Starr, Truckers Ready To Roll Again
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Enough of the dirt racing already, David Starr says. Enough of the short-track stuff. Enough of home and Texas and getting good nights’ sleep and meals not wrapped in aluminium foil, already.
Later for all that stuff.
Not that Starr isn’t a guy who likes a good Late Model event or a well-prepared meal or comfortable bed.
None of that.
It’s just that Starr, like the rest of the teams and drivers who compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, wants to get back at it on a marquee race track and if that means eating a hamburger in the afternoon that was made in the morning, then pass the ketchup.
“I need to race, man, you know what I mean?” Starr said.
When the truckers arrive at Kansas Speedway on Friday to begin preparing for Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250, when they climb through their windows and pull up the netting, it will have been a month since they have last done so.
That’s simply because of the schedule which NASCAR has set for the series. The trucks race just five times between Daytona in mid February and Kansas at the end of April.
Starr said he understands what NASCAR is trying to do with the Camping World schedule and that is keep it shorter than Sprint Cup’s and Nationwide’s in order to save the teams money on things like travel and equipment.
He also understands the ban on testing, which also serves to keep him out of the cab of his truck.
He not only understands it all, a realist who has been in thee series for a decade, he accepts it.
Starr said he has had a very pleasant time since last racing a truck, which was in Martinsville.
“I’ve been sitting home in Texas watching on TV and racing dirt cars to fill the gap,” he said.
Starr, who drives a Toyota Tundra for the new H.T. Motorsports team, also said a break in the schedule is beneficial for his group.
“It’s been good for us,” Starr said, “because we put our racing team late in the off season so having this month off has really been good for out situation.”
However, almost immediately after that, Starr’s tone and tempo picked up and he said, “But I’m a racer and I need to race.”
What Starr would like is for NASCAR to add about five more races to the current 25-race schedule. That would still keep the schedule shorter than those of Cup and Nationwide, but it would help maintain the interest level among fans – which, if climbing television ratings are any indication, is considerable.
Starr and others in the sport would especially like to see more racing in the spring.
The current spring has been decent for Starr and his team. They started out the year with a finish of 17th in Daytona and then came back to finished fourth in the second race which was at Auto Club Speedway in California.
Starr left Fontana in ninth place in the standings and feeling good.
But subsquent finishes of 17th and 24th have pushed him down to 14th in the standing and Starr thinks his team is better than that.
“I feel we’ve had a top-10 truck in every race,” he said. “But we have a new truck, a new body for Kansas, and I’m excited to come there and run it.”
Then again, Starr would be happy to run his truck anywhere this weekend and he’s not alone.
Heck, even NASCAR wants to get back at it.
“After a few weeks off,” Camping World series director Wayne Auton said, “everyone is really looking forward to heading to Kansas and getting back on track this weekend.”
The wait is almost over.