Joliet: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

Bazemore Goes for Gold, Takes No. 4 in Joliet JOLIET, Ill. (May 31, 2003) - Whit Bazemore, paired with his teammate Gary Scelzi, was going for No. 1 position and there was even a chance that he might surpass Scelzi's fastest Funny Car speed of...

Bazemore Goes for Gold, Takes No. 4 in Joliet

JOLIET, Ill. (May 31, 2003) - Whit Bazemore, paired with his teammate Gary Scelzi, was going for No. 1 position and there was even a chance that he might surpass Scelzi's fastest Funny Car speed of 327.98 mph, in the final round of qualifying for the 10th round of the 23-event POWERade Drag Racing Series at Route 66 Raceway. But the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Funny Car driver fell just short of that goal, yet still clocked in with a quality 4.776-second pass at 325.69 mph, grabbing the No. 4 qualifying position.

In today's first session (only the second qualifying round of the weekend, as one was cancelled yesterday because of rain), Bazemore pulled off a 4.792/323.27 lap.

"We're always trying to have the car perform at its maximum and we took small steps today," he said. "This morning we ran a .79 at 323 mph, but we had a couple of things wrong with the car on that final run. We were actually pretty happy it ran that good considering. We ran .77 and I know I'm disappointed. I think the team is a little disappointed, but it's still an awfully good performance. And the important thing is that I think we have a car and a team that's very competitive for the race tomorrow.

"Are we No. 1? No. Are we happy when we're not No. 1? No. But are we very competitive? Yes. So, is that good? Yes. We're in a very good position and there's room for us to improve. The important thing tomorrow is that we continue to run strongly and have a good consistent performance out of the car, out of the team, and out of the driver. We have all the necessary ingredients to do that. That's our only aim right now: to accomplish that tomorrow and have a good race."

Bazemore was proud of his teammate Scelzi's high-speed pass, yet it bolstered him to accept it as another challenge. "It's a team effort and those guys deserve it," he said. "They worked hard all year. They've struggled and they realized their potential today and that's what's exciting. And that same potentisl is over here on the Matco Tools side and we're going to work hard to realize it ourselves and try to move them back a notch."

Bazemore has qualified in the top half of the field in each of the 10 races so far, including one No. 1 qualifying positions. He is second in points to Tony Pedregon.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore