Bazemore's "bracket racer" advances to the O'Reilly Fall Nationals semi-finals Day/Date: Sunday, October 24, 1999 Contact: Jon Knapp Location: Texas Motorplex Phone: (704) 662-3121 Ennis, Texas Fax: (704) 662-3021 Qualifying: 3rd, 4.904...
Bazemore's "bracket racer" advances to the O'Reilly Fall Nationals semi-finals
Day/Date: Sunday, October 24, 1999 Contact: Jon Knapp Location: Texas Motorplex Phone: (704) 662-3121 Ennis, Texas Fax: (704) 662-3021
Qualifying: 3rd, 4.904 seconds, 303.43 miles-per-hour
First Round: Whit Bazemore (.502 r.t., 4.854 sec., 304.98 mph) defeated
Cory Lee (.330 r.t. foul, 5.024 sec., 305.81 mph)
Second Round: Whit Bazemore (.489 r.t., 4.860 sec., 303.03 mph) defeated
Tony Pedregon (.487 r.t., 5.026 sec., 268.09 mph)
Semi-Finals: Tommy Johnson Jr. (.502 r.t., 4.841 sec., 320.05 mph) defeated
Whit Bazemore (.520 r.t., 6.135 sec., 212.06 mph)
Through the first two rounds of eliminations at today's O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Oil/Superwinch Camaro Z28 Racing team seemed to have things going their way. In the opening stanza, Bazemore was doubly fortunate as first he was handed the automatic win when his opponent, Cory Lee, red-lit, and he took advantage to post his best pass of the weekend at 4.854 seconds, with a top speed of 304.98 mph. This gave the Etchells Racing pilot lane choice for his second round encounter with archrival Tony Pedregon, who Bazemore promptly eliminated on the strength of another impressive 4.860-second run. The semi-finals found Bazemore holding lane choice yet again as he staged against Tommy Johnson Jr. However, the race was over before it really began, as Bazemore lost traction almost immediately, smoking the tires and ending his chances for his second win of the season.
"Early on, our Kendall Camaro seemed like a bracket car, with this team having a real handle on it. Unfortunately, we had a problem in the semi-finals. It's frustrating to lose when you seem to be running so well, but those guys (Tommy Johnson Jr.'s team) really have their act together right now.
"We're having some difficulty running at the far end of the track. The last three to four hundred feet, it's just not getting it done, which is evidenced by our top speeds. While we're struggling to run over 300 mph, our main competitors are going 315-320. Because of that, we've got to make up a lot of ground early in the run, which puts a lot of pressure on us. But we're staying here tomorrow to test and work on finding a solution.
"But making it into the semi-finals is still a good day. I'm excited that our Kendall Camaro was one of the four best cars here this weekend - we definitely had the wick turned up, and we plan to continue in that fashion in the future. There are two races left, and each one will be a dogfight, but we plan to be in the middle of it."