Indianpolis: Whit Bazemore preview

TWO-TIME U.S. NATIONALS CHAMPION BAZEMORE LOOKS FOR CONSISTENCY IN INDY INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 30, 2005) - Qualifying well, consistency and going rounds are the basics for any good POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car driver, and it's become Whit...

TWO-TIME U.S. NATIONALS CHAMPION BAZEMORE LOOKS FOR CONSISTENCY IN INDY

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 30, 2005) - Qualifying well, consistency and going rounds are the basics for any good POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car driver, and it's become Whit Bazemore's mantra these days as he and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car team work to get out of their mid-season slump.

After leading the point standings early in the year and scoring two victories, Bazemore fell behind in the rankings following a string of early-round losses. A crew chief change ensued, and the team has since been making slow but steady progress back into contention. The Indianapolis resident and two-time U.S. Nationals champion posted two semifinal finishes since then and now stands seventh in Funny Car points coming into this weekend's prestigious U.S. Nationals.

"We're trying to get our Matco Tools Dodge team back on track and our car back on track," said Bazemore, who won here in 1997 and 2001. "That's our goal: to qualify well, get the car to go down the track consistently, put ourselves into a good position for Monday's race, and try to win the race.

"It would mean a lot to win the U.S. Nationals a third time this year, but given the situation that we're in with our performance and the fact that we have been struggling, to have a good weekend is paramount. We're not thinking about winning it right now, we're thinking about the first step, which is to run competitively and then qualify well. It's a one-step-at-a-time situation.

"We have to work on the performance of the Matco Tools Dodge. We have been in the business long enough to know there are big swings that happen and you can be struggling a little bit and, in one run, you turn it all around, and vice versa.

"We've got everything at our disposal. We have great people working on our car. (Co-crew chiefs) Todd Okuhara and Dan Olson are bright, but we're still going to take it one small step at a time, and go down the race track, qualify and try to win the first round."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore