Topeka: Whit Bazemore Saturday summary

BAZEMORE DOESN'T MAKE HISTORY, BUT SETS TRACK RECORD, COLLECTS THE NO 3 QUALIFYING POSITION IN TOPEKA TOPEKA, Kan. (May 24, 2003) - There's no question the Schumacher Racing team has the inside line on horsepower. After all, it is team driver ...

BAZEMORE DOESN'T MAKE HISTORY, BUT SETS TRACK RECORD, COLLECTS THE NO 3 QUALIFYING POSITION IN TOPEKA

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 24, 2003) - There's no question the Schumacher Racing team has the inside line on horsepower. After all, it is team driver Gary Scelzi who remains the fastest Funny Car driver in the world after posting his 326.95-mph run at Englishtown, N.J., last week. And Whit Bazemore is no slouch, as he's performed consistently fast runs this season, including his track-record breaking 326.48 mph pass tonight, fourth fastest ever, coupled with an elapsed time of 4.802 seconds to place him No. 3 for tomorrow's O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. It's just another stellar qualifying performance for Bazemore and crew chief Lee Beard, who have qualified in the top half all year.

It "shoulda" been faster, Bazemore said. "We had a problem. We went up there to run a lot better than .80 flat. But we had a small problem that affected the performance of our car, so we ran .80 flat at 326, with the fourth fastest speed ever. Our intention was to be a lot stronger than that, but we had a very small, small, small mechanical issue that robbed our car of some performance.

"The important thing was," he added, "is that we moved up into the field (from No. 8). We're just not in a position to make history yet. We've tried to make history a few times this year, and the sun came out once and kind of got us, and tonight we had a small little problem that got us. It's just not meant to be yet, but we're knocking on the door."

Schumacher Racing's results tonight, with each Funny Car qualifying in the top half of the field, can only help Bazemore's goal to move into No. 1 in points from No. 2, he believes. "It's good for the entire team to have our teammates running strongly. Ultimately, it benefits us. We're very happy, especially with Scotty, who has been struggling a lot this year. For them to go out and rip out an .81 was pretty cool. And Scelzi's car seems to be repeating easily enough. They went down the track a lot this weekend. They look pretty strong. We don't want them to be too strong because we're still going to have to beat them, but the fact that they're running a lot better is very encouraging."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore