BAZEMORE DRIVES TO SEMIFINAL EFFORT AT NORWALK NORWALK, Ohio (July 1, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore, crew chief Lee Beard and the entire Matco Tools Top Fuel team needed a get-healthy weekend. The inaugural NHRA event at Summit Racing Equipment ...
BAZEMORE DRIVES TO SEMIFINAL EFFORT AT NORWALK
NORWALK, Ohio (July 1, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore, crew chief Lee Beard and the entire Matco Tools Top Fuel team needed a get-healthy weekend. The inaugural NHRA event at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park offered the remedy. The 20-time NHRA winner raced his David Powers-owned rail to a semifinal finish Sunday at Norwalk.
After qualifying his Matco Tools rail in the No. 10 spot with a 4.607-second elapsed time, the veteran nitro pilot knocked off seasoned Top Fuel racer Doug Herbert, and second-year phenom Hillary Will, before falling to four-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher in the semifinals.
As the second pair of dragsters to battle the Norwalk quarter mile, Bazemore used a tune-up from crew chief Lee Beard to pilot the Matco Tools dragster to its quickest and fastest pass of the weekend. The recently-relocated Oregonian powered to a run of 4.578 seconds at 324.36 to earn the win light in the right lane. Herbert raced to a pass of 4.863 at 305.70. It was Bazemore's first round win since the Topeka race on June 3. He recorded low E.T. of the round.
Bazemore advanced to the semifinals for the first time since the Gainesville race in March by knocking of the Top Fuel starlet from Michigan in the quarterfinals. His Beard-tuned Matco-backed rail powered to a pass of 4.597 at 322.65 to card the round win. Will staged her dragster, but did not make a pass.
The 20-time NHRA winner got the jump at the start in his second semifinal appearance of the season, but the Matco Tools rails spun the tires as Bazemore slowed to a pass of 7.322-seconds. The Alan Johnson-tuned rail powered to a run of 4.618 at 305.77 to advance to the final round.
"We're extremely happy," Bazemore said. "We were a little too aggressive in the third round. We're happy the car responded to Lee's (Beard) tune-up all weekend. We feel re-invigorated like we were at the beginning of the year. It was just a real positive weekend and paramount to turning our season around."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the Seventh annual O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, July 6-8, at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn. Bazemore is a three-time finalist at Thunder Valley with one victory (2002).