BAZEMORE MISSES CUT AT JOLIET JOLIET, Ill. (June 10, 2007) -- Like a challenging climb towards the peak of Mount Evans on his custom Seven bike, 20-time NHRA winner Whit Bazemore and his Matco Tools Top Fuel team will persevere through...
BAZEMORE MISSES CUT AT JOLIET
JOLIET, Ill. (June 10, 2007) -- Like a challenging climb towards the peak of Mount Evans on his custom Seven bike, 20-time NHRA winner Whit Bazemore and his Matco Tools Top Fuel team will persevere through the arduous times and come out on top like a championship-caliber race team.
Bazemore and the Matco Tools team missed the cut for the 16-car field Saturday afternoon at Route 66 Raceway. The veteran nitro pilot opened the weekend with a solid 4.598-second elapsed time, which proved to be his quickest run of qualifying. It missed the 4.596-second bump spot by just two thousandths of-a-second. The Matco Tools dragster suffered a mechanical malfunction on Friday's second qualifying effort causing the dragster to slow to a run of 4.659-seconds.
On Saturday afternoon, Bazemore and his Lee Beard-led Matco team battled a surprisingly tricky Route 66 Raceway quarter mile. With the sun pouring down from above, the normally first-rate track surface proved to be quite the test for the best drag racing has to offer. Just two cars maneuvered the course in under 4.6-seconds on Saturday. Bazemore mustered a best pass of 4.783 at 272.17 on the baking track. It is just the 24th time in his nearly two-decade career that he didn't compete on race day. The longtime Matco Tools driver now sits 10th in the POWERade Top Fuel standings.
"We dropped an exhaust valve on Friday night and had to shut off and it was difficult to qualify on Saturday," Bazemore said. "That was proven by the fact that not one car qualified on Saturday. In the first session, not one car got down the track. The track was very inconsistent and when you have the point's leader DNQ, it needs to be addressed."