FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761 BAZEMORE TRYING TO FULFILL FUNNY CAR DREAM WITH VICTORY AT INDY CLERMONT, Ind. -- Whit Bazemore sure has come a long way since he borrowed his father's company car...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: NHRA Communications (626) 914-4761
BAZEMORE TRYING TO FULFILL FUNNY CAR DREAM WITH VICTORY AT INDY
CLERMONT, Ind. -- Whit Bazemore sure has come a long way since he borrowed his father's company car to drive from Atlanta to Indianapolis for the 1979 U.S. Nationals because his 1969 Dodge Coronet probably wouldn't stay in one piece during the trip. Bazemore was a 16-year-old motorsports photographer in 1979 when he sat on the wall next to the dragstrip at Indianapolis Raceway Park for the first time, convinced that someday he would drive in the most important drag race in the world. That dream became a reality in 1990. Now it might be time to fulfill another dream: winning the U.S. Nationals. "It would be the win," Bazemore said. "I mean, THE win. Indy was my first national event." Bazemore, an Indianapolis resident, will try to earn the biggest win of his blossoming career at the 43rd annual, $2,458,000 U.S. Nationals, Aug. 27-Sept. 1 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The race is the 16th event in the 22-event, $30-million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series in 1997. The very thought of Bazemore winning the U.S. Nationals might have seemed folly until this year. He entered this season with no career victories in just one final round and never finished higher than seventh in the NHRA Winston standings since starting his Funny Car career in 1989. But Bazemore has emerged as a star this season with three victories and an NHRA Funny Car speed national record of 313.04 mph in the Team Winston Ford Mustang. He has climbed to second in the NHRA Winston point standings and is the chief contender to six-time NHRA Winston champion John Force. "Our first win, at Topeka, was a big turning point," Bazemore said. "We didn't choke. Our second win, at Denver, proved we weren't a fluke. After that, we know we can win any race."