Bazemore advances to Semis in Phoenix. WHIT BAZEMORE, MATCO TOOLS IRON EAGLE DODGE STRATUS R/T FUNNY CAR, advanced to the semifinal by first defeating Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round (4.869/320.43 to 4.893/310.13), then his nemesis John ...
Bazemore advances to Semis in Phoenix.
WHIT BAZEMORE, MATCO TOOLS IRON EAGLE DODGE STRATUS R/T FUNNY CAR, advanced to the semifinal by first defeating Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round (4.869/320.43 to 4.893/310.13), then his nemesis John Force in the quarterfinals (4.874/319.45 to 5.042/295.01). In the semifinal, he faced the last remaining Funny Car from the John Force team, Gary Densham's. Reaction times for both were dead even, .062 for Bazemore, .061 for Densham. But by the one-eighth mile mark it was Densham in front, where he stayed until the finish, eliminating Bazemore with a 4.835-second pass at 316.60 mph to Bazemore's 4.977/309.98.
BAZEMORE: "We dropped a cylinder about a second into the run. We're not sure why. Lee (Beard, crew chief) tuned up the car a little bit; we knew the track was going to be good and we knew that Densham was going to be tough. But the motor didn't respond the right way; it went the other way; it was weaker, and put a cylinder out. And they didn't make a mistake, so we got beat."
WHAT'S THE POSITIVE SIDE? "The positive side is that our Matco Tools team performed really well, the car was good. We didn't have the best car here, but we were consistent and we were competitive. I think that's really the key thing. The most important thing as the year goes on is that we are consistently competitive. That's what we were this weekend. In that regard it was a good weekend."
ON BEATING FORCE IN THE SECOND ROUND: "Honestly, it's nice, but it's not as meaningful, obviously, because we didn't win the entire race. We're here to win rounds and win races. At this point in the year it's not so much beating Force that's exciting, it's going rounds and winning races. Because we didn't win today we're a little disappointed, but we are two rounds ahead of him and that's important. Because I think at the end of the year he's still going to be the guy that you've got to beat to win the championship. So anytime you're ahead of him in points it's a good thing."
In the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series point standings, Whit moves into fourth place, with 131 points, just one point behind Gary Densham in third. Ron Capps, Funny Car winner here today takes over first place with 184 points.