BAZEMORE FAILS TO QUALIFY IN BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 12, 2006) - Whit Bazemore missed the Funny Car field today for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway when a mechanical problem surfaced in the fourth and final...
BAZEMORE FAILS TO QUALIFY IN BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 12, 2006) - Whit Bazemore missed the Funny Car field today for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway when a mechanical problem surfaced in the fourth and final qualifying session, causing the team to abort the run at the starting line.
The driver of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car entered that final qualifying round on the bump spot, in No. 16, and by the time his pairing reached the starting line, he was already off the roster.
Following the burnout, an oil leak was discovered as the team prepared for the final pass, and NHRA asked the crew to shut down the engine.
Prior to that attempt, Bazemore had produced a 4.925-second pass at 309.13 mph (No. 7 at the time), a 4.924/268.01 (No. 11), and a problematic 5.217/203.12 (No. 16).
"It's a huge disappointment," said Bazemore, whose last DNQ was in the first Chicago race in 2005. "The biggest reason for the disappointment is that the run this morning we were really on par to be low qualifier for the whole weekend, but in this sport if you don't go to the finish line nothing matters. We had a parts breakage this morning and that ended up putting us in a position where things had to be perfect for the last run.
"We are very, very confident about the tune-up. There was a pinched O-ring in the car, which resulted in an oil leak and that was it. So we didn't get to run in the final session. It's a huge disappointment.
"I'm more frustrated for the guys on the Matco Tools team because they give 110 percent every day for this team and for them not to get to race tomorrow is hard to take. And also for all the Matco Tools distributors who support us through thick and thin. They're used to having a car that wins races and we are a team that can win races. We had a bad weekend and we can easily come back in Memphis (next weekend), Our goal is to test well at Indy, go win Indy (U.S. Nationals on Labor Day) and win a lot at the last seven races.
"We're capable of doing that. The challenge is for everybody to keep their heads up, and stay very, very positive and believe in themselves and everyone else. I know I do and I certainly hope they do. You hate to say 'it's racing,' but you're going to have bad days.
Next up for Bazemore is the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 18-20.