Highlights: Whit Bazemore beat Dean Skuza in the final round of the rain-delayed 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals Monday and, in the process, moved around Tony Pedregon and into the NHRA POWERade Funny Car points lead. Bazemore took ...
Whit Bazemore beat Dean Skuza in the final round of the rain-delayed 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals Monday and, in the process, moved around Tony Pedregon and into the NHRA POWERade Funny Car points lead.
Bazemore took advantage of Pedregon's second round upset loss to Skuza to move 13 points ahead of the driver of the Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang. Pedregon, who posted the quickest time of the event (4.825 seconds) in a first round victory over Tommy Johnson Jr., was victimized by traction problems near the finish line which slowed him to 4.947 in round tow.
Gary Densham, driver of the Team Castrol/Automobile Club of Southern California Ford, also went out in round two after posting Monday's best speed (320.51 mph) in beating Frank Pedregon.
John Force, the 12-time reigning series champion and 108-time tour winner, lasted just one round longer before succumbing to the same traction woes that felled his teammates.
TEAM CASTROL Details:
JOHN FORCE, Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: No. 2 at 4.826 seconds, 313.37 mph.
Race results: Beat Jack Wyatt, Phil Burkart; lost to Dean Skuza.
Notable: Extended qualifying streak to 318 consecutive events and strengthened his hold on third place in POWERade points.
Quotable: "We just spun the tires downtrack. The sun came out and we didn't deal with it as good as some of the other guys. We'll try to get it back in Chicago." -- John Force.
TONY PEDREGON, Castrol SYNTEC Ford Mustang Funny Car
Qualifying position and performance: No. 6 at 4.892 seconds, 312.57 mph..
Race results: Beat Tommy Johnson Jr.; lost to Dean Skuza.
Notable: Slipped out of the points lead for the first time since March.
Quotable: "We had a great car, but when the sun came out, we just had problems past half track with traction. The tires were spinning and I just couldn't catch (Skuza)." -- TONY PEDREGON.
GARY DENSHAM, Team Castrol/Auto Club of Southern California Ford Funny Car:
Qualifying position and performance: No. 4 at 4.856 seconds, 311.99 mph.
Race results: Beat Frank Pedregon; lost to Ron Capps.
Notable: Solidified his hold on fourth place in season points, opening up a two-round cushion on fifth place Del Worsham.
Quotable: "Track temperature (in the first round) was, like 84 degrees. When we came up there for second round it was 102. Basically, that's what happened. (Crew Chief) Jimmy (Prock) thought he'd softened it up enough to get us down there but obviously that wasn't the case." -- GARY DENSHAM.
Next events: CARQUEST Route 66 Nationals, Joliet, Ill., Sept. 28; Lucas Keystone Nationals, Reading, Pa., Oct. 5; O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Dallas, Texas, Oct. 12; AC/Delco Las Vegas Nationals, Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 26; Automobile Club of Southern California World Finals, Pomona, Calif., Nov. 9.