Trey Starks got off to a hot start last weekend during the 43rd annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup at Skagit Speedway.
Starks opened Thursday’s preliminary night by qualifying third quickest around the 3/10-mile oval.
“We weren’t even that good in qualifying,” he said. “There were definitely some spots we could have made up some time.”
He then advanced from fourth to second place in his heat race to lock himself into the main event, which Starks started on the outside of the seventh row after a 16-car inversion.
“In the heat we ran really good and then they completely changed the track before the main,” he said. “We thought we were going to be really good. We had to change everything going into an A Main hot-lap session. Come to find out the left rear tire only had two pounds of air in it. We made a bunch of other changes and didn’t have time to change anything back.”
That left the car unbalanced in the feature on the narrow track, where Starks struggled just outside the top 10. Ultimately he ended with a 14th -place result, which put him 12th in overall points.
“We just couldn’t go anywhere,” he said. “We got ourselves so dialed out. It was just a struggle. The car didn’t have a good balance. It was a hard one to drive. I was kinda of wrestling it.”
Friday’s preliminary night was postponed to Saturday morning before it was cancelled because of rain that plagued the track. Because Starks ranked 12 th in overall points he was locked into Saturday’s $20,000-to-win feature, which he started on the outside of the sixth row.
“We were really good at the start of the main,” he said. “Then the left rear tire started going down and the track started to change. There was a cluster of cars that was really tight racing. It was narrow and one lane so everybody was racing really tight. When it started raining then it really threw everybody for a loop. We were tight on entry (into the corners) and with the rain that got on the track it made it even more slippery. The front tires wouldn’t hook up.”
After advancing into the top 10 in the opening laps, Starks began to lose positions near the midpoint of the race. He was in 13th place when the race was rained out with approximately 16 laps remaining.
The team spent the remainder of the night preparing for the six-race, seven-day ASCS Northwest Region Speedweek, which kicked off on Sunday at Siskiyou Motor Speedway for the series first-ever race in California.
Starks won his heat race from the pole position to advance into the feature redraw, where he pulled the No. 5 in the random draw. That lined him up on the inside of the third row for the main event.
“On the first start we had I jumped into third coming out of turn two, but somebody spun so that didn’t go through,” he said. “On the second start we ended up seventh and I picked off one car in a couple of laps and another car a couple of laps after that. We were riding in fifth most of the race.”
Then the same tire issue that slowed Starks during the Dirt Cup reappeared in the feature.
“There was a caution about 10 laps in and I don’t know if the tires sealed over or if we had a bad shock or bad bar, I just could not run on the cushion,” he said. “It was too tight. I was just along for the ride.”
Starks was competing for a top five when he collided with another driver in traffic, sending him to the back in the closing laps. He ended with an 11 th-place finish.
Speedweek resumes on Monday at Southern Oregon Speedway in White City, Ore., before races on Tuesday at Coos Bay Speedway in Coos Bay, Ore.; Wednesday at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore.; and Friday and Saturday at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore.
Starks finished fourth in last year’s ASCS Northwest Region Speedweek standings after two top fives and four top 10s in five races.
QUICK RESULTS -
June 26 – Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. – Qualifying: 3; Heat race: 2 (4); Feature: 14 (14).
June 28 – Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. – Feature: 13 (12).
June 29 – Siskiyou Motor Speedway in Yreka, Calif. – Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 11 (5).
SEASON STATS -
31 races, 0 wins, 4 top fives, 10 top 10s, 17 top 15s, 19 top 20s
UP NEXT -
Monday at Southern Oregon Speedway in White City, Ore.; Tuesday at Coos Bay Speedway in Coos Bay, Ore.; Wednesday at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Ore.; and Friday and Saturday at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., for the ASCS Northwest Region Speedweek
MEDIA LINKS -
Starks has t-shirts and hoodies for sale at any race he attends as well as on www.TreyStarksRacing.com.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Starks Timber Processing
Starks Timber Processing is a logging business owned by Trey’s father, John, who is a third-generation logger. It has been based out of Washington for more than 15 years.
“Starks Timber Processing is what provides me the opportunity to race,” Trey said. “It has played a huge role in my life, both on the track and away from it.”
Starks would also like to thank Southstar Equipment, Blue Dot Fabrications, SpeedMart, King Racing Products, Masco Petroleum, RCC Powder Coating and Emory Transmission for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS -
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program and to join Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or InsideLinePromotions@gmail.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit www.InsideLinePromotions.com.
*PHOTO BY DB3 IMAGING*
by Shawn Miller