Phoenix Etchells Racing Saturday Pit Note

The battle for traction continued on Saturday during Funny Car qualifying for the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona. After recording a 5.031-second pass with a top speed 307.51 mph on Friday, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall...

The battle for traction continued on Saturday during Funny Car qualifying for the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona. After recording a 5.031-second pass with a top speed 307.51 mph on Friday, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Racing Team looked for improvement on Saturday. However, they were stymied by a tricky track surface and were unable to better their previous effort. This left Bazemore in the 11th position for Sunday's final eliminations, and set the stage for a first-round encounter with veteran Al Hofmann, against whom Bazemore has a four-race winning streak. Even so, Bazemore knows that to succeed on Sunday, the Etchells crew will have no room for error.

"To be honest, we're a little frustrated, particularly on that last run. Our Kendall/Matco Camaro blew the tires off just before half-track for no discernible reason. Ironically, it was on a pretty good run at the time, which looking at the computer would have been in the low 4.90 range. Since it happened to a couple of other cars, there's a slight chance it was the track, but everything is suspect under those circumstances

"Even so, we still feel like we're headed in the right direction, because we ran our best early numbers of the year on that pass. We're making progress with the car, but the fact is we qualified eleventh and face a tough customer in Al Hofmann in the first round. Coming from the back of the pack doesn't bother me. Naturally, we'd prefer to be number one, but we're not, so we'll just have to make the best of what we have.

"There's no doubt the track is tricky, and we're not the only ones struggling. Tonight when it cooled off it was a lot better, but tomorrow in the heat of the day it will be very different than what we saw tonight. We'll have to be a little cautious, but I'm confident we will make the most of the opportunity."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Al Hofmann