Topeka: Etchells Racing recap

At first glance Whit Bazemore seemed to have a pretty good outing in the first round of final eliminations at the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. Following a solid qualifying effort, Bazemore made his best run of the weekend, with his ...

At first glance Whit Bazemore seemed to have a pretty good outing in the first round of final eliminations at the Advance Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. Following a solid qualifying effort, Bazemore made his best run of the weekend, with his 4.938-second elapsed time bettering his previous time by more that five hundredths of a second, and was the third quickest pass of the session. In addition, the Kendall Motor Oil/Matco Tools Camaro Z28's top speed of 305.84 mph was the second fastest run of the weekend by a Funny Car. Unfortunately, the one positive that was missing from Bazemore's ledger was the round win, as his opponent, Jim Epler, used the second quickest run of the session to edge the Etchells Racing driver in one of the closest races of the day.

"What can I say, it's been that kind of year for us. We were shallow staged and I had a .507 light, which is about my normal when I do that, and we had our best run of the weekend, which was the third quickest e.t. of the round. But Epler was in deeper and had a .940 60-foot time, so they out ran us.

"You just hate to lose a race like that. I know the car's set-up can affect reaction time, but as a driver, you always feel you can do better. You could argue that we needed more performance on our car today, but I don't feel that way. When we run within a couple hundredths of the guy in the other lane, we should win. There are no excuses. We should be able to consistently have .480 lights when we're shallow. That represents being perfect, but in my mind, I have to step up my game a little bit in those situations, which I am still figuring out how to do with this car. We needed to be absolutely perfect to win that round, and we weren't. We got beat, and that's frustrating.

"But even though we lost, I'm still excited about the Kendall/Matco Camaro's performance here this weekend. We've now made six runs in a row without smoking the tires, which is really encouraging. I'm looking forward to next weekend in Memphis."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Epler , Whit Bazemore