Colorado National Speedway: 08/14/2010, the Race in Pictures

By R. A. Fariello

Photography by Gina Graham Fariello

The NASCAR Grand National cars made their annual stop in Colorado on August 18. Brett Thompson, #61, finished a surprising 6th place in a car that continued to elude a satisfactory setup. Taylor Barton, driving the TMS #60 car, experienced his first disappointing NASCAR race; he was spun around at one point in the race and, later, lost his power steering unit. The inevitable result was a finish several laps off the pace.

1

Well yes: if you are growing a “rack”, then it IS time for NASCAR at Colorado!

2

After a 700 mile “haul”, the last ¼ mile to the track feels like it takes forever

3

When the Haulers arrive they wait. NASCAR determines the track entry time; in this case, that time was 5PM.

4

The following morning an empty track, framed by a background of the Rocky Mountains, awaits the activities to come.

5

The cars are unloaded and readied for the first NASCAR Tech Inspection

6

The #61 of Brett Thompson and the #60 of Taylor Barton, side by side off turn #4, during the first practice session

7

During a brief moment of relaxation a NASCAR Official gets a chance to visit with her son, Cory, and her Colorado Family members.  NASCAR is about families and not just cars.

8

#60, Taylor Barton, between Turn #3 and #4

9

Brett Thompson, Turn #4

10

Taylor Barton, Turn #4

11

The #60 during the late afternoon qualifying session

12

Brett Thompson qualifies 11th

13

After driver introductions, Taylor Barton enjoys a relaxed moment with a few Las Vegas friends

14

Meanwhile, Brett enjoys a laugh with Hans and Quinn, Team Members for the #60 car of Taylor Barton.

15

Car #60 Team Members pose for a group picture.  Most members of this team are over 6’3” and several are over 300 pounds …. Except  for “Patti” that is!

16

Brett Thompson, a roughly 15 year veteran with hundreds of races behind him, is in a ‘take-5’ moment before the race.

17

It is a warm Colorado Evening as race time approaches

18

Chad, spotter for the #60 car, makes his way up to the “spotters” area

19

Rich Thompson, of Thompson Motorsports and, Rich Thompson Trucking Inc., is the spotter for the #61 car. Here he waits for the Green Flag and the start of the race.

20

The time is 8:33 PM and the race is about to start

21

Taylor Barton in the #60 car is shown on the backstretch

22

Midrace action: the #60 and #61 accelerate off Turn #4

23

The race is over; while exiting the track the #61car drove through the “marbles” for about 200’and this is what the LF tire looked like afterward.  This tire is a dramatic example of why race car drivers make such huge efforts to keep their tires clean, especially prior to race restarts

24

The #60 car loading for transport back to Jerome ID

25

Taylor Barton signs autographs for some very young fans

26

Tami (center) with some of the employees of RTTI’s Denver Operations.

27

Rich Thompson greets other Managers of the RTTI Denver Operation

28

The race is over and the cars loaded in the Haulers: the 700 mile drive back to Idaho will, somehow, seem longer than the 700 miles going to the race!

29

Everyone’s friend, Bob, is back to work!

It may come as a surprise to some, but the NASCAR Teams and Officials really do form a

de-facto family. After 13 races a year, on a repeatable year after year basis, the bonds of friendship become inevitable.

Yes, this family has its share of, shall we say, disagreements. Racing, by its nature, requires Teams to seek advantages in an effort to achieve a singular goal: winning. NASCAR, on the other hand, needs to have a level playing field, and that requires enforceable rules.

And yes, when “competitive edge” meets “enforceable rules” frustration often becomes the order of the day … but, in the final analysis, NASCAR always WINS!

On examination, however, one can easily understand that, in the absence of these officials, the “level playing field” concept would be quickly lost. One team would certainly dominate most of the events, and then, both the fans and other Teams would all loose.

Thus, while the Teams and Officials are on opposite sides of a philosophical fence, they both know that the other side has their job to do and, in the final analysis, that fact is respected by all. And, that common respect is why the Teams and Officials are joined as part of a NASCAR family.

One highly valued member of that family is Bob (pictured above). At the Infineon Raceway (June) Bob began to feel very ill. His natural instinct was to “soldier on” and “tough it out”. However, his fellow Officials, and friends, would have nothing of that idea. They immediately recognized that his condition was far from normal and strongly prodded his hastened transfer to a San Francisco Hospital. There it was found that Bob had a very serious medical condition that required immediate major surgery.

The concerns, and actions, of Bob’s extended “NASCAR Family” obviously played a major role in having him back with us today.

Welcome back Bob!!

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