Bazemore holds onto No. 6 in U.S. Nationals qualifying INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2004) - Whit Bazemore, a two-time winner of this prestigious event, made a strong pass down the quarter-mile in the final qualifying round for the U.S. Nationals today...
Bazemore holds onto No. 6 in U.S. Nationals qualifying
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2004) - Whit Bazemore, a two-time winner of this prestigious event, made a strong pass down the quarter-mile in the final qualifying round for the U.S. Nationals today in hot and humid conditions as well as a slight cloud cover. Bazemore drove his Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus to a 4.876-second elapsed time at 315.56 mph for the third quickest pass of that round.
It didn't improve his No. 6 placement in the field (the 4.860/295.92 from Friday night still stood), but it was the team's first full run down the track in five qualifying sessions and it brightened the spirits of driver and crew.
"It's not the heat of the day, but it ain't nighttime either," he said in the top-end interview after that run, "so, good job (crew chief Lee) Beard and the team. Just when our heads were dragging in the sand the old hot rod stepped up. We're excited. Tomorrow is an important day. We feel a lot better going into it now, that's for sure.
"This was our first run this weekend to the finish line under power.
"We had a frustrating day certainly," he said of his first-round loss in the Skoal Showdown, "and to be able to bounce back is very important for everyone on the team and for the morale of the team. These guys make such a huge effort. It's been a long weekend.
"It's a fitting end to the day. It's important to end qualifying here at Indy on an up-note, a positive, and we did, so we'll be ready to go racing tomorrow."
Bazemore faces Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round of eliminations for their second meeting this season. "We'll be ready for the Skoal team tomorrow, and it's going to be a tough day.
"We have a great race car when conditions are perfect. And we are still working on creating a great race car when conditions are less than ideal."