Inside Line Promotions
– TUCSON, Ariz. (Nov. 21) – Trey Starks isn’t happy with the way the season ended.
However, the 15-year-old from Puyallup, Wash., can see the big picture after a DNF and a flip concluded his sophomore season in a sprint car at the 44th annual Western World Championships at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., last weekend.
“Definitely not how I wanted to end it,” he said. “In my opinion, the season went by way too fast. I think we’ve had a good season. We’ve learned and definitely got to run with stiffer competition, and it seems like we’ve done pretty well.”
Starks picked up his first official sprint car win and earned 10 top fives and 24 top 10s this season. However, he finished the season by walking rather than driving off the track both nights at the ASCS National Tour event.
During his preliminary action on Thursday at the 3/8-mile track, Starks drove from fourth to third in a stacked heat race. That earned him enough points to advance to the feature, which he started 10th. The top eight finishers locked into Saturday’s $15,000-to-win feature.
“I thought we were sitting pretty good,” he said. “We had three restarts and it seemed like we got progressively worse. The first was perfect and we picked up four positions. On the second restart, I gained one or two spots. The third was not very good.
“I tried to run through the middle a little bit coming out of the corner, it slid up and got into the wall a little bit. It didn’t flatten the tire on impact. I rode the wall a little trying to get off it.”
The result was a flattened right rear tire for Starks on the third attempt to start the race. He was towed to the pits and finished 21st.
“It sucked because you throw all that away,” he said. “You could be in the main with all those good guys. It’s not a good feeling.”
Starks’ point total started him on the pole of Saturday’s first C Main, which he led all 12 laps to win and advance to the B Main. After a car dropped out in front of his row, Starks started 11th in the 15-lap consolation.
“The car felt great in the C Main,” he said. “It just rolled the track nice.
“We went into the B Main with the mindset of don’t do something stupid on the first lap, but you gotta go.”
Starks picked up a couple of positions in the first handful of laps before getting sideways in turn three on the fifth lap, dropping him to 13th.
He was in 11th on a restart on lap 10 when a car in front of him flipped in turn one. Starks was caught up in the melee, which flattened his right rear tire. He pulled into the infield and was able to get the tire changed during the red flag. Starks restarted 11th, but ended up flipping in turn two on the restart to end his night.
“I moved the wing back and thought maybe if nothing else I could get a little practice of running through the middle and picking up the cushion on the exit,” he said. “I ended up going into the corner and slid up to the cushion too early. It caught, got over sideways and went hopping. The first rotation over it knocked the top wing off and it kept going like a nonwing car.”
It was a tough way to conclude the season for Starks, who said he hopes the team will spend next summer in the Midwest at various events and compete in the spring and fall on the West Coast.
QUICK RESULTS –
Nov. 17 – USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz. – Heat race: 3 (4); Feature: 21 (10).
Nov. 19 – USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz. – C Main: 1 (1); B Main: 11 (11).
SEASON STATS –
59 races, 54 features, 1 win, 10 top fives, 24 top 10s, 34 top 15s, 49 top 20s
FAVORITE NUMBER –
91.5: Percent of features Starks advanced to this season.
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.