Evergreen Speedway: The Race in Pictures

Photojournalism: R. A. Fariello | Photography by “JT” Quilter

The 8th race of the NASCAR “K&N Pro” West Series was held on July 10 at the venerable Monroe WA 5/8th mile track. Following the July 2 race at Irwindale CA, extensive chassis changes were made to the TMS 110” wheelbase cars in an effort to make them rotate better in the turns. The Thompson Motorsports Crews, both in the race shop or on-location, were optimistic that a very good setup combination had been found; one which would be more competitive than the setup used at the Irwindale Track.

That was indeed the case, and Brett Thompson was happy with the car the moment it went on the track. Interestingly, the #61 car was 8th quick in both scheduled practice sessions, and later the car Qualified 8th! Brett simply said “we can race with this car.”

A description of the race is simple; as Brett suggested in his comment, the car was indeed fast and it was also able to reach a top 5 track position early on. Surprisingly, as the race progressed, the lap times showed the car was getting faster and it registered several fastest-lap circuits.  Optimism was high in the TMS Pits until some very bad racing luck came into play: the #61 car’s transmission failed!

For Brett Thompson, the race was essentially finished in the Pits. The broken transmission resulted in a 19th place finishing position. Fortunately for the TMS Team, the final placement of several other competitors was such that Brett was able to retain 6th place in Series Points.

Live Music: Monroe is close enough to get that “Seattle Sound”

A ‘meet and greet’ event was scheduled for the evening before the race.  Above; Brett at the autograph session and, obviously, being teased by fellow competitor, and good guy, Daryl Harr.

After years of being in the same arena, the Officials do their jobs …. as friends!

Becky and Andy also find a moment to spend in front of a new photographer

Crew Chief Charlie Wilson takes a moment for a picture

The lovely wife and daughter of the TMS Crew Chief get a chance to watch their ‘Charlie’ at work.

TMS Team Members conversing with a NASCAR Official; the subject matter was unknown.

Crew Chief Charlie Wilson and Brett Thompson

The #61 Impala SS is pushed to NASCAR “Tech”.  The background tells a full story of the forest devastation caused by the Western Pine Beetle

Car Chief Craig Nemes checks the engine bay

Getting ready for Qualifying

Rich Thompson speaks to “Denny”, an old friend. Denny was the photographer for the West Series for many years.  He truly earned the respect and friendship of everyone in the Pit Area.

After “Tech”, the car uses manpower to get back to its assigned pit area.

Last tire pressure check prior to the second half of the race

The first half of the race went very well

When you have no transmission, the gravel road is the shortest way to the Hauler!

While the Hauler is loaded for the long transport back to the Jerome (ID) Race Shop, a lone ‘Jack’ stands as a metaphor explaining one of the realities of racing. The sport is very competitive to the point that the failure of any part of the ‘system ensemble’ can mean the difference between winning and simply parking! At this race the failed part was critical and, it was BIG: a transmission! But, at another time and place, it could have been a car damaged by the failure of something as simple as a Jack.

At the TMS Race Shop the failed transmission will be torn down and examined. However, most likely, the cause of the failure will be elusive.

As a Team, TMS will put this disappointment behind them and look forward to their next race.  That race will be at Portland International Raceway on 7.24.11.

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