BAZEMORE FALLS EARLY AT ATLANTA, STILL FIFTH IN NHRA TOP FUEL POINTS COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore and the David Powers-owned Matco Tools Top Fuel team held their ground in the NHRA standings Sunday at Atlanta Dragway. The ...
BAZEMORE FALLS EARLY AT ATLANTA, STILL FIFTH IN NHRA TOP FUEL POINTS
COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore and the David Powers-owned Matco Tools Top Fuel team held their ground in the NHRA standings Sunday at Atlanta Dragway. The longtime Georgia native qualified his Matco Tools dragster well, but fell in the opening round of eliminations during the 27th running of the popular Southern Nationals.
After powering his Lee Beard-tuned Matco Tools rail to the No. 4 qualifying position on the strength of a 4.524-second effort on Friday afternoon, the 20-time NHRA winner was matched-up against 29-time NHRA winner Cory McClenathan for the fourth time in six races. All four meetings between the two veteran nitro racers have come in the opening round. McClenathan got the jump at the start in his colorful orange and black rail as Bazemore blistered the Atlanta Dragway quarter mile in 4.527 seconds at 319.22 mph, however Cory Mac earned the win light after carding a 4.569-second lap. It was Bazemore's first holeshot defeat since making the switch from Funny Car to Top Fuel. Bazemore's elapsed time was the quickest of the first round of eliminations.
"I'm extremely disappointed," Bazemore said. "We have a great race car. I let the team down today. I'm determined to not let this happen again."
"We're pleased with the performance of the car," Beard added. "We've been good out of the trailer all season long. We ran low E.T. of the first session on Friday with that 4.52. We've qualified in the top four at the last four races. We had low E.T. of the first round, so we're pleased with the way the car is running. You'll have days when the driver gets beat on a holeshot and you'll have days when the driver wins on a holeshot. It's a team effort. You win and lose as a team."
With 17 races remaining on the 2007 NHRA schedule, Bazemore ranks fifth in the Top Fuel standings. The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 11th annual O'Reilly Midwest Nationals, May 4-6, at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.