Joliet: Whit Bazemore final summary

Parts failure takes out Bazemore in Chicago's first round JOLIET, ILL. (June 11, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger Funny Car team were looking very strong this weekend after qualifying No. 2 at the CARQUEST Auto...

Parts failure takes out Bazemore in Chicago's first round

JOLIET, ILL. (June 11, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger Funny Car team were looking very strong this weekend after qualifying No. 2 at the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.

The team spent a large part of the early stages of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series getting back on their feet as championship contenders, and they were clearly on their way. So, today, following an elapsed-time personal-best performance in qualifying (4.674 seconds at 330.88 mph), Bazemore and the team were ready to showcase their improvement in eliminations.

But it was not to be, as the car suffered a freak parts failure in the opening around against Phil Burkart Jr., taking Bazemore out of the race and into a cloud of frustration.

The pair took off with nearly identical reaction times: .080 for Bazemore, .075 for Burkart. By half-track, Bazemore was .057 of a second in the lead and .056 of a second out in front at the 1000-ft. point. Then, in a flash, it was over for Bazemore, as he slowed to a 4.904-second ET at 241.63 mph at the finish to Burkart's winning 4.811/318.32. Margin of victory: .0983 of a second.

"We had the best car," said Bazemore. "No one went quicker than our qualifying time in that first round, but we had a problem with the motor. It was just freak breakage, and it's happened to us before. I tell you, the whole team is not only disappointed but frustrated because it's a brand-new part and it just happened again.

"It's not tune-up related. We're frustrated because the Matco Tools Dodge Charger was on track to run what we ran last night (4.674) and I was in (staged) a hundredth (of a second) or two, so it was going to be a 4.69 probably.

"So, we're leaving here with the fastest car and not the win, which is frustrating. Everyone did their jobs right and we didn't win. Sometimes it's easier to screw up and make a mistake, either driving or tune-up-wise, and lose that way than it is to be way ahead and have something stupid break on the car. It's very, very disheartening."

Bazemore is seventh in the Funny Car point standings.

-dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Phil Burkart