Sonoma: Whit Bazemore final summary

BAZEMORE POWERS INTO SECOND SEMIFINAL IN A ROW IN SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2005) - The Matco Tools Dodge Stratus Funny Car team and driver Whit Bazemore reached the semifinal round for the second straight weekend today at the...

BAZEMORE POWERS INTO SECOND SEMIFINAL IN A ROW IN SONOMA

SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2005) - The Matco Tools Dodge Stratus Funny Car team and driver Whit Bazemore reached the semifinal round for the second straight weekend today at the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals and are aptly demonstrating the progress they are making as a new team.

Bazemore was defeated by his teammate Ron Capps in the semis, when Bazemore lost traction early, slowing to a 6.491/144.60 pass to Capps' 4.963/311.34.

En route to the semis, Bazemore dismissed Tim Wilkerson in the first round in an agonizingly close competition. Bazemore cruised to the finish line to a straight and clean 4.866/320.36 pass, beating his opponent by .0094 of a second.

In the quarterfinal he sent packing Del Worsham with a 4.900/318.84, then faced his biggest challenge of the day in the final against Capps.

The 1999 Sonoma winner moved up to sixth in Funny Car points and is now just five points out of fifth place.

"We're not too unhappy," he said. "We had to change engines and our engine was down on power, so it didn't run (well), it didn't leave (the starting line well), then it shook loose and we got beat."

"All in all, we're pretty happy. The Matco Tools Dodge guys are happy and the team is really starting to come around and it's a credit to (co-crew chiefs) Todd (Okuhara) and Dan (Olson), and the boys are doing a fantastic job. We're going to go to Brainerd and we feel like we have a car we can race with now."

On the close first round against Wilkerson: "In this sport you don't know it's close when you're winning. When I lifted off the throttle at the finish line I saw the nose of his car, so I knew it was close. Winning a close race doesn't give you any more satisfaction than winning a far-away one. You just want to win, so the first round is always hard."

Next up is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 12-14, 2005.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Tim Wilkerson