BAZEMORE FAILS TO QUALIFY FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2003 JOLIET, Ill. (June 11, 2005) - For the first time since Reading, Pa., in 2003, Whit Bazemore failed to qualify the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car for a POWERade Drag Racing...
BAZEMORE FAILS TO QUALIFY FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2003
JOLIET, Ill. (June 11, 2005) - For the first time since Reading, Pa., in 2003, Whit Bazemore failed to qualify the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car for a POWERade Drag Racing Series event.
Bazemore, who has won twice this season and led the Funny Car point standings through three events, struggled at Route 66 Raceway this weekend in each of the four qualifying rounds, posting a 5.032/308.35 in the first session, which was good for No. 14 at the time. He followed that up with a 4.930/318.77, which dropped him out of the running as the other teams stepped up.
His consistent 4.976/311.85 and 4.929/317.49 passes in the next two rounds did not improve his position, and the two-time U.S. Nationals champion and three-time winner in Joliet found himself out of contention for a fourth victory here.
"It's part of the sport," he said at the end of the last pass. "Unfortunately, you win and you lose and sometimes you DNQ. I feel bad for the guys on the Matco Tools team and, of course, all our supporters and all the Matco Tool distributors here, but (crew chief) Lee Beard is making a huge effort, our whole team is.
"There's a bug in the car. It's a feeling of failure that you never want to feel, but when you play the game sometimes you get it.
"We're plenty frustrated. The car just didn't respond at all," a disappointed Bazemore continued back in the pits. "We had the whole team in our pits, with Beard and all the other crew chiefs on the team: Dan Olson, Ed McCulloch, Zippy (Mike Neff). We tuned the damned thing up where it really should have hauled ass, but it didn't seem to make much difference.
"We're not in a very good place right now as a team, but we've got great people, great support. We need to keep our heads up and work through it. It's not a sport that you're going to be successful in if you quit when you're down, and we've been down many times, and we always manage to come back stronger than we were before. I'm sure this time we'll make the right effort and we'll come back stronger and maybe we'll add to our win tally this year."