Bazemore runs his personal best elapsed time to grab 2nd midway through Gainesville qualifying. A post Phoenix test session paid immediate results for the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Funny Car Racing team, as Whit Bazemore rocketed...
Bazemore runs his personal best elapsed time to grab 2nd midway through Gainesville qualifying.
A post Phoenix test session paid immediate results for the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Funny Car Racing team, as Whit Bazemore rocketed down the Gainesville quarter-mile in 4.837 seconds with a top speed of 313.51 miles-per-hour in the opening time trial for the Mac Tools Gatornationals. This not only represented the best elapsed time of Bazemore's career (topping a 4.850-second effort from October 1998 in Houston, TX), but the quickest run ever by the Chuck Etchells Racing Team. With two of the four qualifying sessions completed, Bazemore now sits 2nd, falling short of the top spot by a mere one thousandth of a second.
"That 4.83 was particularly rewarding, not only because it was a personal best, but because we've been a good Monday car in testing, but haven't seen the results during final eliminations on Sunday. On top of that, we even struggled in qualifying for the Phoenix race.
"To come out and fire a shot like that makes the whole Kendall/Matco Camaro team feel really good. It's a just reward for a lot of hard work. Chuck (team owner Etchells) has made a tremendous commitment to this team, and they in turn have spent endless hours in testing trying to make our car perform consistently and competitively. Even if it's only one run, it feels great."
However, the day did not go completely as planned, as the Etchells crew decided not to try and improve on their earlier run in the second session.
"We changed motors between rounds, and Tim crew chief Richards) just wasn't happy with it after our warm-up. As a result, he decided not to make a run tonight. I'm in my second season here at Etchells Racing, and in my mind he's never made a bad decision. He just wasn't satisfied, and that was it. However, I'm sure that if we hadn't run so well earlier, he would have made sure to make that second pass. But there's no point in running a five flat if the motor isn't where he wants it to be.
"I know that the Mac people aren't too happy because I said our Kendall/Matco Camaro was here to kick their tail. But for right now, John's had the last laugh (edging Bazemore for the number one position). Trust me - we'll get after them again tomorrow."