RAIN CANCELS SATURDAY ACTION AT HOUSTON, BAZEMORE EARNS 30TH CAREER POLE BAYTOWN, Texas (March 31, 2007) -- While Mother Nature stole the show on Saturday at Houston Raceway Park, Whit Bazemore made history becoming just the 15th racer in NHRA...
RAIN CANCELS SATURDAY ACTION AT HOUSTON, BAZEMORE EARNS 30TH CAREER POLE
BAYTOWN, Texas (March 31, 2007) -- While Mother Nature stole the show on Saturday at Houston Raceway Park, Whit Bazemore made history becoming just the 15th racer in NHRA history to qualify No. 1 in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Saturday's racing action was washed out due to persistent rain showers, so Bazemore's 4.514-second blast from Friday earned the Matco Tools driver his 30th career pole.
Entering the race third in the POWERade Top Fuel standings, the longtime Funny Car competitor paced the field with a Lee Beard tune-up as Bazemore blasted the Matco Tools dragster to a performance of 4.514 seconds at 326.87 mph. It was the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend. It is the 21st time that Bazemore and Beard have earned the pole as driver/crew chief. With the accomplishment, Bazemore joins an elite group of 15 drivers that include past champions such as Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein and Gary Scelzi who have earned the top qualifying position in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.
"We're disappointed not to have ran on Saturday," Bazemore said. "We'd much rather have lost the top spot and gotten the track time. We're excited though. It was the perfect run for those conditions. We'll be ready for Sunday. We have the option to run further back in the order. Hopefully, we can continue winning rounds and improve on our results."
"It was nice to finally outrun out teammates (Rod Fuller) this season," Beard joked.
Final eliminations for the 20th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals begin at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sunday morning at the Houston-area track. Bazemore will battle No. 16 qualifier and veteran NHRA Top Fuel racer Cory McClenathan in the opening round of eliminations. Bazemore defeated McClenathan at the season-opening Winternationals in February to earn his first career Top Fuel round win. Bazemore has advanced to the semifinals at the last two races, Phoenix and Gainesville, Fla.