When the ignition switch is in crank mode it kills all other loads until you let off on the key. The radio goes dead, for example, while cranking. I have seen switches kill the ignition as well, so no start. The only job the starter has is to physically roll the motor over. If it will do that, you can rule out the starter and solenoid, clutch bypass, etc. You need fuel and fire. My 1st money is on a faulty switch that kills the ignition spark while cranking. Maybe the newer stuff is different, but this was quite common back in the 80's and 90's. You can run a wire direct from the battery to the lead, (battery terminal), on the HEI distributor cap to tell. That makes your distributor live, bypassing the switch, and anything else in the way.
[This message has been edited by weaselbeak (edited 11-16-2012).]