Sonoma: Whit Bazemore Friday summary

Bazemore qualifies no. 4 in spectacular run. SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2003) Whit Bazemore grabbed the No. 4 qualifying position tonight, at the same time putting on a spectacular show of sparks as he crossed the finish line with the left rear ...

Bazemore qualifies no. 4 in spectacular run.

SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2003) Whit Bazemore grabbed the No. 4 qualifying position tonight, at the same time putting on a spectacular show of sparks as he crossed the finish line with the left rear body panel of his Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus self-destructing as a tire came apart at the end of the run. In an attempt to stop the car, Bazemore grazed the guardwall.

"We're disappointed for a number of different reasons," said Bazemore, who posted a 4.845-second elapsed time at 290.07 mph, "not the least of which is we lost our race car probably for the rest of the weekend and we also lost our chance at the No. 1 qualifying position. We were running pretty good at 1000 feet, good enough to be low, and it wasn't even under full power there, so it's just one of those things. It's part of the business; sometimes the unexpected happens.

"The biggest thing is the tire ripped off part of the rear wing," he added, "which changed the aerodynamics of the car and that's what kind of put us in the wall. I had the wheel cranked. After looking at the video I would have thought that with both parachutes out I would have been able to keep it off the wall, but I couldn't. It just scraped the wall easy; it wasn't bad."

"It appears that absolutely nothing fell off the race car," commented Lee Beard, crew chief on the Matco Tools Dodge. "The motor is fine. As a matter of fact, we're leaving the motor in the car; there's nothing wrong with it. We're not exactly sure what happened, why the rear tire came apart. Goodyear's engineers have it in their possession. They're going to analyze it and hopefully give us an answer."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore