This could be the last week for just one Guess the Vehicle photograph in this section.
My intention, if there's enough space, is to identify and publish the photograph of the guess the vehicle from the week before plus a new "Guess the Vehicle" photograph.
I feel our readers don't like waiting two weeks for a chance to guess the vehicle, make and model.
Look in next week's auto section for photographs of the best appearing stock cars from the 14th-annual North Central Speedway's show at the Westgate Mall Friday and Saturday as voted on by local media.
Greg Tomberlin of south Brainerd was able to do something he will always remember.
Not only was he able to watch former Brainerd resident Nathan Thiesse's inaugural race in Bakersfield, Calif., a NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series Tour event on March 22, but he also worked with Thiesse's crew on March 21-22. He even helped the crew switch engines in Thiesse's car after the crankshaft broke early in qualifying race day.
Tomberlin, who was given a pit crew uniform to wear, said this was the first time he was able to tour a professional racing pit crew's shop.
"Everything was new to me," he said. "I felt like one of them. I became a part of that crew that weekend. I felt a part of that team."
Tomberlin said his original objective was to talk to Thiesse the day before the race, take photographs of Thiesse's car and the race shop and watch the race the next day.
On race day, he said he and the crew started working at 6:30 a.m. Once qualifying started, he said the series rules would not allow him to help the crew.
But once Thiesse's engine broke during qualifying, he assisted the crew in installing the new engine.
"(The pit crew) overlooked some of that," he said of the rules violation. "I knew I couldn't keep my hands off but I didn't want Nate disqualified."
Thiesse started 29th and finished sixth despite losing his car's power steering with 75 laps remaining. He had worked his way up to third at one time.
Tomberlin said he knew when Thiesse's power steering broke.
"He quit coming into the corners quite as hard and didn't come out quite as quick," he said.
Tomberlin, who watched the 28-year old Thiesse ice race when Thiesse was 14 years old, said he will attempt to watch Thiesse race in Denver Aug. 16.
Five track records fell in the NHRA Summit-Racing.com Nationals at Las Vegas in the first round of qualifying Friday.
Larry Dixon's fastest run in Top Fuel history, 332.75 mph, was the biggest. His second run in the night qualifying session was at 330.07 mph which was within 1 percent of his first run (this met the NHRA criteria to establish his first run as a national record).
Also setting track records were Doug Kalitta in Top Fuel, 4.499 seconds, Gary Densham in Funny Car, 326.56 mph, and Greg Anderson in Pro Stock, 6.880 seconds at 201.28 mph.
Densham's speed was the second fastest in Funny Car history.
Funny Car pilot Gary Scelzi in his Dodge Stratus R/T also survived a spectacular explosion near the finish line in the night session. The explosion destroyed the body.
Scelzi, whose Top Fueler broke apart in a spectacular crash at Brainerd International Raceway two years ago, said in a release from his public relations agency that he was glad he was in a funny car.
"The thing about the Funny Car is when it did blow up I had a steering wheel in my hand, I had brakes, I had a fire bottle," he said. "At least I had a shot and the shot paid off. I didn't hit anything. I got the car stopped and the car's fine."
In the finals on Sunday, Tommy Johnson, Jr., also had a "close call" in his Funny Car. The car's engine exploded in a ball of flames.
He lost to Whit Bazemore, 4.889 to 4.986.
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