BAZEMORE RACES MATCO TOOLS RAIL TO QUARTERFINAL EFFORT AT MEMPHIS MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 16, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore and his David Powers-owned Matco Tools Top Fuel team posted a solid outing Sunday at Memphis Motorsports Park. The veteran Top...
BAZEMORE RACES MATCO TOOLS RAIL TO QUARTERFINAL EFFORT AT MEMPHIS
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 16, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore and his David Powers-owned Matco Tools Top Fuel team posted a solid outing Sunday at Memphis Motorsports Park. The veteran Top Fuel racer clocked low elapsed time of the event, 4.560 seconds, en route to a quarterfinal finish at the 20th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals.
Bazemore, who drove to his first career final round at Memphis way back in 1992 and won the Memphis Motorsports Park Funny Car title in 2003, qualified his Matco-backed rail fourth for the fifth time this season. The veteran racer knocked off local favorite Clay Millican before falling to Doug Herbert in the quarterfinals.
As the last pair of dragsters to compete in the opening round, Bazemore used a tune-up from crew chief Lee Beard to clock low elapsed time of the round. The Eugene, Ore. resident blistered the M.M.P. quarter mile in 4.560 seconds at 321.50 mph to collect the win light in the left lane at the Memphis track. It was Bazemore's 15th round win of the year. Millican, a Matco Tools driver, used the best reaction time of the round (.032 of-a-second), but his dragster lost traction and slowed to a run of 5.247 seconds.
In the second round, Bazemore and Herbert used nearly identical reaction times before the Matco Tools rail shook the tires forcing Bazemore to pedal the throttle and slow to a run of 4.908 at 265.33. Herbert sped to a pass of 4.636 at 316.01 to earn the trip to the semifinals. Bazemore remains eighth in the Countdown to the Championship standings.
"We're very positive despite the result," Bazemore said. "The car and the team are showing signs of what we want to be. We have a great team and we have not performed up to expectations, but things are starting to come together. We had a tremendous rebound from Indy and our first round E.T. was the quickest of the race. We're confident we would have had a much longer day if not for a simple parts failure. We're going to test tomorrow, but we're up against time. We're battling time. There are only two races to go to make up a lot of ground."
"We made some good progress," Beard added. "We qualified fourth with a 4.568 and the No. 1 qualifier ran 4.564, so we're right with the leaders. We had low E.T. of the first round and that was low E.T. of the race and in the second round we had a parts failure. We broke a lifter and that caused the motor to run on seven cylinders. We're going to run on Monday and work on our consistency. The car has the potential to run very fast."