Brett Thompson Set for Phoenix Return With New Car; New Attitude

NASCAR K&N Series Veteran Will Make his 113th Series Start

JEROME, IDAHO (February 29, 2012)- Brett Thompson driver of the #61 RTTI Chevrolet in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series will make his 113th series start this weekend at Phoenix Int’l Raceway in the Talking Stick Resort “50″. Thompson will run only a partial series schedule this season so he and the team are solely focused on winning.During the off-season, the Thompson Motorsports team made several changes in preparation for the 2012 campaign, including promoting Will Harris to crew chief. Harris has been a long-time Thompson Motorsports employee and Brett is excited to have Harris “on the box” for the season. “Will has done a great job over the years and we are really excited for him,” Thompson said. “He has been the crew chief on my Late Model effort in the past and he has shown the team how to get to victory lane. He loves living in Idaho and loves racing. His passion for the team has meant a lot and we know he will do a great job.”Harris will handle all crew chief duties in all series the team competes in this season. “While there is a lot on Will’s plate this season we know he is up to the challenge.”

Qualifying Will Be Key At Phoenix
The race at Phoenix this spring will throw the teams a curve as it has been reduced to only 50-laps, placing pressure on each driver and team to qualify towards the front. “There is no question this race will be interesting,” Thompson said. “We have worked tirelessly in the shop over the winter to improve our qualifying package. We have new cars and feel we have made great gains. We’ll find out Saturday.”

Tire Management is Essential
One thing that does not change in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series is tire management. With the race distance being shortened tires will not be an issue per say. “The new surface is really fast,” Thompson added. “But you are still going to have to take care of the right front as these cars tend to get real tight. Since this race is a sprint and there will be no laying back, it will require a bit of patience. Dodge the issues and be in the top five with ten to go. That is the plan.”

Last season in this race, Thompson did just that and finished fifth. Thompson will make his 18th stand alone NKNPS start at Phoenix, more than any other driver. “We all love racing at Phoenix,” Thompson said. “It is the race that we all want to win and it is the one racetrack that I want on my resume’.”

Thompson has 17 starts on the one-mile paved oval with two fourth place finishes to his credit. And while his finishes do not do justice as to how well he has run at Phoenix, a win on Saturday would erase all those memories. “We have run so good at Phoenix it is a shame our finishes have not been better,” Thompson offered. “It is really simple. Start up front and finish up front.”

In the history of the series, only three drivers have started outside the top ten and won the event. “It will be wild,” Thompson continued. “We are looking forward to the race and being part of a great weekend at Phoenix and hope we can be in victory lane when its over.”

Fast Facts
The race: This event marks the beginning of the 2012 season for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. It is the first of two series visits to PIR this year, with the circuit returning in November for the season finale.
The procedure: The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 50 laps.
The track: PIR is a one-mile superspeedway with 10 to 11 degrees banking between Turns 1 and 2; 10 to 11 degrees banking at the apex of the dog-leg; and 8 to 9 degrees banking in Turn 4. This will be the 29th stand-alone Phoenix race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
***Six of the past 14 series races at Phoenix were extended by a late-race caution for a green-white-checkered finish.
***Six of the 28 series races at Phoenix were won by the pole winner. Three race winners started outside the top 10. Rich Woodland Jr. started the furthest back and won, coming from 21st on the grid in 1998.
Brett Thompson Quick Glance
  • Three top fives, six top 10s in 17 starts at Phoenix
  • Best PIR finish of fourth on two occasions, most recent in 2008
  • Average finish at PIR of 15.70
  • Has led 52 laps at PIR
  • One career series win
  • One career series pole
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