BAZEMORE RACES TO SOLID OPENING RUN AT POMONA, 4.533 SECONDS POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2007) -- With all the off season hoopla of the switch from Top Fuel to Funny Car now in the rear view mirror, Whit Bazemore finally strapped into his Matco...
BAZEMORE RACES TO SOLID OPENING RUN AT POMONA, 4.533 SECONDS
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 8, 2007) -- With all the off season hoopla of the switch from Top Fuel to Funny Car now in the rear view mirror, Whit Bazemore finally strapped into his Matco Tools Iron Eagle dragster for real on Thursday afternoon at Pomona Raceway. The veteran nitro pilot, with 20 career Funny Car wins to his credit, didn't disappoint racing to a run of 4.533 seconds.
"The thing that was exciting for me was how comfortable I felt in the car when I was in the staging lanes," Bazemore said. "I felt at home and that was good for my confidence. This team is unbelievable and they've made the transition so easy. My car is perfect. With Lee (Beard) and Rob (Flynn), and you can see by how "Hot" Rod's (Fuller) car ran, this is a great organization. Success in this sport comes from your team and they've made it easy on me."
Having not competed in an NHRA national event since his runner-up finish last September at the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Bazemore didn't miss a beat. The first-year Top Fuel driver, who joined David Powers Motorsports last fall, used a solid tune-up from champion crew chief Lee Beard to card a run of 4.533 seconds at 324.28 mph to claim the No. 7 qualifying position on the opening day of qualifying at the 47th annual Winternationals. The quickest Bazemore had ever gone in his Funny Car was 4.674 seconds.
"Being the first car in that left lane, we weren't in position to really push it," Beard said. "We knew that a low 4.50 would put us in the top half of the field and that's where we wanted to be. We're comfortable with that run. Now, we can go out and push it and try to run with the big dogs like Rod Fuller."
Bazemore and the Matco Tools team hope to join teammate Fuller in the 4.4-second range when Top Fuel qualifying resumes on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. (PT). There also are qualifying sessions at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the historic drag strip.