Las Vegas: Whit Bazemore preview

VEGAS MARKS BAZEMORE'S 300TH CAREER NATIONAL EVENT LAS VEGAS (April 12, 2005) - Whit Bazemore will compete in his 300th career national event this weekend, when he takes to The Strip at Las Vegas for the fifth round of the 23-event 2005 POWERade...

VEGAS MARKS BAZEMORE'S 300TH CAREER NATIONAL EVENT

LAS VEGAS (April 12, 2005) - Whit Bazemore will compete in his 300th career national event this weekend, when he takes to The Strip at Las Vegas for the fifth round of the 23-event 2005 POWERade Drag Racing Series in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car.

In his 299 previous races he amassed 304 wins in 565 rounds, 18 event victories in 42 final rounds, 36 semifinal rounds which he did not win, 28 No. 1 qualifiers, and earned at least one victory for the ninth consecutive season (including 2005).

So far, this season, he's won one national event of four, and has an 8-3 round win-loss record. He stands second in the Funny Car points rankings after leading following his win in Gainesville, Fla., and is just 14 points behind leader John Force.

The two-time U.S. Nationals champion has never won at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in his 16-year pro career, but has four runner-up finishes here (2001, '03 and '04 at LV 1 and 2003 at LV 2) and two No. 1 qualifiers (2003 at LV 1 and 2001 at LV2).

The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of Bazemore's favorite tracks on the POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule, and his goal this weekend is to add a win here to his list of accomplishments.

"It's hard to imagine I'm about to race 300 times, but if that's the number that's good," he said. "I just saw that at the last race (13-time Funny Car champion) John Force had qualified for 350 races in a row. It's pretty impressive that he's qualified in 50 more races than I've ever even competed in, so to me that's pretty cool.

"We're going to Vegas with all the confidence in the world in our Matco Tools Dodge team and our car, even though we've had some struggles this year. We've won a race, we've contended in all the other events and it's a team effort. Our team is getting stronger every race, our car's running better every race and I think we can rightly say that when we roll into Vegas that we'll be one of the teams with a good chance of winning that race. We just have to have the most perfect weekend possible, and if we do that, we'll end up in the winner's circle.

"Vegas has turned into one of the super tracks. Even though it's at a little bit of elevation, it's a world-record track. We really like it. The staff here is great and it's a fan favorite, so we're looking forward to racing here.

"With all of our runner-up finishes at The Strip, it's been a pretty good track for us."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , John Force