Reading: Whit Bazemore Saturday notes

BAZEMORE EARNS SPOT IN COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP READING, Pa. (Aug. 18, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore earned one of the coveted eight slots in NHRA's new Countdown to the Championship playoff format by qualifying Saturday afternoon at Maple Grove...

BAZEMORE EARNS SPOT IN COUNTDOWN TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP

READING, Pa. (Aug. 18, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore earned one of the coveted eight slots in NHRA's new Countdown to the Championship playoff format by qualifying Saturday afternoon at Maple Grove Raceway.

Bazemore's best run of qualifying came on Friday evening when the 20-time NHRA winner pedaled his Matco Tools dragster to a run of 4.668 seconds at 320.28 mph. That positioned him in the No. 16 qualifying spot. Bazemore drove to a pass of 4.682 at 274.33 on Saturday's first qualifying attempt. It is Bazemore's lowest starting spot of the season and only the ninth time he has qualified 16th in his career.

The eighth and ninth places drivers, David Grubnic and Melanie Troxel, qualified fourth (4.545 seconds -- Grubnic) and fifth (4.549 seconds -- Troxel) on Saturday. The qualifying order sets up for a potential quarterfinal match-up between Grubnic and Troxel, therefore Bazemore has secured a slot in the Countdown beginning August 31 at the U.S. Nationals.

"We've had some little problems which is really ironic because mechanically we've been perfect all year," Bazemore. "From a tire that really wasn't too round, which made the car have a vibration and I shut it off on Saturday's first run. Long story short, we have a great team and we're ready to race tomorrow. We certainly capable of running a lot better than we have and we intend to."

Bazemore will face teammate Rod Fuller when final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. (ET) on Sunday. Bazemore is 0-2 against Fuller this year.

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , David Grubnic , Melanie Troxel , Rod Fuller