BAZEMORE OUT IN OPENING ROUND IN VEGAS
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 23, 2005) - Whit Bazemore described his mood today as "very disgusted" after losing the first round of Funny Car eliminations at the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to Cruz Pedregon.
The driver of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car, winner here in April from the 12th position, had strong hopes of another solid finish here despite qualifying 14th.
But a mechanical problem in the opening round prevented him from advancing, as he tried to recover after losing traction early. Pedregon had his own problems with grip, as both of them pedaled their cars to the finish, with Pedregon taking the win with a 6.631/253.42 to Bazemore's 6.889/241.37.
"Last week, when we smoked the tires in Dallas, we had a problem when the throttle stuck shut. It wouldn't open again when we pedaled it," said Bazemore.
"After the second time we pedaled it today the same thing happened. The throttle wouldn't open again and, 10 out of 10 times, we would have beaten Cruz in that situation. It's just very, very frustrating.
"Even though we smoked the tires it was a round we normally would win and nothing happened for a good second and a half to two seconds. The throttle wouldn't open again. We have something wrong in the barrel valve or somewhere in the linkage mechanism that something's happening where it's not allowing the throttle to open again after we smoked the tires.
"I hit it three times and on the third time it opened. I don't know what happened.
"They had a problem with the track last night. They changed it and we saw a lot of people smoke the tires (in the first round), but that wasn't the issue here. The issue here is that that round was ours to win no matter what happened.
"Before we pedaled it the second time we almost caught Cruz. We definitely had the momentum, even though we smoked the tires. The Matco Tools Dodge was going to go down the race track and run about a second quicker than it went."
Bazemore fell to eighth in the Funny Car point standings.
Next up is the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., Nov. 3-6, which will close out the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.