Whit Bazemore Ready to Hustle in Houston

Putnam, Connecticut, October 26, 1999 - In some regards, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Oil/Superwinch Camaro Z28 Racing team must know exactly how the Atlanta Braves feel right now. Just like the club from Georgia, the Etchells Racing Team has...

Putnam, Connecticut, October 26, 1999 - In some regards, Whit Bazemore and the Kendall Oil/Superwinch Camaro Z28 Racing team must know exactly how the Atlanta Braves feel right now. Just like the club from Georgia, the Etchells Racing Team has had an outstanding season, with one win in five final round appearances. Despite their accomplishments, however, each organization will reluctantly watch as someone else claims the championship. However, unlike their stick-and-ball counterparts whose season ends with a loss, Bazemore and crew will have two more opportunities to improve on their record. This weekend their pursuit of victory brings them to Houston, Texas, for the penultimate event of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing season, the Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions.

"Just like the Dallas track last week, Houston Raceway Park has an outstanding racing surface," explained Bazemore. "If the forecast for good weather holds, I think you will once again see some outstanding numbers put up. As a competitor, you relish the situations where you can turn the wick up and really get after it. With that in mind, we're looking forward to maybe posting career numbers this weekend."

Short of capturing the event win, Whit Bazemore has experienced his share of successes at Houston Raceway Park. For example, in March of 1997, Bazemore became the 8th Funny Car driver to break the five-second barrier and set the national speed record for the division at 313.04 mph. At this event one year ago, he recorded the quickest elapsed time of his career en route to the final round. However, should the Etchells entry want to duplicate or improve on that performance, the crew must identify and solve the problems that have plagued their "fuel coupe" at the top end of the track in recent weeks. Although crew chief Tim Richards has been able to adjust the set-up and maintain the car's competitiveness, the team knows that to truly put themselves in position to score their second win of the season, they must restore their charge to full health.

"If we're able to get our Kendall Camaro to run at maximum power for the full 1320 feet, we'll have one bad-ass hot rod," explained Bazemore. "We've been running well, but lately, it's had a short fuse, which has cost us a lot of E.T. and a tremendous amount of speed. The entire team is working non-stop to fix it. Knowing how they are, I'm confident they'll get this straightened out and we'll be hauling the mail in Houston. It's going to be a dogfight, and we'll be ready for it."

BAZEMORE BANTER: This will be Whit's thirteenth appearance at the Houston Raceway Park, where he looks to improve upon his final round appearance from one year ago....Bazemore's best qualifying performance at Ennis is 3rd, which he accomplished at the spring event in 1997....Bazemore is looking to score his second win as driver of the Kendall Camaro.....Bazemore is also seeking to reach a career-best sixth final round of the season.

Fast Facts

WHAT 3rd annual Matco Tools SuperNationals presented by Racing Champions, the twenty-first event on the 22-race 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series Schedule.

WHEN: October 28 - 31, 1999

WHERE: Houston Raceway Park, Baytown, Texas

SCHEDULE: Pro qualifying sessions start with two sessions on Friday, October 29 at 2:30 & 6:30 p.m., and conclude on Saturday, October 30 with two rounds at 12 noon and 4:00 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 31.

TV: ESPN2 will provide one hour of qualifying highlights from 10:30 - 11:30 p.m. on Saturday October 30. In addition, ESPN will air two hours of first round coverage from 12 noon - 2 p.m. and one hour of final round coverage from 8 - 9 p.m. on Sunday, October 31. (All times Eastern) As always, please check your local listings

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Series NHRA
Drivers Whit Bazemore , Tim Richards