CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS SEARS POINT RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JULY 26, 1998 FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL ROUND WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, was defeated by Cruz Pedregon in the Funny...
CHEVROLET NOTES AND QUOTES AUTOLITE NATIONALS SEARS POINT RACEWAY NHRA WINSTON DRAG RACING SERIES SUNDAY, JULY 26, 1998
FUNNY CAR -- CAMARO Z28 -- FINAL ROUND
WHIT BAZEMORE, TEAM WINSTON CAMARO Z28, was defeated by Cruz Pedregon in the Funny Car final today, with an elapsed time of 5.268 seconds at 289.38 mph to Pedregon's 5.073/300.80. Bazemore defeated Mitch McDowell, Dean Skuza and Tim Wilkerson to advance to the final. In the first round Whit's crew selected the right lane. In the ensuing rounds Whit was denied lane choice, but ended up in the right lane all the way through to the final, finally losing in the right lane.
BAZEMORE: ON THE FINAL ROUND: "It went out there and it shook a little bit and it did the same thing the round before but further down the track and I didn't pedal it, didn't pedal it, did't pedal it, and it made it. I was just so close to pedaling it, but with both Wilkerson and me running 5.19s we would have gotten beat. We took steps to fix that problem, only it didn't get fixed. It was shaking a little sooner (in the final round) and I still didn't pedal it for quite awhile and while it was shaking Cruz drove around. We were ahead of him until then. Then I pedaled it, it shook bad. Everything was fine, but we didn't run an .07, but we only had to run a .10 or .12 (Whit had a better reaction time)."
WAS THE RIGHT LANE WHERE YOU WANTED TO BE? "I don't know if we did or not. I wasn't in those decision making meetings today. I never really talked to the crew about the track. I went out and looked at it this morning myself. I looked at it for what I needed to know about the groove and things for driving. I was surprised when the crew wanted to be in the right lane. Rob (Flynn) said he liked the way it looked, the groove looked better in the right lane. It worked for us and we ended up being there all day, and it was fine. Maybe it did contribute to the tire spin problem in the semis and the final. But I really think It's the car, had we been a little more on our game we would have solved those problems. We tried, we made the effort. The track changes all the time."
ON YOUR CHANCES TODAY: "The team felt very, very confident. I woke up this morning and I knew we were going to win, I felt really, really good. I think that reflects in everyone's attitude and the job everyone did."
ON THE LOSS OF WINSTON SPONSORSHIP NEXT YEAR: "I am proud of the team because we are a close-knit bunch of guys and I have guys here who are incredibly loyal to me and you can't buy that loyalty. So, when I lose a sponsor -- they can probably get jobs and make more money anywhere in the pits -- has to affect these guys. I'm so proud that they took it and turned it into a positive and channelled it the right way."
"I am feeling very aggressive, I don't feel like losing. I have to do this every single weekend, every run, to prove to myself and apparently to other people what we're capable of doing. We have a very short amount of time to get this team together for next year. I have six weeks to land a corporate sponsor that's willing and has the ability and the need and recognizes the benefits of going out there and really competing for a Winston championship. It's a tough challenge because my first sponsor took a whole year to land for 15 grand. And I have been a part of the Winston family since 1980 while I was working for them as a photographer while I was still in school. I feel like it's a family. It's an emotional weekend, and to finish it on the upside is good. That's what we need to do, that's what we're going to continue to do. I had a lot of people in the pits offer help -- guys from John Force to Kenny Bernstein. When a guy like John Force is sincere when he says that he feels for this situation, well, that feels good to me."