Bazemore defeated by teammate Scelzi in first round in Reading READING, Pa. (Oct. 10, 2004) - By the luck of the draw, if you will, and qualifying 12th, Whit Bazemore found himself squaring off with his teammate Gary Scelzi in the first round of...
Bazemore defeated by teammate Scelzi in first round in Reading
READING, Pa. (Oct. 10, 2004) - By the luck of the draw, if you will, and qualifying 12th, Whit Bazemore found himself squaring off with his teammate Gary Scelzi in the first round of Funny Car eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals today.
They were both on their games as the competitive duo launched at the light nearly identically, with Bazemore a tick quicker with a .091 reaction time to Scelzi's .092 (.000 is perfect). Bazemore's Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus struck the tires, however, at about 300 feet in the less-desirable right lane, and Scelzi took the victory with a 4.807/305.63 pass to Bazemore's losing 7.678/109.24. This final effort topped a weekend of disappointing results.
"It's extremely frustrating today," said Bazemore, driver of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus, "because you're teammates and you're friends. But sometimes there's more pride involved than at other times because you have to live with these people day in and day out and you want to be better than they are. And I'm speaking for everyone on the Matco Tools team.
"We knew going in that there was going to be one guy who was going to be the winner and one team was going to win and one team wasn't. Unfortunately, the Matco Tools Dodge went out and shook the tires and we got beat.
"Having said that, if this sport wasn't challenging and difficult, we certainly wouldn't like it. You expect hurdles in your career and you expect some tough times and some times when you can't get the car to run properly.
"We're just in a position right now with our team that our car is not performing how Lee (Beard, crew chief) and the team and I and everyone expects it to. We're working hard to make it better, but it's just throwing us curve balls run after run.
"The great thing is we have a tremendous team, tremendous people, and we have a team owner who is a very motivating individual. Because of all those factors, ultimately this team will be very, very successful."
Although John Force didn't clinch the championship today, when Scelzi won the final round, Bazemore remains in the chase for second place among Scelzi, Del Worsham, Eric Medlen and Gary Densham with two races left. Bazemore is in fourth, 105 behind Scelzi in third, and 141 behind Worsham in second.
Next up is the ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 29-31, the penultimate round of the 2004 NHRA season.