BAZEMORE OUT IN FIRST ROUND IN BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 14, 2005) - No. 9 qualifier Whit Bazemore did not have lane choice going into the first round of eliminations at the Lucas Oil Nationals today, but he didn't blame the track when he...
BAZEMORE OUT IN FIRST ROUND IN BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 14, 2005) - No. 9 qualifier Whit Bazemore did not have lane choice going into the first round of eliminations at the Lucas Oil Nationals today, but he didn't blame the track when he smoked the tires in that round and lost to Tony Pedregon with a 5.802/242.63 lap to Pedregon's 5.258/275.62.
In Top Fuel eliminations preceding the Funny Car competition, Luigi Novelli blew up his dragster at the starting line in the right lane and proceeded down the quarter-mile, resulting in a 40-minute delay to clean the surface, relegating that lane to less-desirable status.
"You can't blame the track," said Bazemore of his loss in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus. "Early on this morning the conditions were really good and a lot of people, ourselves included, thought that they could go out there and run pretty damned good."
"Unfortunately, Novelli just killed the track and put us almost 40 minutes behind and the track was in the sun a long time. Our Matco Tools guys backed the car down a huge amount and the track just didn't hold it. They made all the right moves and Dan (Olson, co-crew chief) even said if we had it to do over again, he would have done the exact same thing, and that's how far we backed the car down."
"It's part of racing, but I really feel the NHRA needs to look at the licensing procedure and they need to make sure that the drivers - all of us - do the right thing when there's a problem. A guy blowing up on the starting line and coasting down the center of the track on race day is unacceptable and it hurts all the competitors, the fans and the entire sport, and it should not be allowed to happen."
Bazemore dropped to seventh place in the POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings.
Next up is the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals in Memphis, Tenn., Aug. 19-21.