CONCORD, N.C. (May 17, 2011)— David Starr is among 28 drivers clinging to hope that he can make the big show — Saturday night’s $1 million-to-win Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Not already in the field for the All-Star Race he will have two chances to get there: Finish first or second in the Sprint Showdown last-chance race, or finish on the lead lap and be voted in by the fans.
Under the lights, only three teams will earn a ticket into the All-Star race to join the 19 drivers who are already eligible for the 100-lap main event. To be eligible for the All-Star race, a driver must have won a race in 2010 or 2011, be a past Cup Champion in the last 10 years, or have won the All-Star race within the last 10 years. Starr and others must advance via the Showdown.
The Texas native can move into the main event with a victory or a second place finish in the 40-lap (60 miles) Showdown, the last-chance race held right before the main event. The event is divided into two 20-lap segments. Between the two segments, a competition yellow flag is thrown for pit road to open, allowing teams for an optional pit. The teams, who pit, lose their track position and must line up in the order that they return to the track, behind those cars that do not pit. Only green-flag laps count in the second and final segment.
Saturday night marks Starr’s first appearance in the Showdown. The NASCAR Truck Series veteran is eligible to start the Showdown based on qualifications that he has attempted to qualify for a 2011 Cup Series event. In his NASCAR Cup Series debut, Starr qualified the No. 95 Leavine Fenton Racing Ford Fusion on April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Starr’s no-holds-barred approach into NASCAR's modern-day version of a Saturday night B-Main is for nothing more than pride, trophies and cash. And if all goes well, something might be learned for next week’s Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte, one of the most important races and longest on the circuit.
The first order of business for Starr is simply making the field for Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Once Starr does that, the Leavine Fenton Racing driver will make the most of his opportunity.
DAVID STARR, DRIVER OF THE NO.95 JORDAN TRUCK SALES FORD FUSION
Do you go into the Sprint Showdown looking to win, or do you view it as a test session for the Coca-Cola 600?
“I am looking to go in to it as a test session. With our new Cup team, Leavine Fenton Racing, we have chosen to use the Showdown as a test session, so that we can prepare ourselves for the Coca-Cola 600. I am excited to see how we are going to be right off the bat, so we know where we are going to be at the Coca-Cola 600. With an exciting two weeks of racing coming up, our main goal is to be in the Coca-Cola 600. I think we have good plan to make sure we can accomplish that goal.”
What is your strategy going into the 40-lap Sprint Showdown?
“We want to get our car driving well – like with our shock package, and get it where it will qualify well. When the race starts, we want to race hard. It is hard to say that we will be conservative, because I do not like to say that. It is hard to fully answer that question, because it is a race and never in my life have I ever been conservative at any kind of race. Knowing that it is a test session, we will do what we have to do to make sure we learn what we need to learn. And we take all that we have learned, and implement it into our car for the Coca-Cola 600.”
Starr on Charlotte Motor Speedway:
“Charlotte Motor Speedway has always been one of my favorite tracks. It is an awesome place, and whether you are in the Truck, Nationwide Series car, or Sprint Cup car you have to run the race track a certain way. It comes back to having a good handling race car and a lot of horse power under the hood. I believe I will have that in my Cup car this weekend. I am excited to get into the No. 95 Leavine Fenton Racing Ford Fusion to see what it feels like – I kind of have a better idea now, since we came off our debut in the Cup Series at Texas Motor Speedway and the track is similar, but also so different.”
NASCAR SPRINT SHOWDOWN FAST FACTS
Location: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, N.C.
Date: Saturday, May 21, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Track Length: 1.5-mile quad-oval
TV Information: 7 p.m. ET on SPEED
Radio Information: 6:30 p.m. ET on MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio 90