Memphis: Bazemore qualifies third

Whit Bazemore finished qualifying for the Auto Zone Nationals in Memphis, Tennessee much like he had started. After opening with a 4.937-second effort on Friday afternoon, Bazemore was slowed by mechanical failures on his next two time ...

Whit Bazemore finished qualifying for the Auto Zone Nationals in Memphis, Tennessee much like he had started. After opening with a 4.937-second effort on Friday afternoon, Bazemore was slowed by mechanical failures on his next two time trials. In fact, during his first run on Saturday, the concussion caused by an engine explosion damaged his Camaro's carbon-fiber body to the extent that the Etchells crew was forced to press their back-up body into service for their final attempt. Although the final session was delayed by a series of on-track incidents, Bazemore took full advantage of the opportunity. Covering the Memphis Motorsports Park quarter-mile in 4.876 seconds with a top speed of 302.21 mph, Bazemore placed the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 in the third spot on Sunday's final eliminations ladder, and set the stage for a first round encounter with No. 14 qualifier Dean Skuza. However, Bazemore was more concerned with the well-being of Top Fuel pilot Tony Schumacher, who had been involved in a serious accident just prior to Bazemore's run.

"Obviously, the last run was a good one for the Kendall/Matco Camaro team, getting down the track as we did. However, it was a tough session with all the other things that happened on the track. To be honest, how we ran is not that important right now. I know this Etchells Racing Team will be ready to race tomorrow. However, our thoughts and prayers tonight are with the Schumachers. The best news we can get is that Tony will be okay."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Dean Skuza , Whit Bazemore , Tony Schumacher