BAZEMORE OUSTED IN QUARTERS IN TEXAS DALLAS (Oct. 9, 2005) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car team suffered a tire-smoking exit in the second round of eliminations today at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at...
BAZEMORE OUSTED IN QUARTERS IN TEXAS
DALLAS (Oct. 9, 2005) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car team suffered a tire-smoking exit in the second round of eliminations today at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.
Bazemore and the team were looking healthy after qualifying sixth and dismissing Bob Gilbertson in the first round with a 4.855-second lap at 321.42 mph to Gilbertson's 8.421/111.87, but the second round saw an immediate loss of traction when Bazemore slammed the throttle. Bazemore coasted to the finish line in 15.108 seconds at 77.80 mph, while Gilbertson took the win with a 5.478/186.25.
"We don't know what happened," said Bazemore. "We did that in qualifying yesterday morning for no reason. We think we have an idea. The Matco Tools Dodge has been so safe on the starting line. There's just no chance of that happening. We're so far from that happening, and have been lately.
"What's interesting is that three (DSR) cars in the second round did it. Tony Schumacher's, Capps' and ours. Maybe it could have been the lane or the track. Right now we think it's something to do with the car and we're going to find the problem and take care of it."
Bazemore agonized along with his teammates when John Force took over the POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car points today after Gary Scelzi fouled out, Ron Capps lost in the second round and Force took the win. The fight for the crown is even more intense. "What's really frustrating for the organization is that, since I've been at Schumacher Racing, this is probably the worst day of racing we've had, in terms of trying to win a Funny Car championship and beating Force's group. It's just a black day for us," he said.
"We have to really regroup and go to Vegas very, very mentally strong. Everybody does, including me, Capps and Scelzi. I want one of those guys to win this one. I want them to win it badly, and beat the Force camp. So whatever I can do to help, that's my job.
"We were (expecting) to run Force in the semis and put him on the trailer. But before you can do that you have to get to the semis and we feel like we failed today."
Bazemore remains seventh in the point standings, 134 out of fifth place.
Next up is the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-23.