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– HANFORD, Calif. (Oct. 18) – There is no question about it, Trey Starks was after one thing – a win.
“It sucks not winning, but you have to be happy with a second,” he said. “People don’t realize how big of a difference it is between first and second. We were just so close.”
The 15-year-old from Puyallup, Wash., won his heat race, the dash and led the first 17 laps of the 30-lap Cotton Classic last Saturday at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. – site of the King of the West Sprint Car Series season finale.
However, veteran Tommy Tarlton passed Starks by capitalizing on a patch of rubber in turn four after a restart with approximately 13 laps remaining.
“There was a run between laps 10 to 17,” Starks said. “I was on the bottom just kind of rolling it. We were really good in lapped traffic because our car was freed up.
“In the middle of that run I could smell the rubber. I was panicking because when you’re the leader you’re not going to slide out off the bottom to search for it.”
Tarlton and Starks battled for the top spot until Jonathan Allard slid between both with approximately seven laps remaining. He went on to win, while Starks chased Tarlton for the runner-up position. On the last lap, Starks made the pass by a nose to claim his fourth second-place finish of the season.
“You gotta be happy about it, but I was pretty mad after the race got over,” he said. “Even though I didn’t win, I had a good race and beat a lot of great racers.”
After qualifying 15th to start the night, Starks made the invert and started the fourth heat race on the pole. He led all 10 laps to claim his first King of the West heat victory. That also earned him a spot in the six-lap dash.
During the redraw, which had the drivers pull a random envelope that they could trade with each other, Starks plucked the lucky No. 1 to start on the pole of the dash.
“For like the first time ever I drew a one,” he said.
Starks led the entire race for his first King of the West dash win, which earned him the pole for the prestigious feature. After an initial hairy start, Starks pulled away and sailed on the bottom of the 3/8-mile track. He survived a pair of double-file restarts in the first 10 laps before the caution just after the midpoint of the race.
“We didn’t need any cautions because we were just so good in lapped traffic,” he said.
Starks’ runner-up performance was his best career finish with the King of the West.
He will return to California this Friday and Saturday for the 18th annual Trophy Cup at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare.
QUICK RESULTS –
Oct. 15 – Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif. – Qualifying: 15; Heat race: 1 (1); Dash: 1 (1); Feature: 2 (1).
SEASON STATS –
53 races, 51 features, 1 win, 10 top fives, 24 top 10s, 33 top 15s, 47 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Friday and Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., for the 18th annual Trophy Cup
FAVORITE NUMBER –
4: Runner-up finishes this season, including last Saturday at the famed Cotton Classic with the King of the West Sprint Car Series at Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –
ON THE AIR –
Here is a video of Starks’ first career victory – Aug. 20 at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash. It starts around the two-minute mark.
Starks has shirts, sweatshirts and beanies for sale. The colors are black and gray for the shirts and hooded sweatshirts. Shirts are $15, sweatshirts are $30 and black beanies are $15. All sizes range from small to XL. For ordering information, visit www.treystarksracing.com.
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Northwest Powder Coating & Sandblasting
Based out of Seattle, Northwest Powder Coating & Sandblasting is a powder coating business. It is owned by crew member Dallas Melby’s father, Chris.
“Chris, Dallas and Northwest Powder Coating & Sandblasting does a great job of making my car look awesome,” Starks said. “From the frame to the wings and everything in between, Northwest Powder Coating & Sandblasting does a clean, professional job.”
Starks would like to thank his sponsors, including Starks Timber Processing, Blue Dot Fabrications, Masco Petroleum and SpeedMart for their continued support.