Bazemore qualifies 12h in Reading READING, Pa. (Oct. 9, 2004) - Whit Bazemore overcame some equipment issues to qualify No. 12 for the re-scheduled Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals today in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car. Bazemore ...
Bazemore qualifies 12h in Reading
READING, Pa. (Oct. 9, 2004) - Whit Bazemore overcame some equipment issues to qualify No. 12 for the re-scheduled Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals today in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car. Bazemore posted his best pass of four in the final qualifying session, of 4.871/294.43, following a 4.970/281.95, a 4.910/312.42 and a 4.927/296.57. Each was a respectable pass when you look at the numbers, but they do not compare to Eric Medlen's No. 1 qualifying pass of 4.741/324.12.
"The car has something going on with it," Bazemore said. "It's very unstable near the finish line. It's a little bit uncomfortable. We don't know why it is. It was on a much better pass than the numbers show in that last run.
"It hasn't been a great weekend for us. On the bright side it's been a lot better than last year was for us," he said of his DNQ in 2003.
"The run this afternoon was tough because we were only qualified 14th going into it and we had a chance to not be in the show," he added. "We were forced to make a decision to run the older Goodyear tire. The NHRA had just made available the new tire an hour or so before that round. Due to the efforts of the Matco Tools team and our car owner Don Schumacher, NHRA released a supply of the new tire, the 1430.
"Unfortunately we couldn't run it because of the situation we were in regarding our qualifying position."
"We're excited that tomorrow we will be on the new tire. It's a better tire and apparently it seems to be safer. We want to thank Goodyear for making the effort to develop something that works better for us and I'll be a lot more at ease running the new tire tomorrow than I was this afternoon, knowing that we had one more run to make on a tire that we had had problems with this weekend, both on our car and our teammate's car (Johnny Gray).
"It's a tense situation and we appreciate the effort Goodyear and the NHRA are making to get it resolved."
Bazemore will face his teammate Gary Scelzi in the first round. With Scelzi's and Bazemore's teammate Johnny Gray meeting Del Worsham in the first round, it will be an interesting scenario as to who will leave here in second place in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series. Worsham (qualified sixth) is in second place to John Force (qualified second). Force needs to leave here with 277 points more than Worsham to collect his 13th Funny Car championship tomorrow.
With Worsham, Bazemore, Scelzi, Medlen (qualified No. 1) and even Gary Densham in the running for second place, the first round results could make a major difference.