Bristol: Whit Bazemore final summary

BAZEMORE IS SEMIFINAL FINISHER FOR SECOND STRAIGHT EVENT IN BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 30, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team are more than encouraged by the improvement in their car's performance after...

BAZEMORE IS SEMIFINAL FINISHER FOR SECOND STRAIGHT EVENT IN BRISTOL

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 30, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team are more than encouraged by the improvement in their car's performance after making it to their second straight semifinal round of the season today at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

No. 2 qualilfier Bazemore came out fighting in eliminations, first defeating Tim Wilkerson with a 4.810-second pass at 292.84 mph, then disposing of Phil Burkart Jr. in the second with a 4.853/304.46. The semifinal found him squaring off against his longtime nemesis and 13-time Funny Car champion John Force. Each launched with identical reaction times (.098) and it was a battle to the finish, until a small parts failure slowed Bazemore to a losing 4.902/269.73 pass to Force's winning 4.826/309.63. Margin of victory: .0769 of a second.

"It's not a matter of that," he said of losing to Force. "It's just how you get beat sometimes and your expectations and the effort that this team has made and the progress that the team has made because of that effort. It's been a hell of a turnaround, and we're here now where we're not particularly happy to be, as No. 2 qualifier or to be going out in the semifinals.

"All in all, it's a good result. It's a good day at the races, so we're certainly not ashamed of the effort.

"We've had a mechanical thing all day today and it's really odd and it's a weird breakage that keeps occurring. It's not unique to any set of parts, so we're kind of scratching our heads.

"It broke at about 1000 feet. We spun the tire a little bit before that; it would have been hard to beat them. I think we were ahead at the point we spun the tires. But, we spun the tire and it would have been hard to run what they ran with the tire spin.

"Having said that, with the mechanical issue, we knew we were going to have to be perfect to win that round and we were almost perfect, but not quite.

"We'll be ready to rock and roll in Atlanta."

With this result, Bazemore moved into ninth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings.

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force , Tim Wilkerson