Bazemore No. 10 in final Pomona qualifying POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2004) - Whit Bazemore improved on his No. 12 qualifying position from Friday with a powerful run in today's third qualifying round under sunny and warm conditions, posting a ...
Bazemore No. 10 in final Pomona qualifying
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13, 2004) - Whit Bazemore improved on his No. 12 qualifying position from Friday with a powerful run in today's third qualifying round under sunny and warm conditions, posting a 4.769-second elapsed time at 326.95 mph in the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car. That was the fourth quickest pass of that round, the second fastest and placed him in No. 6 for that session.
Bazemore, crew chief Lee Beard and the entire Matco Tools team were encouraged by those results and were looking forward to running under cooler conditions in the final round to improve their position by topping the quickest field in NHRA history (4.698 to 4.854) that had just been established. Unfortunately, the car went up in smoke at the hit of the throttle and Bazemore coasted to a 10.751-second pass at 72.77 mph, which dropped him to No. 10.
"We had a mechanical problem," he said, "where the car dropped a cylinder from the hit.
"We were pretty pumped up after running our .76 in the heat of the day, which was a very important run for us given how things have been. So the Matco Tools team did a great job.
"We were going for low qualififer tonight. We were all pretty confident that we were going to run our career-best numbers, so anytime you really have your mind set to do something and it doesn't happen there's disappointment. We feel good about the race car and we'll be fired up for tomorrow.
"Lowering the nitromethane percentage from 90 to 85 percent has helped the cars in a certain regard because they seem to run easier sometimes," he said about the quick times set this weekend. "You still have to make power, but you make it in different areas and it puts a premium on different components of the car, so you just have to skin the cat a different way.
"If we were running 90 percent I think it's fair to say we would be running quicker than we are now and I think the excitement of the fuel cars would be more than it is now, and the fans would be happier.
"But NHRA dictated 85 percent so that's what we all have to do."
Bazemore faces Tommy Johnson Jr. in the first round of eliminations on Sunday, which begin at 11 a.m.