BAZEMORE FIRST-ROUND FINISHER IN ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (May 7, 2006) - Whit Bazemore was not all that unhappy after losing today's first round of Funny Car eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway...
BAZEMORE FIRST-ROUND FINISHER IN ATLANTA
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 7, 2006) - Whit Bazemore was not all that unhappy after losing today's first round of Funny Car eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway from the No. 8 qualifying spot. The fact that he lost to Tony Pedregon was moot when one took into consideration the improvement in performance the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team had been seeing in the last few races.
Although Pedregon had an edge in reaction time (.058 to Bazemore's .086 - .000 is perfect), a part failure might be blamed for Bazemore's slower yet solid pass of 4.774 seconds at 320.05 mph to Pedregon's winning 4.765/326.56. Margin of victory: .0372 of a second.
"The Matco Tools Dodge Charger is running really well," said two-time U.S. Nationals champion Bazemore and two-time winner here at Atlanta Dragway, "and when we lose a race by a hundredth or two (of a second) I look at the job I did and feel like I could have dug deeper, and that's the end of the story.
"No matter what the car was going to run or do, we broke a freak part (a valve keeper, which dropped an intake valve) and it blew up before the finish line. And my light (reaction time) was actually good, but it just wasn't good enough. The guys on the Matco Tools team are saying it was their fault, I'm saying it was my fault. The bottom line is we're a team and we work together and we're going to win together and I think the writing is on the wall that we're a team that's come an awfully long way already this year. The potential we have is really very, very high.
"It's tough because we were definitely running a much better run than a .77, but you look at the starting line and realize that if I had had a .070 or .060 light instead of an .080, the win light probably would have come on. It was still the third best reaction time of the round and we weren't terribly, terribly beat.
"You always think you can dig a little deeper and do better when you come up on the short end."
Bazemore is now 10th in NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series points, with 317, as the series heads to Columbus, Ohio, for the NHRA Nationals at National Trail Raceway, May 19-21.