BAZEMORE AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM COMING TOGETHER; QUALIFIES SECOND AT MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS MORRISON, Colo. (July 16, 2005) - Whit Bazemore appears to be on the road back to his early-season performance after qualifying second for the Mopar ...
BAZEMORE AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM COMING TOGETHER; QUALIFIES SECOND AT MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS
MORRISON, Colo. (July 16, 2005) - Whit Bazemore appears to be on the road back to his early-season performance after qualifying second for the Mopar Mile-High Nationals today at Bandimere Speedway, just outside of Denver. Driving the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car, Bazemore took the No. 1 position in first round of qualifying, breaking his own track record at the time, with a 4.835/316.08 pass.
The second round of qualifying produced an even quicker run of 4.821/318.39, but the two-time Denver winner ('97 and '00) relinquished the top spot and the record to Robert Hight (4.796/322.58), who kept it through to the completion of qualifying. Bazemore's teammates Ron Capps and Gary Scelzi made it a 2-3-4 qualifying sweep for Don Schumacher Racing.
Bazemore and his new crew chiefs Dan Olson and Todd Okuhara were expecting more in the final qualifying session, but track conditions didn't cooperate.
"It's been a great weekend," said Bazemore. "It's still a new team, with Todd and Dan, and all of us jelling together. It's really good. We came out of the trailer and ran well, and then we repeated. This morning the track was really difficult and no one really got down there and we learned something with the Matco Tools Dodge.
"Tonight we weren't trying to run another .82. We were trying to run in the .70s, but the track just wasn't there for that. We were trying it anyway. We have a bad-ass hot rod and tomorrow's going to be a differeent day and we've just got to focus on getting it calmed down enough and if we can go down the track without much tire spin we can surprise ourselves with how quick the car will run."
Bazemore meets Bob Gilbertson in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.