David Starr is on pace for his best season in the Camping World Truck Series since 2006, sitting fifth in the point standings heading into Saturday's Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
Starr, in his first season driving for HT Motorsports, is happy with how the No. 24 Toyota has run, but he's not pleased with the results.
"If you look back on all the races, we've had strong trucks all year," Starr said. "Four or five times, we've had top-three trucks and the races haven't played out in our favor. It's been a solid season, but we know we're better than that. You've got to win, and we haven't done that yet. We're knocking on the door."If you go to the race track week in and week out and the trucks are fast, things will start falling your way. There's nothing we can change. If we just keep doing what we're doing, we'll get our win."
Starr finished third in his most recent race, at Memphis. He also was third at Dover and fourth at Auto Club Speedway in California. Starr has six top-10s in 11 races. Teammate Terry Cook also was third in the season opener at Daytona, and he has three top-fives, six top-10s and is eighth in the points. Their performances point to a major improvement over 2008 when the team owned by Jim Harris had eight top-10s with Ted Musgrave (18 races), Cook (five races), Stacy Compton (one race) and Joey Logano (one race).
Harris decided to expand to two trucks this season. Starr was 12th in the points for Red Horse Racing in 2008, 10th for Circle Bar Racing in 2007 and a career-best fourth for Red Horse in 2006. Starr has four wins in the Truck Series, most recently at Martinsville in 2006.
"Tom DeLoach [Red Horse owner] is a great friend of mine, and I had a contract to race with him this season," Starr said. "But when the economy took a downward turn at the end of last season, he wasn't able to guarantee me a full season. Jim Harris was able to come up with a full season, and that's why Tom released me. It's worked out good for everybody."
Harris hired Jason Miller to be crew chief for Starr and they've been on the same page since the start of the season.
"He was the truck chief for me in 2006 at Red Horse," Starr said. "He's very smart and knowledgeable on chassis and bodies. You hear about the driver and crew chief chemistry, we've got some good chemistry. He remembers what I like and the feel I like."
Saturday's race will be a six-year anniversary for Starr, who will be making his 151st consecutive start in the series. He has been a regular in the series since 2002, but his 2003 season was interrupted for four races when a throttle stuck during a test a Milwaukee and sent him crashing into a wall at 140 mph. Starr suffered a broken collarbone, left hand and foot. He returned July 19, 2003, at Gateway International Raceway and hasn't missed a race since.