Topeka: Whit Bazemore preview

"It's going to be good to get back to racing. The unexpected time off was timely for us having just moved, but at the same time we're in full race mode and eager to get back out there and get our season on track with the Matco Tools team. Anytime...

"It's going to be good to get back to racing. The unexpected time off was timely for us having just moved, but at the same time we're in full race mode and eager to get back out there and get our season on track with the Matco Tools team. Anytime you go to the site of your very first victory, it's special. It'll always have a special meaning for me. You work your way up the ladder and you can be in contention for many years before you win. Winning is difficult, so when you do get it, it means the world to you."

Bazemore Topeka Notebook

Last May, Bazemore qualified fifth in the Funny Car order with a run of 4.893 seconds at 311.49 mph. He was defeated by then teammate Ron Capps in the quarterfinals.

Bazemore earned the pole at Heartland Park in 2004. He has 30 career poles and is one of 15 drivers to have qualified first in both Top Fuel and Funny car. His last pole was on March 31 at the Houston race.

Bazemore recorded top speed of the meet at Topeka in 2003 (326.48 mph) and '04 (326.00). He has earned top speed honors 28 times in his career.

Heartland Park Topeka is one of 12 current NHRA tracks where Bazemore has won a race. He earned his first career NHRA victory in Funny Car competition at Topeka in 1997. He also reached the winner's circle at Heartland Park in 2004 (def. Eric Medlen). He is a three-time finalist at the Topeka race.

At the last race (St. Louis), Bazemore and the Matco Tools team failed to make the 16-car field. It was just the 23rd time in 343 career races that Bazemore failed to qualify for an event. Teams were limited to just two qualifying attempts after Friday's racing action at Gateway Int'l Raceway was washed out.

Baze Banters About Topeka...

Topeka: "Winning"

Heartland Park Topeka: "Topeka"

Favorite Topeka-area cycling route: "Out of the track and West and then South, we do a 40-mile loop"

Favorite local restaurants: "I've stayed in the motor home a lot lately, didn't eat out much"

Favorite Heartland Park Topeka racing memory: "Getting my first Funny Car win in 1997"

-credit: dpm

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , Eric Medlen