Denver: Mopar eliminations summary

Bazemore runs to second round Mopar Pro Stock Wrap MORRISON, Colo. (July 20, 2003) -- Whit Bazemore drove his Mopar 'Bling Bling' Dodge Stratus to the second round of eliminations during today's Mopar Mile-High Nationals at ...

Bazemore runs to second round
Mopar Pro Stock Wrap

MORRISON, Colo. (July 20, 2003) -- Whit Bazemore drove his Mopar 'Bling Bling' Dodge Stratus to the second round of eliminations during today's Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

Bazemore, who is also sponsored by Matco Tools, ran into the buzz saw known as John Force. It was a close drag race, but John Force ran a 5.131-second elapsed time at 290.69 mph to beat out Bazemore's 5.202-second pass at 278.23 mph. The Indianapolis resident advanced to the second round when he defeated Terry Haddock in round one with a 5.118-second elapsed time at 290.94 mph.

"We just didn't turn it up enough for the second round against Force," Bazemore said. "We got beat -- it's that simple. It's a long second half of the year and we have more wins in us this season.

"We had a good weekend because we got to know a lot of people from Mopar," Bazemore continued. "They got to see how our team operates and what we're made of. It was a really good weekend in that regard."

The Oakley-sponsored Dodge Stratus of Gary Scelzi barely missed upsetting No. 1 qualifier Tim Wilkerson in today's opening round. Scelzi held a slight .013-second elapsed time off the starting line, but a 5.130-second elapsed time at 296.11 mph wasn't enough to corral Wilkerson's 5.102-second pass at 287.35 mph.

"For getting beat again, we're pretty happy," Scelzi said. "We're using some of the new clutch stuff. We actually got a little more aggressive with it early, but when you get behind in qualifying and you don't have that shot to see where you can go, that's what happens when you have to run the fast guy the first round. Everything went right for Tim."

"We got the car to not smoke the tires," Scelzi added. "It ran 296 mph and dropped a cylinder down there, which probably cost us the race, but it went perfectly straight. The motor is perfect, the clutch is still soft on a hot race track. The race track was 125 degrees, which is probably what we're going to have in Seattle or Sonoma."

"I'm sure we're not done with this hot weather yet. So, that tells us that we've got a really good baseline when we go to Seattle now or Sonoma -- either one -- so that's going to work. We're going to get four more runs, hopefully, if the weather is good, to try some more things. I think the bugaboos are a little bit behind us now."

JOHNSON, ALDERMAN & STANFIELD OUT AFTER ONE...

Gremlins struck Allen Johnson and the Mopar Parts Dodge Stratus in the first round of Pro Stock eliminations. Jim Yates ran a 7.257-second elapsed time at 190.06 mph to beat Johnson's 7.309-second lap at 189.31 mph.

"We hurt the engine on that run," Johnson said. "We spun a little too hard. We didn't run like we should have all weekend and we pushed it a little hard on the tune up there. We burnt a piston. We'll get off this hill and go to Seattle where the conditions are normal."

"It's always fast up there," Johnson continued. "We're going back to our St. Louis-style Pro Stock tune up and consistently be up in the top five and go some rounds."

Mopar driver Darrell Alderman lost in the first round to Ron Krisher. Despite holding a .023 to .048 starting-line advantage, Krisher was able to run down Alderman with a 7.276-second lap at 189.60 mph. Alderman clocked a 7.314-second elapsed time at 188.91 mph.

"It was a good drag race," Alderman said. "We went in there and didn't have lane choice and my car had been going down the right-hand lane better. We'll just go to Seattle, get back down to sea level, and see if we can't get back in the top half of the show."

Greg Stanfield and the DBP Enterprises Dodge Neon fell in the first round to Jeg Coughlin, Jr. Stanfield held a .020 advantage at the start, but was unable to hold off a quicker Coughlin, Jr., in the end.

-Mopar.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Darrell Alderman , Whit Bazemore , John Force , Gary Scelzi , Ron Krisher , Greg Stanfield , Tim Wilkerson , Allen Johnson , Terry Haddock