Whit Bazemore Joins Team Chevrolet ST. LOUIS, Mo.; June 24, 1998: Chevrolet today announced that Whit Bazemore will join Team Chevrolet in the Nitro Funny Car ranks, beginning with the Sears Craftsman Nationals this weekend, the 11th ...
Whit Bazemore Joins Team Chevrolet
ST. LOUIS, Mo.; June 24, 1998: Chevrolet today announced that Whit Bazemore will join Team Chevrolet in the Nitro Funny Car ranks, beginning with the Sears Craftsman Nationals this weekend, the 11th round of the 1998 Winston Drag Racing Series, sanctioned by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
Bazemore, who heads Bazemore Racing out of Indianapolis, joins "veteran" Team Chevrolet members Ron Capps and Chuck Etchells, each a two-time title winner this year, as the third Chevrolet Camaro Z28 driver to compete in the Funny Car category since Chevrolet returned to NHRA drag racing in 1997.
"I am thrilled to be a part of Chevrolet with its winning tradition in all kinds of racing," said Bazemore, as he unveiled his new Team Winston Camaro Z28 Funny Car at an NHRA press conference today. "I think Chevrolet, and the Camaro specifically, defines the American muscle car. The '98 Camaro is one of the best they have ever made, and it makes a really good race car."
Last Saturday, Whit put his red-and-white Camaro Z28 through its paces at a successful "test" day at Norwalk (Ohio) Raceway Park in a four-car match race during the track's Mac Tools Night of Fire. Bazemore defeated John Force's Ford in a tire-smoking final, bolstering his confidence that his new Camaro body would serve him well in the remaining half of the '98 season.
"The Camaro worked great," he said. "We are very excited. There were no major problems or surprises, that was the key. Sometimes it takes a couple of races to figure out a new car. Our immediate goals are to sort the new McKinney chassis and to get our Camaro as competitive as we can get it right away and hopefully pick up where we left off. We have to learn how to take advantage of what the Camaro body offers us." Winner of four national-event titles in 1997, Whit captured his first title of the 1998 season at the Fram Route 66 Nationals in Joliet, Ill., on May 31, driving a Ford-bodied Funny Car. Whit, 35, began racing Top Fuel Funny Cars in 1989; his first title win was in 1997.
"The way Chevrolet does things is refreshing to me. It's great to have the engineering support, including use of GM's wind tunnel, and I'm excited to work with Chuck (Etchells, driver/owner of the Kendall/Ma Ma Rosa's Pizza/Superwinch Camaro) and Ron (Capps) and Don Prudhomme (owner of Capps' Copenhagen Camaro team). Prudhomme was one of my childhood heroes and it just happens that Capps and Etchells are two of my closest friends in drag racing. I'm proud to join them," he added.