A Night of Firsts for Trey Starks at Knoxville: Makes First Start at Famed Track, Wins First WoO Heat Race

By Starks Racing PR

Puyallup, Wash.—April 29, 2012 — Trey Starks didn’t really know what to expect making his first start at the famed Knoxville Raceway in Iowa on Saturday night with the World of Outlaws. The 16-year old had heard, seen and read about the legendary venue for years and what a challenge it could be to figure out the unique half-mile. He had a chance to take to the track for the first time last weekend during the track’s annual practice session, before returning for the Mediacom Shootout with the World of Outlaws on Saturday, April 28.

The native of Puyallup, Wash. took an instant liking to Knoxville, winning his first-career World of Outlaws heat race on Saturday night, and earning a spot in the dash. He also recorded his best-career effort in time trials with the World of Outlaws.

“Knoxville is a pretty amazing track,” said Starks. “I really like the high speed and momentum piece of it. I was pretty comfortable running around the top and we had a set-up that really worked around the top. I think practicing at Knoxville last weekend helped and I just felt really comfortable there.”

Starks opened the night by recording the ninth-fastest lap in time trials, with a stout 42-car field in attendance, which was the highest car count for a World of Outlaws event this season. He lined up on the outside of the front row for the first heat race, with four-time World of Outlaws champion and five-time Knoxville Nationals winner Donny Schatz on the pole, along with Danny Lasoski, the winningest driver in Knoxville Raceway history and fast qualifier Joey Saldana starting on the second row. Starks took the lead from Schatz on the first lap and would go on to pace all eight circuits, to earn his first-career World of Outlaws heat race win and earn a spot in the dash.

“It boosts your confidence for sure, knowing that you passed the guy who has won five of the last six Knoxville Nationals to win the heat, as well as a guy like Joey Saldana who gets around there well also,” noted Starks. “All of the Outlaws run so well there, and to be up there with them meant a lot to me.”

With the dash inversion being a six, that put Starks on the pole for the eight-lap contest, with former Knoxville Raceway champion Brian Brown on the outside of the front row. Brown got the jump at the start, with Starks slipping to third on the opening lap. The 16-year old would run third for the remainder of the six-lapper to line up on the inside of the second row for the 25-lap main event.

“It’s a little bit more intimidating in the dash,” shared Starks. “I was a little shaky starting on the bottom, with how good we were on the top. Brian (Brown) beat me on the top and then I got I slid by (Craig) Dollansky in turns three and four. Once we got up to speed on top, we were right with them.”

The A-Feature got off to an inauspicious start with the red flag flying before a single lap was in the books, leading to a complete restart. On the ensuing green flag, Starks slipped back a couple of spots. The young driver ran in the Top-10 for the first five laps of the feature, and ended up 16th when the final checkered flag flew, in a race that was slowed by three red flags and a yellow.

“It’s a lot different of a race track when it slicks off like that,” explained the third-generation driver. “We were a little bit off for the feature and behind on the set-up. Hopefully next time we go there we can capitalize on that. We now know what not to do. All in all it was a great first Knoxville experience. To get my first heat race win with the Outlaws was great, as well as my best qualifying effort with them. With how tricky that track can be, I am very happy with how we did. I can’t wait to go back and race there again.”

Starks returns to action next weekend with the World of Outlaws at Eldora Speedway in Ohio on Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 5 for the Outlaw Thunder by Goodyear Weekend, which will mark his debut at the legendary high-banked half-mile.

Trey Starks and Starks Racing would like to thank their valued partners: BR Motorsports, FX Signs, King Racing Products, Masco Petroleum, Northwest Powerdercoating & Sandblasting, Starks Timber Processing and T & C Concepts.

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