ALGER, Wash. - The finish certainly wasn't what Trey Starks envisioned of his season opener, but the 17-year-old tapped into his veteran mindset after crashing Saturday night at Skagit Speedway.
"We didn't have any practice laps and it's been raining up here for so long," he said. "We didn't know what the track conditions would be so we decided we'd go with our backup car just in case something like this would happen.
"In the first race you don't really want something bad like that to happen. It's a part failure. There's nothing anybody could do about it. All we know is that we were fast and we could make moves. It sucks to tear a car apart, but that's what we've got more in the shop for."
Starks had rallied into the runner-up position in the opening laps when the steering broke in turn four, sending his car straight into the wall. The impact knocked him out of the event with a seventh-place finish.
Prior to the wreck, Starks' night was progressing quite well after a rough qualifying effort. He timed in seventh quickest, which started him fourth in his heat race.
"I had a bad qualifying lap and the track was really rough," he said. "You either hit it or you didn't."
Starks charged to second in his heat race and started the 25-lap feature on the inside of the fourth row. He quickly picked his way into the top five and was up to second before disaster struck around Lap 5.
"It would have been interesting to see how the rest of the race would have panned out," Starks said. "Who knows, we could have been in contention for the win. This year we're really focusing on wins."
The next opportunity will be the two-day Grove Classic at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., on Friday and Saturday or at Skagit Speedway on Saturday.