Richmond Whit Bazemore''s hopes go up in smoke

Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 had every right to have high hopes entering Sunday's final eliminations of the Moto1.net NHRA Nationals. After all, they had put together their most consistent qualifying performance...

Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 had every right to have high hopes entering Sunday's final eliminations of the Moto1.net NHRA Nationals. After all, they had put together their most consistent qualifying performance of the season, going straight down the track three times with each runs in the 4.9-second range. Qualifying 4th, Bazemore was able to choose his lane against Bruce Sarver in the first round. Things seemed to be going according to plan when the lights turned green and Bazemore left almost seven hundredths of a second ahead of his rival. However, before his run could even get started, white smoke billowed from behind Bazemore's racecar indicating a total loss of traction. He quickly backpedaled to regain control, in hopes of chasing down his opponent. In the end, Bazemore's valiant attempt simply ran out of racetrack.

"I felt very optimistic coming into today. My goal was to leave on time. I'm not sure what happened to the car, but we smoked the tires at the hit. When I looked at the run on our computer, you could see the driveshaft graph go straight up, indicating the tires never hooked up. When that happens, you're not going anywhere.

"I did get it to recover, but then you're only going to be able to run an e.t. between 5.80 and 6.20, and that's what it did (note: Bazemore's time was 6.169 seconds). In that case, you have to hope your competition makes a mistake or has a mechanical failure.

"Either way, it's extremely disappointing. We all felt really good after being so consistent in qualifying. When you totally expect to win, it makes it even harder to lose. But we're going to keep going and work through this. We know this Kendall/Matco Camaro is lot better than we've shown. It's just up to us to show it.

"But I'm not going to dwell on this. Today is done. I'm going to get in my Camaro SS, put the top down, turn on a Led Zeppelin CD, crank up the volume and go on to the next race. After that, I'll feel a lot better."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Sarver , Whit Bazemore