Las Vegas Speedway: The Race In Pictures

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

The story of the NASCAR K&N Pro race at The LVMS Bullring can be found in 3 parts: heat, a recalcitrant race car and, a flat tire at race ending.  The heat was expected since it was June, but 110.3 F on the Pit area asphalt was certainly excessive and it took a toll on all working crewmembers.  After a brilliant race , Brett Thompson had defied all expectations by driving the car to 5th position with only 12 laps remaining.  But, having already lost its front brakes, the #61 also began to lose air pressure in the LF tire.  This resulted in a loss of 7 positions during the last few laps of the race. Although 12th place was less than desirable, it was a respectable finish, especially considering that, just as Brett took the checkered flag, the left front tire completely shredded itself! As a result of this finish Brett Thompson moved up to 5th place in season points.

NASCAR Race Teams, and Racing Fans in general, might wish to consider the Excellent and Guest Friendly “South Point Hotel” for their visits in Las Vegas. This Racing Friendly hotel is guided by a people oriented culture fostered by an exceptionally friendly owner, Michael Gaughan. Racing fans are probably more familiar with the name of Michael’s son; the popular NASCAR driver Brendon Gaughan.  The ‘South Point’ is not just another Las Vegas Hotel; it is also an expression of support for, and a strong confluence with, a race fan’s favorite sport.

Like most of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Complex, the short track “Bullring” is a nice facility

In spite of 100 degree weather, the nearby mountain peaks still retain some snowpack. This year, the warm days of spring came very late in the West.

The #61 Impala SS easily goes through Tech prior to practice.

On clearing NASCAR Tech, the car heads back to the Pit area and made ready for the first of two scheduled practice sessions.

In the first practice the #61 was good, but not exceptional: it was 10th quick at the end.

Between sessions, adjustments were made to the car.  Willie (above) cannot be too pleased about his ‘up close’ meeting with 130+ degree asphalt

The car was better in the second practice session and was shown as being 5th quick. (The 1.5 mile LVMS Track can be seen in the background)

The toolbox thermometer tells the entire story of working on the tarmac: 110.3!

In spite of the heat, Crew Chief Charlie Wilson still has to tape the grill for Qualifying

The Track Announcer’s clothes reflect one of the cultural themes of Las Vegas: have fun!

As the 9 PM race time approaches, our Nation’s “Colors” enhance the evening sky

28 NASCAR “K&N Pro” cars line up for the start of the race

Initially the #61 was quick.  However, it began to fade after only 5 or 6 laps.  It was a condition, fast for only a few laps, that lasted throughout the entire race.

This section was the unofficial #61 fan area. It included Brett Thompson’s family and (Right) the husband and wife winners of the Brett Thompson “Win a Trip to Las Vegas” web contest.

Tyler Thompson: 20 months old

It is called “The Bullring” – and for obvious reasons

This serious crash, which eliminated several competitors, resulted in a RED Flag. Thankfully, all were OK.

On crossing the finish line, the deflating LF tire finally failed. It had to be replaced just to drive back to the Pits. It was that kind of night – one requiring an ‘after race’ pit stop!!  However, on this night, the  #61 car had also raced up to 5th position just prior to the tire failure. Settling for 12th place was not bad. … but, 5th place would have been much better!

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