Gainesville Bazemore story (FUNNY CAR)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761 REJUVENATED BAZEMORE CLIMBS POINT STANDINGS IN FUNNY CAR GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The list of injuries suffered by Whit Bazemore in a motorcycle accident while on a ...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: NHRA Communications (818) 914-4761

REJUVENATED BAZEMORE CLIMBS POINT STANDINGS IN FUNNY CAR

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The list of injuries suffered by Whit Bazemore in a motorcycle accident while on a pleasure trip last September is long enough to make one cringe.

He suffered a compound fracture of his left leg. Torn ligaments in both knees. Extensive soft tissue damage to his right leg. He couldn't walk for weeks and still undergoes three to four hours of arduous rehabilitation every day.

Bazemore, winless during his eight-year career, also was forced to watch from a hospital bed last October while his relief driver, Dale Pulde, drove his car to victory at Dallas.

The last five months haven't exactly been fun for Whit Bazemore. But he thinks they might have provided the boost his career needed.

"I think my career had gotten a little stagnant before the accident," Bazemore said. "In that sense, I think this accident was a good thing because it definitely recharged me. When you're there in the hospital, those old desires of, 'Man, I'd do anything to race,' come back."

That desire shows this season. Bazemore is third in the point standings entering the 28th annual, $1,831,950 Mac Tools Gatornationals, March 6-9 at Gainesville Raceway. The race is the third event of the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997.

Bazemore, from Indianapolis, has found the main ingredient of any successful racing program during the first two races this season: consistency. He advanced to the quarterfinals in the season-opening Chief Auto Parts Winternationals and raced until the semifinals at the ATSCO Nationals in the Team Winston Ford Mustang.

"I'm very confident," Bazemore said. "Our team won its first race last year. That proved the team can do it. Now I just have to go out and do my job, and I know I can."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore