BAZEMORE DRIVES TO QUARTERFINALS AT SEATTLE, MOVES TO SEVENTH PLACE IN TOP FUEL STANDINGS KENT, Wash. (July 22, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore and his David Powers-owned Matco Tools Top Fuel team continue to climb in the NHRA points standings. The...
BAZEMORE DRIVES TO QUARTERFINALS AT SEATTLE, MOVES TO SEVENTH PLACE IN TOP FUEL STANDINGS
KENT, Wash. (July 22, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore and his David Powers-owned Matco Tools Top Fuel team continue to climb in the NHRA points standings. The 20-time NHRA winner raced his Matco-backed dragster to a quarterfinal effort Sunday at Pacific Raceways and now sits seventh in the standings and just five points from sixth place.
With just one run in the books during qualifying, Bazemore started from the No. 4 spot after clocking a 4.628-second pass on Saturday's lone qualifying attempt. He bested West Coast racer Steve Chrisman in the first round of eliminations before losing a close match to four-time series champion Tony Schumacher.
With overcast skies staring down on Pacific Raceways, Top Fuel action roared to life following a 45-minute delay on Sunday morning. Bazemore and Chrisman were the sixth pair of dragsters to square off. The Eugene, Ore. resident used a tune-up from crew chief Lee Beard to race to the wire-to-wire victory. He powered the Matco Tools dragster to low elapsed time of the round, 4.531 seconds at 327.66 mph. Chrisman trailed with a 5.032-second elapsed time. It was his 351st career round win.
Facing off against Schumacher for the second consecutive race, Bazemore powered the Matco Tools rail to a pass of 4.550 at 326.08. However, the black Alan Johnson-tuned dragster sped to the quickest and fastest run of the round, 4.518 at 333.25 to earn the win light in the right lane. It was a track-record speed. Bazemore's reaction time/elapsed time package would have beaten any of the other six drivers competing in the quarterfinals.
"It was a good weekend," Bazemore said. "The car ran awfully well. We had low E.T. of the first round and we qualified well. We lost a close race to the world champs. That's why they're the world champs. We tried to tune the car up more than it showed. We have some new components and we're learning them. We would have won any of the other races that round. We ran a good race and got beat. We're not unhappy with our effort. We're going in the right direction and what's important is that we put some distance between the eight, nine and 10 drivers. If we can get four good qualifying runs at Sonoma, that'll help a lot. I'm excited about the next couple of races."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 19th annual FRAM-Autolite Nationals, July 27-29, at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. He won the Sonoma race in 1999. Bazemore trails sixth-place driver Bob Vandergriff, Jr., by five points with three races remaining until the Countdown to the Championship field is set at the Reading, Pa. (Aug. 16-19).