TWO-TIME U.S. NATIONALS WINNER BAZEMORE CLAIMS NO. 4 IN INDY QUALIFYING CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2006) - Two-time U.S. Nationals champion Whit Bazemore demonstrated once again that he has a potential winner underneath him in the Matco Tools...
TWO-TIME U.S. NATIONALS WINNER BAZEMORE CLAIMS NO. 4 IN INDY QUALIFYING
CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2006) - Two-time U.S. Nationals champion Whit Bazemore demonstrated once again that he has a potential winner underneath him in the Matco Tools "Tales of the Rat Fink" Dodge Charger Funny Car, after qualifying No. 4 for the U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
Indianapolis resident Bazemore drove his Funny Car to the No. 2 spot in the first round of qualifying on Friday, clocking a 4.718-second elapsed time at 327.43 mph. This pass held on as his quickest lap through four more sessions, earning him No. 4.
His ensuing four attempts yielded a 4.917/247.11, a 9.855/80.99 when the car struck the tires early, a stout 4.860/310.41, and a broken fuel line at the starting gate, which resulted in his not beginning the run.
"We're focused on winning the race tomorrow," said a confident Bazemore. "We've got a great car, it's very, very competitive, and we have a very good team. And when we have everything just right, the car's going to run very, very competitively, and I think we can win the race.
"We made a really good run out of the trailer that put us second at the time, and eventually in fourth, and then we also were on a really good run Saturday morning and I decided to shut it off. It spun (the tires) a little bit way down track. We're coming back from the fire at Memphis and some parts damage. The numbers were good, and had I legged it through there it would have been low of the session.
"The performance is there and we've got to exorcise the demons out of our camp here."
Bazemore faces Tim Wilkerson in the opening round of eliminations on Monday.
In the Skoal Showdown today, Bazemore was eliminated by Robert Hight in the opening stanza. It was a close race, but it was Hight first at the finish line by a .0983 of-a-second margin over Bazemore, who crossed the finish stripe in 4.860 seconds at 310.41 mph to Hight's winning 4.768/321.58. "We were very, very frustrated. We had a very simple mechanical thing happen which made the car slow down," said Bazemore. "We were very confident with the tune-up. The car has run really well here during qualifying and during testing and we were very confident. This little slip certainly hurt our performance by a lot."