FOUR CONSISTENT PASSES EARN BAZEMORE NO. 7 IN CHICAGO QUALIFYING JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Whit Bazemore's every pass in the Rat Fink^A Matco Tools Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car in qualifying for this weekend's Ameriquest Mortgage Nationals...
FOUR CONSISTENT PASSES EARN BAZEMORE NO. 7 IN CHICAGO QUALIFYING
JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Whit Bazemore's every pass in the Rat Fink^A Matco Tools Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car in qualifying for this weekend's Ameriquest Mortgage Nationals was straight and strong, resulting in a No. 7 spot for the inaugural Route 66 Raceway Funny Car winner.
Bazemore set his quickest and fastest pass of the season in the cooler Friday evening session of 4.730 seconds at 329.34 mph. His other laps included a 4.759/326.87, a 4.807/325.61, and a 4.750/329.18 in his final attempt to qualify well in the quickest Funny Car field in NHRA's history.
"We're happy," he said. "Actually, (co-crew chiefs) Dan (Olson), Todd (Okuhara) and I - and I'm sure the rest of the guys on the Matco Tools team - were a little frustrated because, while we've run well, we haven't run as well as we intended to.
"I think that says a lot about the track here in Chicago and what an awesome facility it is here and and the fact that the competition is so good. We were really hoping - and we had the car tuned up for it a few times - to run in the 4.60s. For a couple of different reasons it hasn't happened, but still, the fact that we can be not quite as perfect as we want to be and be this competitive, is a very good sign."
Bazemore faces Eric Medlen in first round of eliminations tomorrow, and, while Bazemore's chances of winning his first Funny Car crown are a longshot, he could easily be the spoiler in his teammates' Gary Scelzi's and Ron Capps' quest for the championship. "We have a good race-day tune-up for tomorrow. We're going to run Medlen. We have to be on our A-game, as always.
"But this is Chicago. We like this place. We had success here, so we'll be eager to get out of bed in the morning."