Bazemore No. 2 after 2 qualifying rounds in Denver DENVER, Colo. (July 18, 2003) - Whit Bazemore held the No. 1 qualifying position for a short time in tonight's second round of qualifying with his 5.061-second elapsed time at a speed of 300.00...
Bazemore No. 2 after 2 qualifying rounds in Denver
DENVER, Colo. (July 18, 2003) - Whit Bazemore held the No. 1 qualifying position for a short time in tonight's second round of qualifying with his 5.061-second elapsed time at a speed of 300.00 mph. Although his speed in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle-sponsored Mopar 'Bling Bling' Dodge Stratus was the fastest of the day, he had to settle for second spot behind Tim Wilkerson's 5.007/297.16. Two Funny Cars didn't get to qualify as the remainder of this qualifying session was cancelled due to rain and lightning.
Bazemore's first round of qualifying went up in smoke.
"The first run was in the heat of the day and we just smoked the tires; we were a little too aggressive at about two and a half seconds into the run. No big deal, really. We were on the edge, and we were just over the edge a little bit. It's very important that we ran well tonight. That will allow us to concentrate on race day setups for tomorrow and try to be consistent and quick on what will be a very tricky race track.
"We're at about 6000 feet here at Bandimere and that altitude presents a very specific set of problems that we don't encounter any other time during the season. With the thin air there's a lack of pressure on the race car as it goes down the track and that translates into a lack of downforce. So, it's very important to have your downforce maximized on your race car. We're fortunate having Dodge come on board with the Stratus R/T; we're in a position to have significantly more downforce than we had last time we were here with the car we ran last year. I think that will certainly play to our favor tomorrow and Sunday on race day. It doesn't guarantee we're going to win; it does give us a little bit of an advantage that helps us be competitive with some of the other teams out there."
When asked if he was disappointed by not being low qualifier, he responded, "Well, yeah, but when we ran 5.06 it was low at the time. We didn't think it would be No. 1 for very long. Honestly, Lee (Beard, crew chief) thought it would be good for fourth or fifth and I kind of agreed with that, but as it is we're No. 2."