St. Louis: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

BAZEMORE MISSES CUT AT ST. LOUIS MADISON, Ill. (May 5, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore has been around this drag racing game for many years. From his early days as a professional photographer through the past two decades as an accomplished nitro...

BAZEMORE MISSES CUT AT ST. LOUIS

MADISON, Ill. (May 5, 2007) -- Whit Bazemore has been around this drag racing game for many years. From his early days as a professional photographer through the past two decades as an accomplished nitro pilot, the longtime Matco Tools racer is well aware of the highs and lows of NHRA drag racing. The world's fastest motor sport, at times, can be quite humbling.

Any time Mother Nature affects the racing weekend, it makes things difficult on all teams. After losing the opening day of qualifying at the 11th annual O'Reilly Midwest Nationals due to persistent rain showers on Friday, Bazemore and his Lee Beard-led Matco Tools team had just two qualifying attempts to make the 16-car field. As many teams battled the hot, tricky Gateway quarter mile, so did the Matco Tools team. Bazemore pedaled his way to a 7.652-second tire-smoking effort on his first pass down the drag strip placing him 17th in the order. With its back against the wall, the Matco Tools rail overpowered the slippery track, causing Bazemore's ride to lose traction and slow to a 6.250-second pass. That failed to make the 4.782-second cut. In 343 career NHRA races, it is just the 23 time that Bazemore won't compete on race day.

"Obviously, we're disappointed," Bazemore said. "We're better than this. We just got behind the eight ball and it was tough out there. Hardships like these make you come back stronger and better, and that's what has to happen. That's what will happen. This Matco Tools team will come back with a strong effort at Bristol (Tenn.) in two weeks."

"We only look back for wisdom, not for regrets," team owner David Powers said. "We will get better because of it because we have the best people, a great sponsor, Matco Tools, and one of the best race cars out here."

-credit: dpm

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore