BAZEMORE LOSES TO FORCE IN DENVER FIRST ROUND MORRISON, Colo. (July 16, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team were buoyed by the car's performance all through qualifying, having posted four ...
BAZEMORE LOSES TO FORCE IN DENVER FIRST ROUND
MORRISON, Colo. (July 16, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car team were buoyed by the car's performance all through qualifying, having posted four consistently solid passes to qualify No. 7. But the strength of those runs did not result in a victory in the opening round of eliminations today at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals.
Bazemore faced his longtime nemesis and 13-time champion John Force in that round on a day in which the thermometer registered temperatures of over 100 degrees at Bandimere Speedway, 5,860 feet high into the ether and situated on the side of a mountain.
The two-time Denver Funny Car winner took off .010 of a second after Force, then actually took the lead at the 60-ft. mark, only to lose it immediately after, as Force claimed the win with a 5.163-second pass at 293.92 mph to Bazemore's losing 5.484/243.72. Margin of victory: .3315 of a second.
"It's frustrating," said Bazemore. "It wasn't tune-up related. Something broke in the ignition and affected the run. It's all about the team for me. We have such a great team. Our Matco Tools team is so incredibly better than our results indicate. And that's what hurts.
"Losing today was hard, but we have such a great bunch of guys who are doing a great job and we're not getting the results. It's no one's fault; it's just the way the cards are falling. It's frustrating for them, it's frustrating for me, knowing the effort that they make and we're not getting rewarded.
"You have to realize the big picture and do what you can and be patient. We just have to keep working doing what we're doing and the results are going to start coning our way. I believe that 100 percent.
"The challenge up here was tremendous. Not only because of the altitude. This is always the hardest race for the tuners (Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler for the Matco Tools team). And the heat this year, with track temperatures in the 140s, made it doubly hard. But, we were flawless in qualifying, just flawless. And today the car would've run really well.
"You have to just take your lumps. It's the nature of the business. It's a very, very tough sport."
Bazemore is eighth in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point standings.
Next up is next weekend's Schuck's NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways, outside of Seattle, Wash., July 21-23.