BAZEMORE SUFFERS FIRST OPENING-ROUND LOSS OF '07 SEASON LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) -- The sport of NHRA drag racing can be humbling at times. Much like golf, the world's fastest motor sport keeps teams honest on a very regular basis. Having ...
BAZEMORE SUFFERS FIRST OPENING-ROUND LOSS OF '07 SEASON
LAS VEGAS (April 15, 2007) -- The sport of NHRA drag racing can be humbling at times. Much like golf, the world's fastest motor sport keeps teams honest on a very regular basis. Having piloted Funny Cars and dragsters for nearly 20 years, 20-time NHRA winner Whit Bazemore has much experience with the up-and-downs of driving nitro-powered Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters.
After qualifying his Matco Tools dragster in the No. 4 position with a stout 4.498-second elapsed time, the first 4.4-second pass of his career, Bazemore was pitted against No. 13 qualifier Cory McClenathan for the third time this season. All three meetings coming in the first round of eliminations. Bazemore had edged the 29-time NHRA winner in the two previous races. On Sunday morning at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Bazemore used a very slight starting-line advantage to get the jump at the start, but the Matco Tools rail overpowered the race track and slowed to a run of 6.270 seconds at 139.85 mph. McClenathan drove his FRAM-backed dragster to a solid pass of 4.639-seconds to earn the win light and trip to the quarterfinals. It was Bazemore's first opening-round loss on the year.
"The team is really a great team," Bazemore said. "It's frustrating when we don't perform to our potential. It's so easy to make a mistake. It's racing. It's frustrating because we ran well in qualifying and to blow the tires off like that is a surprise to everyone. I feel good about what I did. I need to work to be able to get the car to recover. I caught it that time, but I'm still pedaling it too quickly. The weekend was good for me personally. I'm here to race and here to win and there's no doubt in my mind. I feel good about all that."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 27th annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals, April 26-29, at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga. He has two career Funny Car victories at the Atlanta race, 2002 and 2004. Bazemore qualified his Matco Tools Funny Car eighth at Atlanta Dragway last season.