Topeka: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

BAZEMORE RUNNING STRONG, QUALIFIES NO. 5 IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 27, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car team continued their upward swing in performance at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals by ...

BAZEMORE RUNNING STRONG, QUALIFIES NO. 5 IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 27, 2006) - Whit Bazemore and the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus Funny Car team continued their upward swing in performance at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals by qualifying No. 5 in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car field at Heartland Park Topeka.

Bazemore, who is looking for a three-peat in Topeka, after winning here in 1997 and 2004, ran his quickest elapsed time (4.893 seconds at 245.18 mph) in the second qualifying session Friday night.

His other passes were a 4.962/300.00 in the first session, followed by a tire-smoking 13.589/68.94 in today's hottest conditions: 90-degree ambient temperatures and track temperatures reaching 130 degrees. The final round, under even more intense heat, produced a solid 5.019/300.66.

"We're in pretty good shape, actually," he said. "We have lane choice, which isn't that big a deal right now, but it could become a bigger deal, and we're fairly satisfied with the performance of the car.

"In this last run we ran on all eight cylinders, which is important, and I think we rebounded nicely from smoking the tires earlier today.

"We're very, very confident going in to race day that we have a good setup for hot conditions and the absolutely most important thing right now is to be able to run the car in the heat, because that's what we're going to have tomorrow."

Bazemore faces Tommy Johnson Jr. in first round of eliminations on Sunday.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Tommy Johnson Jr.