BAZEMORE EARNS 15TH IN ENGLISHTOWN QUALIFYING ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18, 2005) - With new crew chiefs and a new tune-up this weekend on the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car at the K&N Filters SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J,...
BAZEMORE EARNS 15TH IN ENGLISHTOWN QUALIFYING
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 18, 2005) - With new crew chiefs and a new tune-up this weekend on the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car at the K&N Filters SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J, Whit Bazemore held strong through a few tire-smoking rounds to finally qualify 15th in the last session.
In 16th coming into that round, there was no guarantee as the crew came up to the staging lanes that the two-time U.S. Nationals champion would improve his position or even remain in the top 16. However, Bazemore stepped up to the plate and posted a respectable - and representative for that round - 4.867/319.60 (seventh quickest) to move up from No. 16 into 15th.
"We had a very positive day," he said. "It's all good. The important thing to note is that we went down the race track and we left a lot on the table. We went up there conservative because we had to go down the track.
"I'm excited about it. I feel very positive about things right now. (New co-crew chief) Todd Okuhara is doing an outstanding job, and (crew chief) Dan Olson is as well. Actually, the guys on the Matco Tools Dodge team are doing their normal perfect job."
The Don Schumacher Racing brain trust of crew chiefs - Olson, Okuhara, Ed "Ace" McCulloch and Mike Neff - was in visible support at the starting line in that final pass.
"The way the team is working together and everyone's come together to help has been very nice," said Bazemore, who will face Jeff Arend in first round of eliminations on Sunday.
"I feel good. Our car isn't perfect yet and the guys are still learning the new tune-up. It's totally different than what we've had, so there's still a lot of learning going on here. But we had to go down the race track and we did. We feel very good about that."