Less than a week after their thrilling runner-up finish at the U.S. Nationals, Whit Bazemore and the Etchells Racing Team returned to Englishtown for the completion of the rain-delayed Matco Tools Spring Supernationals. In Friday's first test...
Less than a week after their thrilling runner-up finish at the U.S. Nationals, Whit Bazemore and the Etchells Racing Team returned to Englishtown for the completion of the rain-delayed Matco Tools Spring Supernationals. In Friday's first test session prior to Saturday's final eliminations, the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 showed no signs of slowing down, posting the quickest and fastest run of the day in Funny Car, blasting down the Raceway Park quarter-mile in 4.847 seconds with a top speed of 314.24 mph.
"It looks like we really have a handle on our Kendall/Matco Camaro. Terry (crew chief Manzer) has obviously worked hard to get through the problems we've had. That 4.84 run was just perfect. After that we had a plan for the evening session. We were going to basically leave the car alone, changing one thing on the tune-up to help it get down the track because we knew it would be a little better. But when a couple of cars in front of us blew the tires off at the hit, we questioned whether the starting line might not be as good as we thought, and adjusted accordingly. As a result, we didn't get the driveshaft speed that we had in the first run, so it shook the tires and I clicked it off.
"But what's exciting is there's a method to our madness. I feel confident that we know where we are with this car and why it ran well on the first run, but didn't tonight. That's the key."
Bazemore also took time to comment on tomorrow's unusual first round pairing, which has the Etchells Racing entry facing off against Cristen Powell in a car owned by Bazemore.
"Honestly, I'm looking at it as just another race. Although I've said it's a no-win, no-lose situation, the only real way it's a winning situation for me is if we beat them. They have a good car, and I know they're going to put up a good fight. There will be no game-playing, but we simply have to find a way to win."