Imagine this: you’re running a race in a slow car, minding your own business in the closing laps, when the leaders begin to catch you. You think you’ll be able to get out of their way and let them race to the win, but they catch you quicker than expected. Suddenly, you’re in the middle of their battle, and might even determine the outcome of the race.
Situations like the one listed above are the worst nightmare for drivers. Yet, in the closing laps of Friday’s Kentucky 300 at Kentucky Speedway, David Starr found himself in that very position.
Starr, who competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the No. 44 Zachary Toyota for TriStar Motorsports, was running three laps down when leader Erik Jones and Brad Keselowski began to catch him with 10 laps remaining. Starr, hoping to stay out of the way, tried to run his usual line. However, when Jones failed to predict the Texan’s racing line coming out of turn 4, he stalled out behind him, allowing Keselowski to whisk by into the race lead and ultimately claim the win nine laps later.
In an exclusive interview with Frontstretch, Starr opened up about the incident.
“I didn’t see them,” said Starr. “I was just was trying to make sure that I wasn’t in their way. I was racing, my car was good in the center of the track, so I was just trying to stay in the center of the track and they split me.”
Looking over the incident in retrospect, Starr wished he would’ve done something differently.
“You just don’t want to affect the race,” said Starr. “You want to give the leaders room and let them race. If I would’ve known that they’d closed on me that quick I would’ve either went to the bottom or the top and got completely out of their way just because they split me. It didn’t affect either one of them, but they were having a good battle.”
Starr, who currently sits 13th in series points, made the most of a tough day, finishing four laps down in 21st.