Thompson Scores First Career RMCS Victory

Veteran Idaho Racer Makes First Visit to Meridian Speedway Special

BOISE, IDAHO (June 28, 2010) When Brett Thompson decided to run the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series it was with one goal in mind. That was to win a championship. That goal became a little closer after winning the NAPA Auto Parts Treasure Valley “100″ Saturday night at Meridian (ID) Speedway. Thompson scored the victory from the tenth starting position and held off determined challenges from John Dillon, Thane Alderman, and John Nesmith. In the end, Thompson crossed the line .061 seconds ahead of John Nesmith, with Thane Alderman finishing third. John Newhouse finished fourth with John Dillon rebounding from a late spin to finish in the fifth position.

The series known for its 20-car invert and putting the fast qualifiers at the rear to start the race was put to the test on Saturday as track position on the tricky quarter-mile paved oval means a lot. Dave Minegar of Boise scored his 22nd career Sharp Powder Coating Fast Time Award blistering his old track record by over four tenths of a second. Minegar laid down a 13.145 second lap.  Following Minegar in qualifying were Dillon, Nesmith, Bruce Quale, and Joe Miller. The 12-lap heat races were won by Dylan Caldwell, Jaramie Fuss, and Travis Monett.

Travis Monett started on the front row pole and led the first 30 circuits before the fast pack behind overtook him as the hot evening sun was setting. Thompson took the top spot on lap 32 and would never look back but had a train of fast guys right on his tail.

Thane Alderman, who tows from Las Vegas, NV for every RMCS event, having one of his best runs of the season, was in second and not letting Thompson get away. Alderman dogged Thompson until lap 50 when fast qualifiers Minegar and Dillon caught him and made the move under the 09.

At lap 50 Thompson held the point followed by Dillon in second with Minegar in tow. Alderman and Newhouse rounded out the top five.

On lap 67, Minegar’s push to the front came to an end when his distributor failed leaving the two-time series champion without power and disappointed. Minegar had put on a show driving from the rear of the field.

Over the final 30 laps, Thompson held off a determined John Dillon as the duo waged a spirited battle until lap 96 when Dillon drove to the high-side but lost traction and room looping his Chevrolet. Dillon restarted and joined the rear of the field.

John Nesmith who is a local legend at Meridian used patience and track experience to let the race unfold. When Dillon spun bringing out the final caution, Nesmith then took up the charge against Thompson and over the final three laps he got his Chevrolet side-by-side Thompson’s Dodge but was never able to make the pass.

“I knew we would win this year but I never thought it would be at Meridian,” Thompson said. “Will Harris (crew chief) and the rest of the team did an awesome job today. This is my first trip to Meridian and I had heard you can’t pass here but we were able to make the outside work and that was the difference. We saved our tires and got faster by slowing down during the middle of the race.”

Thompson’s victory moved him into second place in the standings. “We need to get better at qualifying,” Thompson said. “Winning and top five finishes are not enough in this series. We will get better at qualifying but I am just so proud of the guys for making this victory possible.”

Finishing second in his first series start of the year was John Nesmith. “I ran a pretty conservative race for me,” Nesmith said. “This is a really good series that is well run and fair for everyone and that makes it fun to race in. My car never fell off at all and those last 30-laps were awesome. It was fun for me as a driver and I am sure the fans saw a great show.”

Notching his second top three finish of the season was Thane Alderman. “This is a pretty racey little track,” Alderman said. “We were on old tires saving our new ones for later in the year so we are really pleased with how our car worked. We were fast and were right there.”

After only deciding to attend the race on Thursday of last week at the prompting of his crew, John Newhouse had another solid run. A run that put him into the points lead. “I was not going to race since I wanted to focus on my daughter’s racing efforts this season,” Newhouse said. “My crew and all the guys in the series kept calling me and encouraging me to be here¬† and since we are up in the points it just made sense to continue on. We had a solid run and to leave here with the point lead is fantastic. I guess we’ll just have to see where this goes.”

Rounding out the top five finishers was John Dillon who was looking for his second victory in as many races and knows one got away. “We were there and thought we had it,” Dillon said. “I got along side down the backstretch and Brett made his car a little wider and, well, I spun. “It was a good race for us but we are only focused on winning since I am only going to make half the races. We’ll get them at the next one.”

Newhouse takes over the point lead from Steve Jones who led coming into the event by 54-points but after a practice crash and a 17th place finish, Jones drops to third in the standings 36-points back. Thompson is now in second place in the standings 24-points behind Newhouse. Lynn Hardy is fourth with Thane Alderman rounding out the top five in the standings. Minegar drops to sixth after a 12th place finish with Bruce Quale, Eric Rhead, Joe Miller, and Russel Butler rounding out the top ten

A-1 Heating & Air Conditioning sponsors the Rookie-of-the-Year program which will pay $100 to the top finishing rookie in each event. After five races, Eric Rhead maintains his lead on Lonnie Lowder and Kenny Vanderham for top rookie honors.

Sharp Powder Coating sponsors the fast time award worth $100 for driver who sets fast time in each RMCS event plus $100 to a random driver in the field. Through five races there have been five different fast time award winners. The ESI Lap Leader Bonus Award worth $5 per lap and has Brett Thompson out front followed by Eric Rhead, Steve Jones, Bruce Quale, and John Dillon.

The next event for the CarbonX Rocky Mountain Challenge Series is Saturday, July 17 at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley, UT. Two-time series champion Zan Sharp is the defending race winner and the track record is held by Brian Levant of Calgary, Alberta, Canada set back in May of this year. There have 12 different winners in 20 previous RMCS races at RMR. Steve Jones of Meridian, ID has won the past two races this season at RMR.

Century Boatland located in Twin Falls is a new sponsor this season to the RMCS providing a significant contribution to this season ending point’s fund. Longacre Racing Products, Joes Racing Products, and Circle Wheels all have product deals in place awarded to random finishers in each event this season.

The RMCS utilizes a racing format not found in ANY other regional touring series around the country. The top 20 qualifiers are inverted for every race putting fast time in the 20th starting position. This format ensures race fans see what they paid for and that is passing. Each driver is awarded three points per position gained in the event. Points are also awarded for qualifying and heat race finishes. Through the history of the series, the winning driver has averaged a 15th place starting position. To ensure competition, the RMCS pays it purse based on total point accumulation for the event and provides several special performance awards for each event.

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