Denver: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

Baze takes No. 3 after rain delay in Denver DENVER, Colo. (July 19, 2003) - Whit Bazemore had to endure sitting in his Matco Tools Iron Eagle-sponsored Mopar 'Bling-Bling' Dodge Stratus Funny Car for nearly a half-hour before he was able to run...

Baze takes No. 3 after rain delay in Denver

DENVER, Colo. (July 19, 2003) - Whit Bazemore had to endure sitting in his Matco Tools Iron Eagle-sponsored Mopar 'Bling-Bling' Dodge Stratus Funny Car for nearly a half-hour before he was able to run the final qualifying session today. Although the skies looked clear and sunny to the casual observer, slight sprinkles delayed the completion of the final round for two pairs of Funny Cars. Bazemore jumped out of the car for a short period of time, then returned to face his fierce rival Tony Pedregon in a qualifying match-up.

Both cars were aiming for the No. 1 spot, and neither one accomplished that feat. Bazemore fell to No. 3 from his No. 2 spot (based on his 5.061/300.00 run from last night), after Pedregon posted a 5.034/301.74 to move into second. Tim Wilkerson, who earned the No. 1 position last night, held on as low qualifier.

"We are a little bit disappointed because the conditions were there to set low e.t of the weekend," said the two-time U.S. Nationals champion who's second in Funny Car point standings. "We were trying to do that. We were just a little bit too aggressive with the Matco Tools Dodge Stratus - we took some wing out of it - so we spun the tires down track a little bit. But, I think we're in a great position for tomorrow. We ended up third and I think Lee (Beard, crew chief) and the team have a pretty good handle on the conditions here when the track gets hot, and I think it's certainly going to be hot tomorrow again.

Having to wait for the rain to stop and the track to be cleaned was no big deal, he said. "You're ready to go and you're ready to get it on and get the job done and if you have to wait, that's part of it. It was definitely raining a little bit. I feel like we could have run in those conditions, and the team does, but if we'd smoked the tires, then we would have wished we had waited."

Bazemore will face Terry Haddock in first round of final eliminations tomorrow.

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Tim Wilkerson , Terry Haddock