rogers thinks the test will help.
“Our team is looking to get comfortable enough with our setup to have a good starting spot to make the race,” Rogers said. “Obviously, that is our goal every time we go (to the track), just make the race. We can utilize this test session to help us with Kentucky as well as when we go to Kansas later in the season.”
Going out onto the track for some hot laps gives the LFR team opportunities to take chances others can’t – or at least won’t – and storing the knowledge for later use. That means Starr and company will be bringing back a lot of pertinent data that they can use for this weekend and the future.
Driving double duties this weekend, Starr will have a number of laps behind the wheel before the green flag drops Saturday under the lights.
The No. 95 Jordan Truck Sales team will bring a brand new chassis to Kentucky Speedway, unloading chassis RK-702 when they roll into Sparta this weekend.
“Kentucky Speedway is a great race track from the day they built it. It is one of my favorites,” Starr added. “I have run well there, and have also had some disappointing finishes. But it is still a great speedway. The race fans in that part of the country are wonderful.”