Thompson to Make Career Start 100 at Phoenix

JEROME, IDAHO (February 21, 2011) Brett Thompson, driver of the RTTI/Jerome Truck Center Chevrolet, returns to full-time action in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this season with the first race this Thursday evening at Phoenix (AZ) International Raceway in the 3 Amigos Organic Blanco “100″. The start will also mark a career milestone for the Jerome, Idaho competitor as Thompson will make his 100th career start in the West’s oldest stock car series.

Thompson has competed in the K&N Pro Series for much of the last ten years, making his first career start back in 2000 at Rocky Mountain Raceway (SLC, UT) where he came home with a top ten finish. And while a lot has changed over the past decade, the goal of winning at Phoenix stays the same. “This is a race everyone wants to win,” Thompson said. “We have been close a few times and this season we have a renewed energy and sense of purpose. We know we can win.”

That renewed sense of purpose was cultivated last season when Thompson took some time away from the K&N Pro Series making only five starts. Instead he concentrated on Late Model racing in the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series where he credits the series format in making him a better driver.

“I really learned a lot racing in the RMCS last season,” Thompson offered. “In the RMCS, fast guys start in the back, so you have to know when to race and when to push it moving up through the field. With the limited tire rule, you also had to save tires, so I believe as a driver I will be a lot better later in the races this season.”

“We were disappointed with our two races last year at Phoenix.” Thompson said. “We had cars capable of winning but destroyed them both late in the race. We have three brand new cars ready to go and our Phoenix car is perfect. Hopefully this time around we can come out on top.”

To come out on top in this 100-lap sprint race, you first have to qualify well then have track position on your side late in the race. “We plan to start up front and pit early,” Thompson offered. “We don’t plan on changing tires so saving your tires during the first 75 laps is going to be critical. We just want to be running in the top five with ten to go. If we are there then we have a shot.”

“I love racing at Phoenix,” Thompson said. “It is a special racetrack and a victory would mean everything to our team.”

Thompson has started 99 races in NKNPS and has scored one win, one pole award, 20 top five and 56 top ten performances. Thompson’s best Phoenix finish in 15 previous starts is a pair of fourth place finishes (04, 08). “Racing as part of the Sprint Cup weekend is great for the series,” Thompson stated. “Phoenix is a very popular track for fans and to be part of a big racing weekend is great. The K&N Pro Series continues to get better and I know the fans will see a great show.”

FAST FACTS:

The Race: 3 Amigos Organic Blanco 100
Place: Phoenix International Raceway
Date: Thursday, Feb. 24
Time: 4:30 p.m. PT
TV Schedule: SPEED, TBA
Track Layout: 1-mile paved oval
Race Purse: $130,413
2010 Winner: Eric Holmes
2010 Polesitter: Andrew Myers
Event Schedule: Thursday: Practice 9-10 a.m., 10:30–11:30 a.m., Qualifying 2:30 p.m.
Track PR Contact: Paul Corliss (623) 463-5400 pcorliss@phoenixinternationalraceway.com
Twitter: @Phoenixraceway
NASCAR IMC Contact: Kevin W. Green (661) 392-8543 kgreen@nascar.com

RACE NOTES:

The race … This event marks the beginning of the 2011 season for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. It is the first of two series visits to PIR this year, with the circuit returning in November for the season finale.

The procedure … The starting field is 40 cars, including provisionals. The first 36 cars will qualify through two-lap time trials. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 100 laps.

The track … PIR is a one-mile superspeedway with Turns 1 and 2 banked 11 degrees, Turns 3 and 4 banked nine degrees and two degrees of banking in the dogleg. This will be the 27th stand-alone Phoenix race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.

The records … Qualifying: Greg Pursley, Nov. 13, 2010, 129.964 mph, 27.700 sec.; Race: David Gilliland, Jan. 30, 2005, 108.532 mph, 55 minutes 17 seconds.

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