BAZEMORE EAGER TO GET SEASON STARTED IN POMONA INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 7, 2006) - With a fresh, flashy and unique design on the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car, a new tuner and some new faces on the crew, Whit Bazemore is eager to get...
BAZEMORE EAGER TO GET SEASON STARTED IN POMONA
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 7, 2006) - With a fresh, flashy and unique design on the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car, a new tuner and some new faces on the crew, Whit Bazemore is eager to get the 2006 POWERade Drag Racing Series show on the road this weekend at the CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.
Always a strong contender for the Funny Car crown, the two-time U.S. Nationals champion finished a disappointing ninth in points last year, despite leading early in the year and winning two events. Following a mid-season crew chief change, the team made steady progress back to the front of the class and in the final 10 races of the season Bazemore had scored four semifinal finishes.
Brian Corradi joined the team in late 2005 as the new crew chief and he, Todd Okuhara and Bazemore are ready to attack the 2006 season and the opening event in Pomona with renewed vigor and self-assurance.
"I feel confident," said Bazemore. "Pomona is always a big challenge because it's one of the biggest races of the season and everything is new, usually, and everyone is starting off on a clean slate.
"It's exciting because everyone is leading the championship right now. It's the first opportunity to make your season something special."
Recent tests in Las Vegas and Phoenix were productive, Bazemore said. "In some aspects testing was good. We weren't the quickest, but we solved our problems. I feel like we're prepared.
"The big question mark at Pomona is going to be the tire situation. We're going to have to make the most of each run and it's going to be hard to get a perfect run depending on the weather conditions and the tire that we choose. As a driver, I think I'm going to go in there with a little bit more aggressive mindset during qualifying than perhaps ever before where, if it shakes at all, we're going to try and save it and make every run count. There's no guarantee you won't have a shake-free run."
At the 2005 Winternationals, Bazemore reached the semifinal round after defeating his teammate Ron Capps and Tony Pedregon, but lost to the eventual event winner, Tommy Johnson Jr. He is looking for his first victory at Pomona Raceway.