Kern County Raceway: Race in Photos

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

The 2nd race of the 2016 NASCAR K&N Pro West season took place at the Kern County Raceway {aka, Bakersfield} on 3.2.2016.  Following an impressive 5th place finish at Irwindale the TMS Team arrived at Kern with a hope, and a reasonable expectation, of an even better result. As it was at Irwindale, the TMS long time friend and highly experienced driver, Johnny Borneman III, would be the driver of record for the TMS #61 RTTI Ford Fusion.

During the two NASCAR scheduled Practice Sessions the times for the #61 car could be called lackluster. This situation was a major concern to Crew Chief, Will Harris. Driver Johnny Borneman III showed no such concern as he explained that the car was “neutral and very good” and that the car was “much better than the recorded times”. His point was well made as the #61 car qualified a very impressive 5th.

That speed carried over into the race itself. During the early laps of the event Johnny Borneman III raced roughly where he qualified. At that point in the race Johnny decided to go for the lead. For the following 30 laps he built a very impressive half straightaway lead. Although everything looked perfect, it was not as the engine began to overheat and the car was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop. After returning to the race in the back of the pack, Johnny quickly moved forward again, but that necessary effort ‘used up’ much of the #61 car’s tires. Although while tire wear precluded any chance of winning the race Johnny Borneman III, with a superb drive, continued passing other cars and finished in a hard fought 9th place. A top 10 finish is a good result … but not as good as the victory that appeared to be in sight earlier in the race.

‘Kern’ is a excellent track next to I-5 and about 17 miles west of the City of Bakersfield {CA}

After unloading from the hauler the RTTI #61 car goes through initial NASCAR Inspection

In a big switch for TMS, Brett Thompson {C} joins Rich Thompson {CL} on the Spotters Stand.. Until Practice Session #1 begins, the view is of miles of desert in every direction

Meanwhile the car is pushed {by ‘manpower’} back to the pits and made ready for practice

Driver Johnny Borneman III reports that the car is “very well balanced”

The TMS Team monitors the car’s practice times during the 2nd Practice Section

After the 2nd Practice, the car must again go through NASCAR Tech prior to Qualifying

Driver Johnny Borneman III during Qualifying; the car was very quick and it Qualified a solid 5th

Following Qualifying, there is ample time to relax. Here John Borneman is joined in the pit area by his family prior to the race

The cars are lined up on the track prior to the 9 PM race time

During the early laps, the #61 raced in the top 6 positions

At around the 35 lap mark, Johnny took the #61 to about a 600 foot lead of the race. The car remained in the #1 position until an overheating situation forced the car into an unscheduled pit stop

Serious Accident: Thankfully, everyone involved was OK

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