Entering Sunday's final eliminations of The Colonel's Truck Accessories Nationals, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Racing Team knew their success depended on their ability to get their Camaro Z28 down the track under power.
Entering Sunday's final eliminations of The Colonel's Truck Accessories Nationals, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Racing Team knew their success depended on their ability to get their Camaro Z28 down the track under power. During the two days of qualifying, they had experienced both ends of the spectrum, as they smoked the tires twice on Friday, and then posted two of the quickest elapsed times in Funny Car on Saturday. Facing up-and-coming driver Bob Gilbertson in the first round, Bazemore knew he would need a strong run to advance. However, almost immediately after launching, Bazemore's tires started to shake, forcing the Etchells Racing driver to quickly pedal the accelerator in order to maintain traction. Despite Bazemore's efforts, he was unable to run down his opponent, who made the quickest run of his career to claim the round win.
"Any time you lose it's disappointing, but I have to compliment Bob Gilbertson and his team. They did a good job, going out and running their first four-second run. We basically shook and smoked the tires so I pedaled it. Our Camaro actually recovered momentarily, but then it blew them off again and by that time he (Gilbertson) was gone. It was just one of those deals.
"We're just going to put today behind us and move forward. We made a lot of headway this weekend in Minnesota, but today's results show we still have some work to do. We're going to be in Indy on Tuesday and Wednesday to participate in a scheduled test session at IRP, which will be (crew chief) Terry Manzer's first opportunity to test with the Kendall/Matco team. I'm looking forward to that. Our top priority will be to make our car's tune-up more forgiving. We need to expand our performance window, which will put us in a better position to win rounds. Right now we're walking a fine line where we either smoke the tires or have a killer run. We may need to trade a little performance for some consistency. I'm confident we'll be better by the U.S. Nationals."