Bristol: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

BAZEMORE HOLDS ON TO NO. 2 THROUGH FOUR QUALIFYING ROUNDS IN BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 29, 2006) - It's definitely a sign of progress when a team and driver that have been struggling all season are disappointed with a No. 2 qualifying ...

BAZEMORE HOLDS ON TO NO. 2 THROUGH FOUR QUALIFYING ROUNDS IN BRISTOL

BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 29, 2006) - It's definitely a sign of progress when a team and driver that have been struggling all season are disappointed with a No. 2 qualifying result.

That's the case with driver Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team, who fell just hundredths and/or thousandths of a second short of No. 1 in qualifying rounds for the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Bazemore first lost out to Eric Medlen by .020 of a second in his first attempt with a 4.899-second elapsed time at 307.02 mph to Medlen's 4.879/304.80, then by .008 of a second in the second session (4.763/327.03 to Medlen's 4.755/306.53).

Both drivers smoked their tires in the third round and held position. In the final session, Bazemore and the Matco Tools team were aiming for the top, but came up short again, despite posting the second quickest ET of the round, a 4.776-second lap at 323.97 mph, while Medlen again lost traction.

Bazemore, the most successful Funny Car driver at Bristol Dragway (one win, two runners-up and one No. 1 qualifier), did collect the top speed so far of the weekend, with the 327.03-mph run on Friday.

"It feels good to have a good running car again and to be in contention," said Bazemore. "It's a result of the effort that the Matco Tools guys have made and the fact that when you're down and out it's really the true test of your character. It's so easy to give up, make radical changes, throw in the towel, whatever. And when you're down and out is when you have to dig deep. And everyone on the team has to dig deep and focus on their goals and their abilities, and make things happen in a positive way. And that's what everyone did.

"There's no question that we've turned the corner. It doesn't mean that we've automatically started winning races yet; we still have to do that. But all it means now is that our car is a contender and it's running well and we have a chance to be competitive on race day. It's that next step that we are now making, focusing on race day, much like we did in Vegas where we went to the semis.

"Bristol has been really good to us in the past. We're going to sleep well tonight and be ready to win rounds tomorrow."

Bazemore faces Tim Wilkerson in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Tim Wilkerson , Eric Medlen