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Timing costs Starr top-10 at Kansas

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David Starr and his International MaxxForce Diesel team spent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series version of Spring Break testing and prepping to improve on their season best finish in Martinsville. The team tested their newest Circle Bar Chassis, CB-9, at Pocono during the break. The new chassis is the team’s first Circle Bar chassis and is the first time the team had a chassis that is the same style as teammate Rick Crawford. The test gave the team a sense of renewed confidence heading to Kansas for the O’ Reilly Auto Parts 250.


The first laps off the trailer had the International MaxxForce Diesel in the top 10 on the speed chart. The team spent the balance of the first session looking for speed in different directions. Sometimes you need to go backwards to learn how to go forward. With the first practice session in the books the team took what they learned and made the changes for the second practice session. Before the second session could begin Mother Nature took another swing at the MaxxForce team and for the 3rd time in 5 races the all-important second practice was washed out.


Crew chief, Dennis Connor, and the team found themselves facing another qualifying effort with an unknown truck. With a tentative first lap in the books Starr put the Ford F-150 inside the 9th row, just in front of teammate Rick Crawford. With only 2 laps with this setup Starr was cautiously aggressive on the start. Within a few laps the MaxxForce Ford was up to full speed and Starr was picking up positions. After an early caution the race went green for a long period and while under green, Connor called the Ford F-150 to pit road for 4 tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to tighten the truck up in the center of the corners. 15 laps later a caution would cause the MaxxForce team to be caught a lap down in the 23rd position. Trapped down a lap, Connor started working an alternative pit strategy that could get the team back on the lead lap and he called the MaxxForce Diesel F-150 back to pit road for 4tires a trac bar adjustment and a full load of Sunoco fuel. Starr would restart 22nd in the lap down line and start his move to the front to be able to receive the free pass on the next caution to the lead lap. With the field strung out, Starr was not only battling the lap down trucks but the lead lap trucks too. To make things worse, Starr was not the only truck caught in the middle of green flag stops; Musgrave, Hornaday, Kvapil, and Compton were all down a lap also. When the final caution flew Starr had hammered his way up to within 3 spots of the free pass with Hornaday getting the lone free trip around the racetrack. Back under green the lap down group; Musgrave, Kvapil, Compton and Starr were fighting tooth and nail for the next free pass that never came. Four times during the closing laps, even while working traffic Starr posted the fastest lap on the racetrack. The MaxxForce Diesel team posted a 15th place finish but the scoreboard doesn’t reflect how good they were.


Crew chief Dennis Connor: “We got bit by the caution flag and trapped a lap down but the guys did a great job and I can see improvement in our race team. In the later part of the race we turned some of the fastest laps of the race and we’ll keep improving. We’ll take the same package to the Charlotte test and hopefully get even better.”


David Starr: “Our International Maxx Force Diesel F-150 was awesome. Definitely the finishing result doesn't show how good we were today. We've got a lot of momentum on our side. Dennis Connor (crew chief), Jason and all of the guys on the team are just doing a heck of a job. It's a shame we got down a lap on pit sequencing, we had a really fast truck. Track position was big, I couldn't believe how many trucks we passed and we still couldn’t get back on the lead lap. We definitely had a good truck today. We're disappointed with the finish, but we're definitely gaining on it."


The MaxxForce International Diesel Power Team will be in action when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series holds round 6 of the 2007 season in the Quaker Steak and Lube 200 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Friday May 18th at 9:00 PM EST. For live trackside reports of practice and qualifying go to truckseries.com. Live coverage of the race provided by Speed Channel, MRN and Sirius Radio.


www.circlebarracing.com or www.davidstarr.com


Photo-International MaxxForce Diesel F-150 working traffic during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway, compliments of Ronda Greer


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