MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS IMPORTANT RACE FOR BAZEMORE MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2005 - This weekend's Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, just outside of Denver, the 13th of 23 events in the 2005 POWERade Drag Racing Series, is an...
MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS IMPORTANT RACE FOR BAZEMORE
MORRISON, Colo. (July 12, 2005 - This weekend's Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, just outside of Denver, the 13th of 23 events in the 2005 POWERade Drag Racing Series, is an important race for Whit Bazemore, driver of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car.
Bazemore, who is currently seventh in the Funny Car point standings, is working his way back up the rankings after a mid-season slump dropped him out of an early-season lead after two victories. The two-time U.S. Nationals champion is also adapting to new crew chiefs Dan Olson and Todd Okuhara and a whole new setup on the car.
The upcoming three-race Western Swing is crucial to his and the Matco Tools' team's goals.
"Denver is the first race of a very important segment of the season," he said. "It leads off another three races in a row (Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.) and it's just a critical time for any team that wants to contend (for a championship) and is not really in contention yet. It's a critical time to make a move.
"It's important to do well at all three races, but Denver is really critical because it's very difficult to tune the cars up here at this altitude. It's a whole different tune-up compared to what we normally would have. So, it's a good race to do well at because it's a very challenging race."
Bazemore has conquered this mile-high quarter-mile in the past, having won here in 1997 and 2000. He was also runner-up here in 1999, and has qualified No. 1 here five times, in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001 and 2004. The Indianapolis resident still holds the ET track record here of 4.842 seconds, set last year.