Baytown: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

BAZEMORE COLLECTS NO. 9 IN HOUSTON QUALIFYING BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and crew chief Brian Corradi continue to make strides with the performance of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the 2006 NHRA ...

BAZEMORE COLLECTS NO. 9 IN HOUSTON QUALIFYING

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 1, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and crew chief Brian Corradi continue to make strides with the performance of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, as was demonstrated during qualifying for the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway.

Bazemore held on to the No. 9 spot he maintained through the last three sessions with the 4.818-second elapsed time at 312.50 mph he posted in the final round today. His first attempt of the weekend produced his second strongest run, of 4.821/323.19, good for No. 3 at the time.

The Matco Tools Dodge team struggled through the other two rounds, while learning how to tune the car for the new tire mandated by NHRA at the last event, posting a 9.984/90.69 and a 14.380/77.39.

"The Matco Tools Dodge is continuing to come around, but, like a lot of other teams in Houston, we're really struggling with the narrow window of performance that this new tire presents us," said Bazemore. "When you get it figured out and it goes down the track, it's good. But the margin of where the car will go down the track, at least for us, is very, very narrow, and apparently for a lot of other people - witness the fact that so many cars didn't go down the race track this weekend so far.

"As the top qualifiers (John Force, Robert Hight 1-2) have proved, when you do have a handle on it, it's very strong running tire. It's up to us to continue to test and try to figure the thing out.

"We're not in a good position where we're spending time in qualifying, trying to improve the race car and trying to come up with a good combination for race day. Unfortunately, this weekend we've been in a situation where we're just trying to figure out how to get the thing to go down the track from A to B without shaking or smoking the tires. In that regard, it's a little frustrating.

"Like I said, we're making progress. We may test on Monday. What I can tell you is the Matco Tools Dodge team pulls out all the stops and gives it the very best effort that's possible. Ultimately, that's why we're going to be successful."

Bazemore faces his old nemesis, Tony Pedregon, in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Robert Hight