Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Sixth-place finish for Bazemore
Pomona, Sunday: Whit Bazemore ended the 2004 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season taking sixth in Funny Car championship points. The driver of the Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus collected two wins, three runner-ups and three No. 1 qualifiers after leading the point standings through three events early in the season.
Bazemore and Johnson launched with identical .074 (.000 is perfect) reaction times, but Bazemore lost traction immediately and slowed to a 6.196-second finish at 208.55 mph to Johnson's winning 4.831/323.81.
"It's extremely frustrating, but that's racing. You have highs and lows, peaks and valleys, and everybody knows that and it's just part of the game," said Bazemore, who has finished twice as runner-up in the series and is still seeking his first Funny Car championship.
"I have to say that we're extremely disappointed because it's definitely not how we wanted to end the year. We had a race car and a team that could win today and it just didn't happen.
"It's frustrating for everyone involved at the Matco Tools team. Everyone gives 110 percent, but sometimes the stars don't line up and you don't get the results that you want. When that happens, naturally, you're frustrated.
"We got beat because we smoked the tires at the hit in the right lane. It was a one-lane race track today, so if you didn't have lane choice you were going to be out of luck. When we look at why did we get beat, why did we lose, we have to go back to qualifying and look at why we qualified 10th instead of the top half. It boiled down to lane choice today."
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