All American Speedway: The Race in Pictures

Photojournalism: R. A. Fariello | Photography by Gina Graham Fariello

The 13th race of the NASCAR K&N Pro Race Season took place at the All American Speedway (Roseville CA). The Thompson Motorsports #61 Impala SS practiced a disappointing 19th quick. Although the car was excellent during an earlier test session, it became very lazy during the race day practice sessions. Unfortunately, after changing electrical components and going over the fuel system, it was determined that the engine was “laying down’. Lacking time to change engines, the #61 RTTI Impala would be forced to race with a meaningful horsepower handicap.
In spite of the power disadvantage, Brett Thompson Qualified a reasonable 16th. More importantly, he was only .3 seconds off the pole. It was expected that later in the race, as tire wear became a factor, the #61 would become more competitive, even with its horsepower disadvantage. That, indeed, turned out to be the case. However, the failing engine finally did ‘fail’ and it did so in a somewhat spectacular manner – and, on the very last lap! Unfortunately, during the last ½ lap, 4 positions were lost as Brett Thompson coasted across the finish line in 12th place. In a brief moment of levity at the race end, the TMS spotter asked Brett, “will the engine still run?” Brett replied, “I don’t know … I can’t even get it to shut off.”
For Thompson Motorsports 12th was something of a miracle finish. Shortly after the start, the #61 moved up to 12th place. At that point it was hit from behind, spun, and had to restart last – and with flat spotted tires! Brett then moved up the 12th place and this time a crash occurred directly in front of him: the result was damage to the front of the 61’s body and cooling system. The car drove back up to 8th position when the engine finally “gave up”. It was a “12-12-12 barrier” created by so much race adversity that another competitor summed up Brett Thompson’s night with the comment, “at least he wasn’t hit by a meteor.” In the final analysis, the extra effort put forth by the entire TMS Team was worthwhile: with a 12th place finish at AAS, Brett Thompson moved up to 6th position in the NASCAR K&N Pro season points.

Race Day Morning and the Teams line up for Pre-practice “Tech.”

This race featured a measure of ‘sartorial splendor’ in favor of the excellent series sponsor, K&N. Many Officials dressed in K&N colors but Larry (seated) had invited the most comment about his pant color!

There is significant logistics associated with the Tech inspection process

The RTTI Impala SS passes Tech

The NASAR Hauler: K&N “orange” was certainly the order of the day –

- over and over and over!

The NASCAR K&N Pro cars are made ready for the 12:45 practice session

Jimmy Z and his wife: Jimmy is the owner of the #21 & #31 cars as well as Golden Gate Meats. At this race Jimmy cooked lunch and dinner for all. Off-track friendship is the norm within the K&N series.

With perhaps ~ 40 horsepower lost to an underperforming engine, practice was a very frustrating experience.  Brett Thompson was a disappointing 19th quick at the end.

This expert observer, a fixture at Roseville, said the #61’s engine was making the car a real “DOG”

After Practice Brett Thompson reflects the frustrations of a driver faced with having to drive a race with a considerable power disadvantage. Cars and races are a group effort – but drivers drive alone!

The #61 car is pushed into “Qualifying” Inspection

The car passed NASCAR Inspection.  However, Brett Thompson tries to release some frustration by smiling at his symbolic efforts to wake up some sleeping horses! And yes, he is using a K&N hammer!

Jane Thompson talks with a friend, and overall good guy, Ken Clapp, a true giant of NASCAR and its history. On the right is George Silberman, a member of NASCAR’s upper management team.

Rich Thompson, the #61 Spotter, gets ready for the Qualification Session. Brett Thompson surprised his team with a 16th place starting position and a time that was only ~ .3 seconds off the pole.

Pre-race autograph session

The Roseville Race is well promoted and well attended. The fairgrounds impart a clear sense of Carnival to the racing event.

Driver Introductions

The pre-race presentation was excellent. The TMS team could not be faulted for wondering if these were a few of Brett’s missing horses. They were not – but they responded VERY quickly when a fireworks display was launched right next to them!!

The NASCAR K&N Pro flagman, Andy, gets ready to display the Green Flag.

Early in the race, the #61 was accidently forced into two crashes that were the fault of others. Although the car still ran well, severe nose damage was causing a cooling problem for an already anemic engine.

Astonishing! By the last 2 laps Brett Thompson was fighting for 8th place. However, the engine was clearly ‘finished’. With ½ lap to go, it “blew” and the 61 coasted across the finish line. It was 12th.

Back in the Pits after the race and the #61’s engine finally stopped running on its own! The smoke had dissipated but now it would not run at all! The good news was that it waited to the last lap to fail and, therefore, Brett’s finish was enough to move up one position in season points.

It was definitely a strange night of 12’s for Thompson Motorsports.

The TMS car drove up to 12th place before being hit, and spun, early in the race.  The car was then raced from last place back to 12th when it was again the victim of a crash.  It then, somehow, raced back to 8th place, when the engine finally failed, and the car then coasted to a 12th place finish. It is worth noting that this damaged and lower powered race car accomplished 29 passes by the end of the race!

On the bright side, while the 12-12-12 coincidence was worth a little amusement, the hard reality was that, given the circumstances, this was a good result for the team. 12th place was good, while the other reasonable alternatives would have been far more negative.

TMS will next compete at the Phoenix International Raceway on  November 12th.

We thank our fans and friends for their support.

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