Bristol: Whit Bazemore final summary

BAZEMORE HOLDS ONTO FIRST PLACE BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 1, 2005) - It was an ugly Funny Car opening round for Whit Bazemore, but, then, it was ugly also for John Force and Robert Hight, all three of whom lost in the first round of eliminations today...

BAZEMORE HOLDS ONTO FIRST PLACE

BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 1, 2005) - It was an ugly Funny Car opening round for Whit Bazemore, but, then, it was ugly also for John Force and Robert Hight, all three of whom lost in the first round of eliminations today at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

With the top three in points eliminated early, Bazemore, in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T, held onto No. 1 in the POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points lead, with a 58-point margin over Force. Cruz Pedregon, who lost in the semifinal, moved into third, and Hight dropped to fifth.

"It was amazing the way it transpired. Two of our main competitors also lost in the first round," said Bazemore, who had qualified 11th, and remains the only two-time Funny Car winner this year.

"Where we are in points right now really doesn't matter. What matters is that we're here to race and win a race and we had a problem with our car and we got beat in the first round. That's the bottom line.

"At the end of the year is when really looking at the points situation, not right now. Having said that, it's important that we're not 200 or 300 points behind, and we're not."

Failing cylinders as he hit the gas produced a 4.948/308.78 pass for Bazemore, while Tommy Johnson Jr. took the win with a 4.857/318.02.

"We're going to test here tomorrow. We have another race in two weeks, a race we won last year in Atlanta. We'll go there with a stronger car."

Next up is the NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga., May 13-15.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force , Cruz Pedregon , Tommy Johnson Jr.