Profile: TMS Race Mechanic, Jeff Ward

By R. A. Fariello

   Jeff Ward is a cornerstone within the Thompson Motorsports Organization.  Jeff has been a part of the TMS Team since 2004 and he can be counted on to perform multiple functions both within the Race Shop and also at the Race Track.

   Jeff, now 55, is a native of the venerable city of Jerome, Idaho.  Jeff met and married his wife Patty and together raised 3 children, Jessica, Kimberlee and, Ryan, at their Jerome home. 

   In yet another example of how life’s events guide careers, Jeff’s first passion was not racing cars – it was racing AIRPLANES!!!  This connection to aviation was fostered by Jeff’s education at the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK.  He graduated with a highly respected certification as an A & P Mechanic.  Employment with the Boeing Company, Wichita KS, soon followed, as did a job crewing with an airplane Race Team.                                                      Eventually, a combined desire to work with both an automotive racing team, and to return to his Idaho home, led Jeff to his present position with Thompson Motorsports.

   While at the Race Track, Jeff is likely to be working as #1; a Tire Tech, #2; a Gas Man, or, #3: a Tire Changer.  Back at the Jerome ID TMS Race Shop, Jeff is just as versatile in bringing his skills to a variety of jobs ranging from Fabrication to Car Repair and to broad based Mechanic work.  

   Patty Ward often accompanies Jeff to the Race Track where she can be found helping Jane Thompson with a variety of logistical issues including food procurement and race scoring.  Interestingly, Patty Ward also had her own career in Law Enforcement. That career was with the Jerome ID Police department where she eventually achieved the laudable rank of Administrative Sergeant.  On the date of 10.10.10, and at 10:10 AM, Patty retired from that position.  Each of us at TMS congratulates Patti on her excellent career and we thank her for her many years of service to the community. Kudos Patty!

   During their time off, Jeff and Patty are likely to be seen loading Jeff’s 2002 GMC 4×4 and heading for the Idaho Wilderness and all of the serene beauty it provides.  There they camp, hunt, fish and, simply unwind.  For Patty, those remote locations also provide relief from Jeff’s favorite music: ROCK!

   For Jeff Ward “foundation” is the best metaphor for describing his value within the TMS organization.  However, he is a modest man, describing himself as being “plain vanilla.”  Perhaps so, but for us at TMS Jeff is more like the plain vanilla ice cream base in a hot fudge Sundae; that is, we see him as being a core element of our operations who is highly admired and very much appreciated. Sometimes, “Plain Vanilla” is exactly what is needed! 

Photography by Gina Graham Fariello

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