BAZEMORE BACK ON COURSE, DESPITE FIRST-ROUND LOSS IN GAINESVILLE GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger Funny Car team are back on course after struggling through the first two races of...
BAZEMORE BACK ON COURSE, DESPITE FIRST-ROUND LOSS IN GAINESVILLE
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger Funny Car team are back on course after struggling through the first two races of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, despite a first-round loss today at the NHRA Gatornationals.
No. 2 qualifier Bazemore faced Cruz Pedregon in the opening round of eliminations today and both experienced traction problems. Bazemore's car shook the tires early, then torched the head gasket before half-track to produce a burst of flame. Bazemore's tenacity took hold, as he forged to the finish line to a 5.706-second pass at 262.00 mph with the car on fire. Pedregon, however, was firs across the finish stripe, taking the win with a 5.526/273.05.
The fire was quickly doused and the new Charger body was unhurt. "No damage," said crew chief Brian Corradi. "We got lucky."
It was still a good weekend, said Bazemore. "You look at the entire weekend and, even though we had a result that we're frustrated with, the weekend was good. And the best thing about the weekend is the team came together after the first two races and worked through our problems together and we have a better race team and a better race car.
"In the context of the whole season, we had problems, we fixed them," added Bazemore. "Today you can just throw out. It shook, and we were trying a different way of driving because this (new) tire shakes a lot, so we're trying to help it some. It didn't help it. The result of that is it spun the tire too much and we got beat. And then it torched the head gasket before half track, and I still drove it almost to the finish line on fire, because we knew Cruz was having problems too.
"It's just a bad race day. A bad race day, but a good weekend, and we're going to move forward and get this Matco Tools Dodge Charger back to the front."
Bazemore is 12th in the Funny Car point standings.
Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, March 31-April 2, 2006.