Phoenix International Raceway; Thompson Motorsports: The Race in Pictures

By RA Fariello

Photography by Gina Graham Fariello

1

The Haulers depart for PIR; the first day is setup day at the track

2

Well no, the tailgate is not by Picasso; it is, however, very interesting while in motion!

3

PIR as viewed from the hill located NE of the race track. Seats are sold here – after the rattlesnake sweep!

4

PIR is a very scenic track.

5

The first day of the event is for unloading and initial setup of the cars

6

The #60 TMS car of Taylor Barton is setup under the supervision of Crew Chief, Aaron Brown

7

The #61 car of Brett Thompson passes its initial NASCAR Inspection and -

8

Taylor Barton’s #60 also breezes through NASCAR Tech

9

The Traditional TMS barbecue takes place the evening before Race Day. Here, Heather of www.FullTiltPoker.net and “SEVEN&COMPANY” hands out cards, hats, and shirts to ~ 45 attendees.

10

A few people at the party were less interested in poker and conversation; in this case, the feeding duckling is a very high priority for one very sweet young girl.

11

Morning Practice on Race Day; on the initial laps, the #61 was on top of the leader board and the #60 was in 6th place. Brett called the car “Perfect”.

12

The #60 “Full Tilt Poker” car of Taylor Barton drives along Pit Road while heading out for his initial practice session.

13

After a very impressive ‘first time out’ for the TMS cars, “Racing Luck” asserted itself. The #60 Car of Taylor Barton suddenly, and for unknown reasons, went straight into the outside wall.

14

The #61 car of Brett Thompson, on the third time out, was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting a spinning car. While doing so, Brett was hit from behind by yet another car. Suddenly, through no fault of their own, BOTH TMS Primary cars were “OUT”. Thus, both teams had to unload and, in less than 3 hours, setup and prepare their backup cars. This would result in NO practice laps before Qualifying or the Race itself. Incredibly, even in the 100 degree tarmac heat, both Teams completed their work on the backup cars in time for the Qualifying Session!

15

Taylor Barton, in the #60 TMS Chevrolet, begins his Qualifying Run. Although he had not turned a single lap in the car, he qualified 21st. However, as was the case with the #61 of Brett Thompson, both cars would have to start in the back as a result of using their backup cars.

16

The #61 backup car of Brett Thompson qualified in 16th position.

17

Driver Introduction: Brett Thompson #61

18

Driver Introduction; Taylor Barton #60

19

Car #60, the www.FullTiltPoker.com Chevrolet of Taylor Barton is pushed into its starting position for the race.

20

Prior to the race, and prior to being secured into his drivers seat, a sincere and grateful Brett Thompson shakes the hand of everyone of his hard working crew members.

21

Brett Thompson and Taylor Barton start the race together. Due to using backup cars, NASCAR rules required that both must start in the back of the field.

22

The #61 ‘backup’ car proved to be very fast. By lap 60, Brett had raced up to 4th place! In a bold attempt to win, he elected to stop for new tires. After that stop the car was even quicker. However, one of the tires failed a few laps from the end of the race resulting in a turn #3 impact and another badly damaged car.

23

Taylor Barton, meanwhile, was quietly moving forward with a series of fast laps and was now running in the ‘top 10’.

24

A massive last lap accident occurred directly in front of the #60 car. Taylor Barton was able to maneuver and push his way through the carnage even though his car suffered substantial damage. He finished a remarkable 9th in the race and is now 6th in series points. For TMS this race was a mix of good and bad. Although 4 cars suffered substantial damage, all 4 were FAST cars. That speaks well for both the Teams and, for the entire season. For every crewmember whose car rebuilding efforts were ‘above and beyond’, TMS offers a sincere Thank You. The TMS Teams will race again at the Iowa Speedway on 23 May.

~ Photography by Gina Graham Fariello

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One Response to “Phoenix International Raceway; Thompson Motorsports: The Race in Pictures”

  1. Jay Grimm says:

    That was a great pictorial! Thanks for all the info under the pictures. Wishing you all the best of luck in Iowa.

    Jay

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