Indy ORP: Whit Bazemore preview

Whit Bazemore "We've had an up and down year. We've gone from 438, which is nearly impossible to catch, to 60 points out, so we really want to thank NHRA for giving us a second chance. As a team, we have to take advantage of the fact that now...

Whit Bazemore

"We've had an up and down year. We've gone from 438, which is nearly

impossible to catch, to 60 points out, so we really want to thank NHRA for giving us a second chance. As a team, we have to take advantage of the fact that now we're in the hunt. The important thing is that Indy is a race that has huge meaning for me and it would be a dream come true to get my first win in Top Fuel at the U.S. Nationals. We're freshly motivated and we've tested extensively and we're in a great frame of mind to win the race."

Bazemore Indianapolis Notebook

Two weeks ago in Reading, Pa., Bazemore secured one of the

coveted eight positions in the Countdown to Four in the Countdown to the Championship. Bazemore qualified 16th at the Reading race and was defeated by teammate Rod Fuller in round one.

Bazemore enters the Countdown to Four ranked seventh in the NHRA Top Fuel standings. He trails Fuller by 60 points with six races remaining on the 2007 NHRA POWERade Series schedule.

Bazemore earned his 30th career pole this March. He became just the 15th driver in NHRA history to earn poles in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. He has an average starting position of 7.17 this year. He has an average starting position of 9.88 in 17 career races at O'Reilly Raceway Park.

Last Sept., Bazemore raced his Matco Tools Funny Car to a runner-up finish at the U.S. Nationals. He qualified fourth with a run of 4.718 seconds at 327.43 mph and advanced to the final round of the prestigious Indy race before losing a close match to Robert Hight.

Bazemore is a two-time U.S. Nationals winner, 1997 and 2001. He knocked off Tim Wilkerson in 1997 with a run of 4.996 at 306.85, and in '01 held off Tony Pedregon with a pass of 4.971 at 298.14. Rob Flynn, Rod Fuller's crew chief, tuned Bazemore to the win in '97, while Bazemore's current tuner, Lee Beard, called the shots on the Matco team's 2001 U.S. Nationals victory.

Baze Banters About Indy...

Indianapolis: "Property Taxes"

O'Reilly Raceway Park: "I.R.P."

Favorite O'Reilly Raceway Park racing memory: "I have many from IRP, from coming here at 16 in 1979, to my first Skip Barber Formula Ford race in 1985, to winning with Rob Flynn on my own team in '97 to winning again in '01. I don't have one that stands out, I have so many.

Looking back, the hard times we had here made us better and smarter."

Favorite Indianapolis-area cycling route: "My Western Loop in Northwest Indy."

Favorite Indianapolis-area restaurant: "H2O, Elements and India Garden"

-credit: dpm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , Tim Wilkerson , Skip Barber , Robert Hight , Rod Fuller