BAZEMORE LOSES TO FORCE IN FIRST ROUND; DROPS TO SECOND IN POINTS COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2005) - It was the match-up of the weekend. The top two in Funny Car points faced each other in the first round of eliminations at the Southern Nationals at...
BAZEMORE LOSES TO FORCE IN FIRST ROUND; DROPS TO SECOND IN POINTS
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15, 2005) - It was the match-up of the weekend. The top two in Funny Car points faced each other in the first round of eliminations at the Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Whit Bazemore was 58 points ahead of Force coming into this weekend. The winner of this round would either make a strong jump in the points lead or be on his way to taking over the lead.
No. 5 qualifier John Force won the contest with a 4.919-second elapsed time at 308.00 mph, while Bazemore, who had qualified 12th in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T, smoked the tires in the less desirable left lane after nailing a .054 reaction time to Force's .093, posting a losing 7.759-second ET at 118.69 mph.
Force went on to win the event, which dropped Bazemore into second in the standings, 24 points behind. Runner-up Robert Hight took over third, with 454 points.
"We just smoked the tires," said Bazemore. "We can't blame anybody but ourselves. It's a very tough defeat. We had four hundredths (of a second) on him at the starting line, so we only had to run a 4.96 or something close and we didn't. We smoked the tires, so we got beat.
"It was really frustrating, because we went down the track in the heat all weekend. We had a freak mechanical thing last night that held us back in qualifying for our final position.
"I wanted this, I really did. It's a championship, you've got to make or break your own deal.
"I wanted it, I was ready for it. This is what I've always wanted, to race that guy. I wish we could race him in the first round all the time, even though it looks like we have a bad record against him (9-39). It's how I am. It's a challenge and it's why I race. We just didn't get the job done as a team, but we have a great team and we will get it done."
Next up is the Pontiac Performance Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, on May 20-22.