Commerce: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

BAZEMORE NO. 12 IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING COMMERCE, Ga. (May 14, 2005) - Whit Bazemore wasn't able to hang onto the No. 1 qualifying spot he earned in the first qualifying session yesterday through three more sessions, and ended up in No. 12...

BAZEMORE NO. 12 IN ATLANTA QUALIFYING

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 14, 2005) - Whit Bazemore wasn't able to hang onto the No. 1 qualifying spot he earned in the first qualifying session yesterday through three more sessions, and ended up in No. 12 following today's final session for the Southern Nationals, which was delayed for two and a half hours due to rain.

Driving the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car, Bazemore first posted a 4.953/313.73 lap on Friday, followed by a 4.917/318.17 Friday evening. In today's first session he ran a 4.946/313.58, which was good for No. 7. But, under cooler conditions in the final pass, his 5.312/225.03 dropped him down to 12th.

"Tonight is just a showcase of letting it all hang out and we were certainly doing that," he said. "We had a cylinder that didn't fire on the starting line. We knew we were going to have a problem at that point. I thought it might improve on what we had run until I got down past half track and realized it wasn't.

"The positive is that the effort that the Matco Tools team made with all the testing we did in Bristol has certainly paid off with the results that we had in the heat of the day. That's what is the most important because we're not going to be racing this race at night. We're going to be racing it in the heat of the day tomorrow. That's where we've done fairly well so far this weekend.

"We had a couple of gremlins that kept us from our full potential last night. We just missed it. We feel like we left an awful lot on the table.

"The way the car ran in the heat during the day in the two sessions we had in the sun was very very positive. It's still very safe. Our goal was to go down the race track and up, and we did. And we're far from the edge. I think that bodes well for our race-day setup."

Funny Car points leader Bazemore faces his nemesis (and second in points) John Force in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. This race should not be missed!

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force