Gainesville Whit Bazemore cautiously optimistic

Whit Bazemore's first qualifying run for the Mac Tools Gatornationals proved to be his best, with his 4.837-second, 313.51 mph effort gaining the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Funny Car the second spot on Sunday's final eliminations...

Whit Bazemore's first qualifying run for the Mac Tools Gatornationals proved to be his best, with his 4.837-second, 313.51 mph effort gaining the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 Funny Car the second spot on Sunday's final eliminations ladder. To be successful tomorrow, however, Bazemore knows they will have to rediscover the consistency that earned them so much success a year ago.

"Qualifying has been an up-and-down experience this weekend. We were really pleased with the 4.83 we ran on Friday, but then we missed the nighttime session. This morning we were a little soft and then off for the conditions tonight. But the exciting thing is that our Kendall/Matco Camaro is one bad hot rod, and based on our test in Phoenix, we know the consistency is there. We're feeling pretty good for tomorrow.

"If you look back to where we were last summer (when the Kendall team advanced to four final rounds and won the event in Sonoma), we've had some good races and some bad races. Our goal, and it is one that we are adamant that we are going to reach, is that we get this turned around, consistently performing at a high level. Every now and then the car will throw us a bone and run well, but we haven't been able to do it all the time. We're going to try to make that happen tomorrow."

Bazemore's first round opponent will be fifteenth qualifier Kenny Sayers, who upset Bazemore in their only previous encounter in Houston last fall. Needless to say, Bazemore looks forward to the rematch.

"We owe Kenny Sayers one. He's a good guy and a hard racer, but he upset us last year when we were qualified near the top, just as he did to some other of the top teams. It's good to go up against an underdog, but when they've already beaten you once, you want to make sure it doesn't happen again."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore