Indy ORP: Whit Bazemore Sunday notes

BAZEMORE AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM NOW FOCUSED ON MEMPHIS CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 2, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore has experienced a wide spectrum of emotions at the prestigious U.S. Nationals. From the thrill of reaching the winner's circle twice, 1997 and...

BAZEMORE AND MATCO TOOLS TEAM NOW FOCUSED ON MEMPHIS

CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 2, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore has experienced a wide spectrum of emotions at the prestigious U.S. Nationals. From the thrill of reaching the winner's circle twice, 1997 and 2001, to the agony of a spectacular fire, Bazemore has been through it all at "the Big Go."

Sunday afternoon at the 53rd running of the annual Labor Day weekend bash in Indianapolis, Bazemore and his Matco Tools team used a noble effort, but narrowly missed the 16-car field for the first event in the Countdown to Four.

Entering the day in the No. 18 position with a 4.601-second elapsed time, the Matco-backed rail overpowered the race track on its first attempt at the hot O.R.P. quarter mile. Later in the afternoon, Bazemore used a tune-up from crew chief Lee Beard to clock the second quickest run of the fifth and final qualifying session at 4.612 seconds at 327.03 mph. However, it wasn't quick enough to eclipse the 4.595-second bump time, coming up less than two hundredths of-a-second short of the cut mark. That left Bazemore 18th in the order; 23 cars attempted to make the show this weekend.

"It's was a valiant effort by the team and actually a great run for the conditions," Bazemore said. Our backs were against the wall. It was difficult to run quick enough to qualify. We just struggled here all weekend. We struggled here in testing last weekend and it didn't go away. This is a race that I live for. It makes it very painful to not qualify, way more so than normal. The highest highs of my career were when we won here, but we've also had some tough times too.

"There are positives. The car ran real well on the last run. It ran really well. You have to take it one race at a time. As a team, we can analyze our failures and address them and that's the only way you improve."

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore