Phoenix International Raceway: Race in Photos

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

The 14th, and final, race of the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro West season took place on November 12 at the Phoenix International Raceway.

The primary story line for this race was the introduction of a completely new TMS built car. Additionally, this car also was ‘dressed’ in a new paint scheme and in new colors. Most surprisingly, this car was a Ford Fusion!!! In fact, this totally new configured car had only one point of concern, that being the fact that it was finished just before the PIR race … and, as a consequence, it came to the track without any prior testing.

Fortunately, the lack of on track testing turned out to be a minor issue, if an issue at all. In a very fast field, mostly dominated by East Division cars, the #61 practiced 14th quick and then Qualified 17th of 36 cars. In both cases, the TMS entry was within roughly .7 seconds of the #1 Qualifier. That time discrepancy was within the range of a few small chassis adjustments and tire wear occurring during the race.

Such a presumption turned out to be factual. From the start of the race to lap 10, Brett Thompson easily passed another car every 2 laps! When a Caution Flag waved on lap 10, the #61 car was about to pass the 11th place car. Unfortunately, this very impressive performance was to soon end. After lap #14 the TMS car began to ‘slow’ and by lap #32 Brett Thompson was stopped at the exit of Turn #4, the victim of an engine failure.

In a realistic comparison of Good and Bad, both were a part of this race. The Bad – a blown engine -was obvious. The Good, however, extends into the 2016 season since the #61TMS Fusion was both quick and highly competitive.

After 15+Years of racing cars under the Chevrolet nameplate, the TMS Crew rolled their new F-O-R-D Fusion up to NASCAR Pre-qualifying Tech Inspection!!

The Haulers enter the track from their overnight stay in the, soon to be very crowded, RV parking area

The cars unload, and ’Setup’ begins, on the day before the race

The atmosphere on setup day is relaxed. Pictured above are those of Childhood Friends and their wives; L to R are Jane and Rich Thompson and Bill and Suzanne Giltner.

With time on their hands, Brooke, Emerson, Tyler and, Brett Thompson also stand for a family picture.

It produced a smile at TMS when the scoring tower was test lighted … and #61 was on top!!

The TMS entry went through initial ‘Tech” without incident.

The morning of Race Day turns far more active, crowded, and busy, leaving little time for relaxing.

15 minutes into the 2 hour Practice Session; Brett Thompson’s #61 looks good between Turns #3 and #4.

Throughout the Practice Session all of the competitors make frequent returns to their pit for fine tuning adjustments in an effort to make their cars better.

Brett Thompson Qualifying: The #61 started 17th, but it was a much faster car than that position indicated.

NASCAR Series Director, K&N Pro West, Kip Childress conducts the mandatory Drivers Meeting.

What might be called ‘hauler societies’ form as all associated people of a team get a chance to unwind as they all wait for ‘race time’.

With the car pushed into position on Pit Road, Brett Thompson poses for a ‘Drivers Card’ picture

The #61 car was very fast for the first 14 laps of the race.

Lap #8

Just prior to the engine failure Brett Thompson’s lap times increased sharply. 2 laps later the engine ‘blew up’.

The PIR Event marks the end of the 2015 NASCAR K&N West season. It is also the completion of the racing season for Thompson Motorsports.

***

To all of you, fellow racing friends and supporters of our racing efforts, we say thank you.

With the Holiday season fast approaching, all of us at Rich Thompson Trucking Inc. and at Thompson Motorsports extend to you our wishes for a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and, and a prosperous New Year.

The Thompson Motorsports Team and Family

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