WINNING, AS ALWAYS, IN BAZEMORE'S PLAN BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2006) - Whit Bazemore savored the sweet taste of victory in Seattle on July 23, the second round of the three-race Western Swing. It was his first win since early 2005 and he's...
WINNING, AS ALWAYS, IN BAZEMORE'S PLAN
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2006) - Whit Bazemore savored the sweet taste of victory in Seattle on July 23, the second round of the three-race Western Swing. It was his first win since early 2005 and he's aching for more, as the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series winds down to the last eight races.
The two-time U.S. Nationals champion, who drives the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car for Don Schumacher Racing, believes he's got the car to beat as the series heads to Brainerd Int'l Raceway this weekend for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
After struggling earlier in the season, Bazemore and the Matco Tools team are back in the swing, as they look to add to Bazemore's career 20-win record this weekend. With their chances of claiming a Funny Car championship from eighth place in the standings and 330 points down pretty slim, their focus is on getting to the winner's circle.
"We definitely have a lot of confidence in the team and the team has a lot of confidence in [the driver] and so, to me, that's the most important thing - that the chemistry is good, the tune-up is good and everybody is on the same page," he said. "Everyone is hungry and everyone is doing a good job and everyone believes in everyone else. It's all good.
"We definitely have some momentum," added Bazemore, who's had one win, one runner-up and three semifinal finishes since the fifth event of the season. "I like where we are. I don't think I'd want to be anyone else. I think we have the car to beat, and we still may be looked at as being a little underrated, so that's good too.
"We just want to win races. That's all we ever want to do. That's the only reason we do this. We're going to try to maximize all of our opportunities and win as many races as we can.
"That's what this sport is about. It doesn't do any good to count points. You're going to go off against every opponent with your car tuned the best it can be tuned, without smoking the tires. That's what you try to do; whether you're 15th in the points or first in the points, it doesn't matter.
"Our objective is to win races and that's what we need to do, and we're in a position to do that. We just have to go make it happen."
Bazemore is looking for his first Brainerd victory. He's been runner-up twice here: in 1999 against John Force, and in 2001 against Ron Capps. He was No. 1 qualifier in 1997 and 2001.