Thompson Set for Iowa Return

Series Veteran Seeks Big Weekend in East/West Combination Event

JEROME, IDAHO (May 20, 2011) Brett Thompson, driver of the RTTI/Jerome Truck Service Inc. Chevrolet, has been looking forward to his return to Iowa Speedway this weekend since last season knowing the track may owe him a little something. With a committed effort in place for a championship run, a strong finish at Iowa is critical as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West teams meet for the fifth time.

Thompson has started five races at Iowa (four East/West combination races and one West stand alone event) scoring one top five and three top ten finishes with his best qualifying effort of second back in September of 2009. Last season a broken panhard bar bracket doomed his race before it ever began.

Following qualifying for last year’s race, the Thompson Motorsports team discovered the damaged bracket but were unable to repair it before the start of the race as NASCAR would have penalized the team five laps. So Thompson opted to take it easy at the start of the race and pit during the first caution. The team repaired the bracket but ended up losing six laps in the process.

After a solid start to the 2011 season, Thompson is optimistic about his chances this weekend. “We have always been pretty good at Iowa,” Thompson said. “I really love the track and wish we could race here a few more times a year. While qualifying is definitely important, being fast late in the race is critical.”

With this year’s race being shortened to 175-laps from the customary 200-lap distance, there will be more pressure on the teams to perform flawless pit stops and for the driver to stay up on the wheel. “This track is really fast and there is a lot of side load on the tires in the corners,” Thompson offered. “We have seen some hard crashes here and keeping the right side tires under you is going to be crucial.”

Thompson is using the same car he ran to a fifth place finish with at Phoenix earlier this year and essentially will use the same setup. “We’ll change the spring and shock package to handle the corner speed but we are pretty excited about the race,” Thompson offered. “The team has been practicing pit stops for three weeks and Charlie (Wilson-crew chief) has a lot of confidence in the guys and the car.”

Thompson is equally confident about his chances this weekend and knows the Iowa track fits his style. “I do like the speedways and Iowa is one of the best in the country,” Thompson said. “I know the fans will see a great race as the field of cars in both series is closer than they have ever been. We have put a lot of effort into our program this year and we have a car that can certainly win. I feel I am a better and more confident driver and I hope we can get to victory lane on Saturday.”

Thompson has completed 812 of 926 laps and has been running at the conclusion in four of his five starts at Iowa, and if not for a cut tire and the bracket issue from last season, he might have completed every lap. “With the race being in the evening this year, I think having a setup that is on the free side is going to make the difference,” Thompson continued. “We know the track will tighten up, we just need to have the adjustment in the car.”

Thompson has started 102 NKNPS races since 2000 scoring one win, one Coors Light Pole Award, 21 top five and 58 top ten performances. His best points finish was fifth in 2009. Brett Thompson is currently in seventh place in the championship standings after three races just 29-points out of fifth place.

Pork ‘Be Inspired’ 175 presented by Tompkins Industries
The Place: Iowa Speedway
The Date: Saturday, May 21
The Time: 7 p.m. CT
TV Schedule: SPEED, June 2, 6 p.m. ET
Radio: NASCARHomeTracks.com Radio, Live
Track Layout: .875-mile paved oval
2010 Winner: Max Gresham
2010 Polesitter: David Mayhew
Event Schedule: Saturday: Practice 11:05 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 1–2 p.m., Qualifying 5:10 p.m.

Fast Facts
Race: This event marks the fifth year for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination race at Iowa Speedway. It is the only race in which the East and West compete for championship points in the same event. It is the fourth of 14 events on the 2011 schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West and the fourth of 12 events for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this season.

Procedure: The starting field is 40 cars, including provisionals. The first 34 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining six spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 175 laps (153 miles).

Track: Iowa Speedway is a .875-mile paved oval with the turns banked 12-14 degrees, four degrees banking in the backstretch and 10 degrees banking in the frontstretch.

Records: Qualifying: Kyle Busch, May 17, 2009, 135.484 mph, 23.250 sec.; Race: To be established at this distance.

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