BAZEMORE PICKS UP NO. 8 SPOT IN GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2005) - Whit Bazemore and crew chief Lee Beard had some hurdles to leap before they were able to capture the No. 8 spot in qualifying for the Gatornationals this...
BAZEMORE PICKS UP NO. 8 SPOT IN GAINESVILLE QUALIFYING
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 19, 2005) - Whit Bazemore and crew chief Lee Beard had some hurdles to leap before they were able to capture the No. 8 spot in qualifying for the Gatornationals this weekend.
The cold weather (40-some degrees) and overcast skies on Friday were issues, as well as performance inconsistencies with the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car. Friday's numbers included a 12.138/68.85, followed by a 5.232/214.54. Today's session under sunlight and warmer conditions produced only a 5.155/268.65.
Going into the final qualifying round, Bazemore was on the bump, in No. 16. He managed to pull out a respectable 4.862/313.26 pass in that session, which moved him into No. 8.
"It's been a hard weekend for us," said the two-time U.S. Nationals champion who has never won in Gainesville. "The Matco Tools Dodge struggled the first three runs and we were on the bump going into the last run. So the pressure was on. The guys did a great job. We just had to go from A to B. In reality, our last run was more like what our first run should have been.
"We're still in the top half. We have lane choice. We're just struggling. The car had trouble adapting to the conditions here and is not reacting to Lee's input consistently yet. Were working on it. We're testing a lot. We're going to test here on Monday. We'll get it figured out where we're more consistent and more competitive."
Bazemore will face Cruz Pedregon in first round of eliminations on Sunday.