Bristol: Etchells Racing Friday notes

The Etchells Racing Team made the quickest pass of their brief tenure with crew chief Terry Manzer in Friday's evening qualifying session for the Winston Showdown. Whit Bazemore powered the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Funny Car...

The Etchells Racing Team made the quickest pass of their brief tenure with crew chief Terry Manzer in Friday's evening qualifying session for the Winston Showdown. Whit Bazemore powered the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Funny Car down the Bristol Dragway in 4.966 seconds with a top speed of 295.01 mph. Although this was good enough to temporarily place them 4th on the Funny Car ladder, Bazemore felt confident the team would be able to run even better in Saturday's final time trial.

"Considering it wasn't a full run, that '96 was pretty good. It broke a spark plug and then dropped a cylinder, which forced me to shut off early. As Terry (crew chief Manzer, who is in only his second race with the team) gets a few more laps with this Camaro and the Kendall/Matco team, we're going to have a bad hot rod and I'm looking forward to that."

Bazemore also took time to comment on the Winston Showdown's unusual format of racing Funny Cars against Top Fuel dragsters.

"The format is obviously unique. It's impossible to make it a level playing field because they're two completely different kinds of cars, and each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. But this is Winston's race, and we're excited that it's an all-star event, and we're invited. This Bristol Dragway is a great facility, and it shows the future of our sport. If we're going to race the dragsters, we're going to do our best to beat them.

"Although I didn't see a dragster on either of my two runs today (both Cory MacClenathan and Kenny Bernstein shut off early after smoking the tires), when they do go by they go by very fast. You get down track and just wait for them to come by, because if you don't have a perfect run, they will pass you. But that's okay. Whatever the rules may be, we're going to come out and play."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Whit Bazemore