Phoenix: Whit Bazemore final summary

Bazemore moves up to fifth in Funny Car points, loses in second round CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) - Whit Bazemore has always said that qualifying well and going rounds are vitally important when chasing an NHRA Funny Car championship. The ...

Bazemore moves up to fifth in Funny Car points, loses in second round

CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 7, 2004) - Whit Bazemore has always said that qualifying well and going rounds are vitally important when chasing an NHRA Funny Car championship. The driver of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus proved that point this weekend by qualifying No. 2 and moving up in the point standings today despite being ousted in the second round of the CSK Nationals at Firebird Raceway.

With two races down of the 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Bazemore has moved from seventh to fifth in Funny Car points, in a three-way tie with Jerry Toliver and Eric Medlen, despite what he considers to be a disappointing effort in eliminations. Del Worsham was the event winner.

Bazemore, the two-time U.S. Nationals champion and 2003 Funny Car championship runner-up easily dispensed with Keith Jackson in the first round with a 4.961-second elapsed time at 304.19 mph to Jackson's tire-smoking 13.096/72.77.

In the second round, however, he faced Del Worsham against whom he had a close career 18-19 win-loss record. By the end of that contest, Worsham was up one more win as he outran Bazemore to the finish line in a tight race. Bazemore's .131 reaction time to Worsham's .081 didn't help, as he crossed the stripe .054 of a second behind Worsham with a 4.958/303.98 to Worsham's 4.954/304.19.

"It's a round we should have won," said Bazemore. "I made a mistake on the starting line and that's that. We got beat. What needed to happen was for them to not run as well as they did and then we would have still been OK. It just didn't work out that way. That's the way it goes.

"We're going to make sure that doesn't happen again that way," he added. "There are a million ways to lose drag races and there's only one way to win them and that is you've got to be perfect. We'll go to Gainesville and try to be perfect there, and we'll be more perfect than we were here, that's for sure."

Next up is the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., on March 19-21.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Keith Jackson , Jerry Toliver , Eric Medlen