Phoenix: Whit Bazemore final preview

Bazemore fouls out, exits early in Phoenix CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2006) - Whit Bazemore's misfortunes continued today in final eliminations for the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway, as an uncharacteristic red light...

Bazemore fouls out, exits early in Phoenix

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2006) - Whit Bazemore's misfortunes continued today in final eliminations for the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway, as an uncharacteristic red light ended his day in the first round.

Bazemore, crew chief Brian Corradi and assistant crew chief Todd Okuhara struggled all weekend with the performance of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car, qualifying 11th and suffering through mechanical issues during this morning's warmup.

His day didn't improve in the opening round, when he faced his teammate Ron Capps without lane choice. Bazemore took off way too early, fouling out with a minus-.210 reaction time, while Capps took the win with a 4.743-second ET at 321.58 mph.

"We are just in a frustrating spot right now," Bazemore said with disappointment on his face. "The red light was really pathetic and the tree (starting lights) was just a little longer, I was fired up , and my foot went down.

"It doesn't happen very often, but it happened, and I'll take full blame for that, obviously. I think it's just a case of trying too hard, more than anything.

"We have a lot of work to do and we have some things we're going to be working on. We're testing here tomorrow.

"We're still a new team and we're going to be working on addressing some of the issues that we have and that's what you do when you're a new team. Sometimes it just doesn't fall together perfectly. You have to work at it. We're going to work at it and come back to Gainesville much stronger and with a driver that can go up there and do his job," added Bazemore, the defending 2005 Gatornationals Funny Car champion.

Bazemore is concerned about the tire issues in Funny Car and Top Fuel: "The NHRA mandated a new tire for Gainesville. It's highly likely it's going to change the landscape, if you will, of the fuel classes, at least for a couple of races. When everyone ran this tire in testing they struggled with it. We're very concerned about the ability of the tire to do its job."

Next up is the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., on March 16-19.

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore