Inside Line Promotions - PUYALLUP, Wash. (Nov. 2, 2021) - This season was certainly a change of pace for Trey Starks, who prioritized business over racing for the first time in his career.
"It was a little bit different than it's been the last 11 or 12 years, but in a way it was more relaxing and more enjoyable," he said. "It's a new chapter I guess."
While Starks only hit the track roughly two dozen times, he earned a trio of feature victories and numerous other stout results.
"Being at home tracks that I've raced plenty of times, it didn't seem to have a negative effect to not race regularly," he said. "If we were racing less and still traveling around I'd say that would have hurt our performance."
Starks' first triumph of the season came on Aug. 7 at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., where he captured the famed Marvin Smith Memorial.
"It felt good to win the three races and we picked them all off toward the end of the season," he said. "The first one coming at the Marvin Smith Memorial was perfect timing. Cottage Grove is one of my favorite tracks. The Marvin Smith Memorial and Dirt Cup are two of the races if we're racing back home that I really want to win. I'm glad we got one of them. It was the first time we were at Cottage Grove in a while so to get a win there, especially during the Marvin Smith Memorial, was special."
Starks added two victories at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., including his final race of the season.
"The last one we weren't even going to go to, but they upped the purse so we decided to head there," he said. "I think we lapped up to fifth. It gives us that little bit more going into next season. Work was really busy this year so we raced when we could. We didn't get to spend as much time focusing on racing as we'd have liked to. Where we're heading right now that'll be the theme so that win gives us an extra boost and incentive throughout the offseason. I think the Northwest racing scene is going to grow next year so we want to be prepared to take advantage."
Starks also produced a career-best runner-up result during the Dirt Cup to go along with two top 10s in World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series competition, top 10s during the Bob's Burgers & Brew Summer Nationals and a charge from 15th to second during the Fred Brownfield Classic to tie his career-best Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour result.
"Dirt Cup is one that we've gotten closer to winning over the years," he said. "We've been able to perform better and better. This year it felt like even though we had good performances we left a little on the table. The final night we could have been better. But it's one of those races I've been watching a long time so to have a great run felt good. Although we didn't race regularly, I think we were strong at all of the big events in the Northwest."
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*PHOTO BY BAILEY MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY*