As did many of their Funny Car counterparts, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Racing Team battled to find traction at Bandimere Speedway during the opening time trials for the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals.
As did many of their Funny Car counterparts, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Racing Team battled to find traction at Bandimere Speedway during the opening time trials for the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals. Each time, strong starts were slowed when the massive rear slicks lost their grip, despite Bazemore's attempts to maintain control. His best run of 6.285 seconds came in Friday night's session and placed Bazemore in the provisional 16th spot halfway through qualifying. Fully aware of their tenuous position, the Etchells Racing team looked to step up during one of their remaining two sessions on Saturday.
"Terry (crew chief Manzer) runs the car differently than I was used to, and we had a problem in the first session with the clutch. The car idles at a certain rpm, and we have a pre-determined amount of clutch weight, all of which affect how heavy the clutch pedal is. Because of the conditions in Denver, the clutch weight is much greater than it is at other tracks, and as a result, I couldn't hold the clutch in, and dragging it that way increased the temperature in the clutch pack. It's very sensitive, and even though Terry doesn't necessarily agree that I did drag it, I think I did, and we ended up smoking the tires.
"We fixed that for tonight's session, and the car was much more comfortable to drive. It carried the front end from the start, and drifted a little to the left. If it wasn't out of the groove, it certainly was on the edge. Unfortunately, it smoked the tires again, and I couldn't get it to hook back up.
"We certainly have our work cut out for us tomorrow. But Terry has a good tune-up. Right now we're just working to get this Kendall/Matco Camaro down the track more consistently, which I'm confident we'll do. I'm excited by our potential."