Thompson Eyes Prize at Toyota Speedway This Weekend

Idaho Driver Sits Third in Points; Locked in Great Battle

JEROME, IDAHO (June 30, 2011) Brett Thompson, driver of the RTTI/Jerome Truck Service Inc. Chevrolet, is heading to one of his favorite racetracks this weekend as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series hits the halfway mark of the season in the running of the Toyota Dealers of Southern California ”200″ presented by King Taco at the ultra-fast Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (CA) on Saturday night.

The annual Independence Day weekend clash brings together the rising stars of NASCAR from throughout the region at the marquee paved oval outside Los Angeles. The event is race seven of the 14-championship series and Toyota Speedway is a place that Thompson feels right at home.

In 14 previous starts on the high-speed half-mile oval, Thompson has five top five and nine top ten performances with his best finish of third three times. Last season, while running a limited schedule in the series, Thompson finished third in this race for his best result of the season.

“I really love the place,” Thompson said. “Even though it is a short track, it races like a speedway producing some of the best side-by-side racing fans will see all season. While we have historically not been great qualifiers, we have always raced really well at Irwindale (Toyota Speedway) and we are really confident about our chances Saturday night.”

Thompson is coming off a solid performance at Infineon Raceway last weekend that propelled him into third place in the championship standings just 64-points out of second place. “We are where we need to be at this stage of the season,” Thompson offered. “Charlie Wilson (crew chief) and the rest of the team continue to make the right calls setting up the car and we have been consistent on track. We need to continue to finish races and we will stay in the thick of the points battle.”

Even though Toyota Speedway races like a big track, it can bite you if you are not careful. “You can run just about anywhere you want to and that creates potential problems as everyone is fighting for positions everywhere on the track,” Thompson said. “The trick is really managing your tires and having something left late in the race. You can’t really lay back too much because guys will race you hard for position and you can behind really quickly.”

“With 200-laps it is really two races,” Thompson continued. “The first 100-laps is just about staying out of trouble and staying on the lead lap. The second 100-laps is all about racing and hopefully we are in a position to contend for the win.”

Through six races this season, Thompson has shown that no matter where he has qualified he has made the most of track position late in the race finishing better than where he started in five of six races. His average starting position is 18.1 and his average finishing position is 10.8 with a best finish of third at Iowa among his West series counterparts.

In his NASCAR K&N Pro Series career, Thompson has started 105 NKNPS races since 2000 scoring one win, one Coors Light Pole Award, 22 top five and 59 top ten performances. His best points finish was fifth in 2009.

Race: Toyota Dealers of Southern California “200″ presented by King Taco
Place: Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.)
Date: Saturday, July 2
Time: 8:45 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: SPEED, July 14, 6 p.m. ET
Radio Schedule: Radio, Live
Track Layout: .5-mile paved oval
2010 Winner: Auggie Vidovich
2010 Polesitter: Greg Pursley
Event Schedule: Saturday: Practice 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m., 1–1:45 p.m., Qualifying 4:45 p.m.
Track PR Contact: Doug Stokes (626) 391-3772
Twitter: @ToyotaSpeedway
NASCAR IMC Contact: Kevin W. Green (661) 392-8543

Fast Facts
Race: This event is the seventh of 14 events on the 2011 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

Procedure: The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 200 laps (100 miles).

Track: Toyota Speedway at Irwindale is a half-mile paved oval with blended banking of six, nine and 12 degrees in the corners and banking of six degrees in the straights. This will be the 21st visit by the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, dating back to June of 1999.

Records: Qualifying: Butch Gilliland, June 19, 1999, 100.722 mph, 17.871 seconds; Race: Jason Bowles, Aug. 16, 2008, 76.255 mph, 1 hour 18 minutes 41 seconds.

Special Advance Activities For Fans On Friday
Activities for the Southern California Toyota Dealers 200 presented by King Taco get under way with a couple of special advance activities near the track on Friday, July 1.

Fans will have an opportunity to chat with drivers and get autographs during a Meet and Greet from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Courtyard Marriott in nearby Monrovia. Team haulers are slated to head from the hotel to the track in a cavalcade, beginning at 6 p.m.

West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame Induction and Dinner
The West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction and dinner at the Azusa Greens Country Club in Azusa, Calif., on Friday, July 1.

Those slated for induction include Marvin Burke, Louis “Lou” Mangini, Chuck Parko, Al Schmidhamer, George Seeger and Chuck Stevenson, Cary Agajanian, Roger McCluskey, Joe Ruttman and Tim Williamson.

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