Thompson Motorsports Focused on Phoenix Finale

Brett Thompson Teams with Braeden Havens for Final NASCAR West Event of the Season

JEROME, IDAHO (November 8, 2012)- Phoenix International Raceway has always held great mystique and prestige among race car drivers from the Western United States. It is the track that all drivers want to win at but few have mastered the layout over the years. Yet, each year they return in hopes of etching their names in the history books. This weekend, Thompson Motorsports and drivers Brett Thompson and Braeden Havens will close out a successful season for the team in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at Phoenix in the Casino Arizona “50″ on the one-mile paved oval.

Brett Thompson of Jerome, Idaho returns to his familiar #61 RTTI Chevrolet for the event having split time in the seat with Havens this season. Thompson has made 18 starts at Phoenix since 2001 yet his finishes do not reflect how good he has been there. Thompson has three top five and six top ten performances in those 18 starts and knows that the race this weekend will be an all out sprint.

“I have a great team, great crew, and great equipment,” Thompson offered. “Phoenix is a track that you can do all the right things but there are a lot of things out of your control. The action happens fast and sometimes you are just part of it.”

What Thompson can do to help control the outcome is qualify up front. Since the race is only 50-laps, there will be precious little time to get to the front during the race. “Qualifying is always key in this series and with so few laps it will make all the difference in this race,” Thompson offered.

“Plus the track is so much faster with the new pavement and layout; you need to start up front if you hope to have a solid finish.”

Guiding Thompson’s effort this season is long-time Thompson Motorsports employee Will Harris. Harris has been promoted to crew chief this season and has helped moved the needle for the team. “Will has been awesome all season,” Thompson said. “He knows our team and knows our cars from the bottom up. He has really proven himself in the capacity and we would all like to close 2012 with a race winning effort.”

Thompson has started 117 NASCAR K&N Pro Series races scoring one win, one pole award, 23 top five and 63 top ten performances. A win at Phoenix would be the prize he has long wanted. “A win at Phoenix would be great and if we are in position at the end we are going to give it everything we have.”

Driving a team car to Thompson will be 18-year old Braeden Havens from Spokane, WA. Havens has made seven starts for the Thompson team in 2012 with three top ten performances. His finishes along with Brett’s has kept the team in the top ten of the owner’s point’s heading into the 2013 season and that will pay dividends for the team next year.

While Havens has a best career finish of seventh this season he knows that there were several top three finishes that could have been. “Even with the limited runs I have had this season, I still have a chance to finish in the top-3 in rookie point this year with a good run in Phoenix. I am four points back (of the top-3 position) so we’ll just do our best and let the cards fall where they may and see what we can do to have a good run,” Havens said.

The race at Phoenix will be the youngster’s first start on a “big” track though he has been to the track several times. “I have gone to the last four races at Phoenix International Raceway (with the Thompson team) so (Brett) has given me a lot of advice at those races regarding the racing line and how far you can drive the car (into the corners). I look forward to working with him this weekend and getting a good finish.”

Having a team that has experience in setting up a race car for Phoenix, especially since its repaving in 2011, is a bonus, he added.

“As a driver you trust your crew to set up the car for whatever track you go to.  My teammate has been to Phoenix many times with good runs so our crew will have this Western Rail Inc. Chevrolet ready for the weekend.”

The Casino Arizona 50 will be televised live on SPEED.

RACE: Casino Arizona 50
PLACE: Phoenix International Raceway, Avondale, Ariz.
DATE: Saturday, Nov. 10
TIME: 5 p.m. MT
RADIO: NASCAR Home Tracks Radio presented by Speed51 live on
TRACK LAYOUT: 1-mile paved oval
2011 WINNER: Ryan Blaney
2011 POLESITTER: Greg Pursley
EVENT SCHEDULE: Thursday: Practice 4:35-5:25 p.m. Friday: Final Practice 9-9:50 a.m. Saturday: Qualifying 8:30 a.m.
TRACK PR CONTACT: Dave Lockett (623) 463-5400
TWITTER: @Phoenixraceway
NASCAR IMC CONTACT: Kevin W. Green (661) 392-8543 Twitter: @KevinW_Green

The Race: This event marks the final event of the 15-race schedule for the 2012 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. It is the second of two series visits to PIR this year. The series kicked off its season at PIR in March.

The 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 50 laps.

The Track: PIR is a one-mile superspeedway with 10 to 11 degrees banking between Turns 1 and 2; 10 to 11 degrees banking at the apex of the dog-leg; and 8 to 9 degrees banking in Turn 4. This will be the 30th stand-alone Phoenix race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

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