Memphis: Bazemore near front in qualifying

Whit Bazemore had an interesting time on Friday during qualifying for the Auto Zone Nationals in Memphis, Tennessee. From the outside, everything seemed to go well on his first attempt, as he blasted down the Memphis Motorsports Park...

Whit Bazemore had an interesting time on Friday during qualifying for the Auto Zone Nationals in Memphis, Tennessee. From the outside, everything seemed to go well on his first attempt, as he blasted down the Memphis Motorsports Park track in 4.931 seconds with a top speed of 299.86 mph, second quickest for the session. However, once Bazemore stopped his Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28 at the top end following the run, he noticed the right side spill plate on his rear wing had torn virtually in half. This added an extra challenge for the Etchells crew, as they had to fabricate a new piece in time for the evening time trial. However, Bazemore's chances for improving on his first run were cut short by a mechanical failure, with his earlier pass placing him 3rd midway through qualifying.

"We were fortunate on the first run today, because the result could have been a lot worse. The spill plate broke at about 300 feet, and the loss of down force unloaded that side of the car. I thought there was something wrong, because I could never get the car to go straight. It normally moves around, but normally you can bring it back in and make it go where you want it. However, this morning, I'd correct it, and it would move again. It was all over the track and a real handful to drive. Given the conditions, it was pretty good to run a '.93, so this Kendall/Matco Camaro team is pretty happy with it.

"Quite frankly, tonight we went out to rotate the earth, but something broke in the driveline right at the hit of the throttle, and the car never moved. Fortunately, we didn't over rev anything and create even more damage, but it's still frustrating. It's just one of those things.

"The conditions here this weekend are pretty tough, but if you hit it just right, it can be awesome. It's hard to nail it, but Terry (crew chief Manzer) did in the first round, and that has me excited about our chances for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. But our number one goal remains to maintain that consistency that we seem to have developed over these last two races."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore