BAZEMORE EARNS TOP FUEL LICENSE SUNDAY AT NATIONAL TIME TRIALS CHANDLER, Ariz. (January 28, 2007) -- On his sixth-ever run in a Top Fuel dragster, 20-time NHRA winner Whit Bazemore earned his NHRA Top Fuel license. He is now licensed to compete...
BAZEMORE EARNS TOP FUEL LICENSE SUNDAY AT NATIONAL TIME TRIALS
CHANDLER, Ariz. (January 28, 2007) -- On his sixth-ever run in a Top Fuel dragster, 20-time NHRA winner Whit Bazemore earned his NHRA Top Fuel license. He is now licensed to compete in both nitro categories, Top Fuel and Funny Car. Bazemore raced his Matco Tools Iron Eagle dragster to a performance of 4.544 seconds at 326.24 mph on his first attempt Sunday afternoon at Firebird International Raceway to meet the requirements needed to earn his competition license for drag racing's premier category.
"It feels good to get the licensing out of the way," Bazemore said. "You never know what can happen with these cars. Now we can concentrate on improving the performance of the car. It was good experience for me to run those two 4.54s. I got some good seat time in the car on Sunday. Like I keep saying, it's so different than a Funny Car. It was important for me to make those two good runs today."
On Saturday's second testing attempt the avid cyclist powered to the then quickest pass of his career by driving his Matco-backed rail to a 4.629-second effort. Needing just one pass at 5.20 seconds and 260 mph, Bazemore used a tune-up from champion crew chief Lee Beard to card the 4.544, 326.24 pass in the left lane at Firebird Raceway to garner his Top Fuel license. The most recent member of the Top Fuel fraternity then posted a nearly identical lap of 4.542 seconds at a blistering 329.18 mph. Bazemore's license was signed by teammate Rod Fuller and veteran NHRA racer-turned ESPN analyst Mike Dunn.
"We'll continue to test for the next couple days and work on our cool-conditions setup," Bazemore said. "I'll get more seat time and experience as everyday I get more comfortable inside the car. I gain more and more confidence everyday and that's key."
Bazemore and Fuller will continue to test at the Phoenix track through January 31 as they gear up for the 2007 NHRA season-opening event, Feb. 8-11, at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.