O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Strategy, talent, luck keep Bazemore in points lead
The Matco Tools Iron Eagle Dodge Stratus R/T Funny Car team members say they've been struggling all season with a finicky car and t
As the Funny Car teams head to Bristol Dragway this weekend for the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals, Bazemore is the only driver in five races to have won twice, coming from behind at The Strip in Las Vegas two weeks ago to claim victory without the benefit of lane choice in any round, and after qualifying for the event in only the final session.
Can Bazemore and Beard keep up the momentum? "We can try," says Bazemore, who is still seeking his first Funny Car championship after two runner-up finishes in his 16-year pro career. "We're in a good position. We're kind of surprised where we are, but at the same time, come Sunday the car has gone down the race track. Lee and the team have prepared a car that can go rounds and we've been able to take advantage of that for the most part and go rounds."
In the first five races, Bazemore has won 12 of 20 rounds, and has qualified eighth and 12th twice and 14th once.
He's lost in the second round twice, in
Bristol Dragway is a favorite for Bazemore. It's where he won in 2002, qualified No. 1 in 2004, was runner-up to John Force that year, and was also runner-up in 2003. "We're going to
"It's really a lot of fun to drive a car that can go 4.70 seconds at 330 mph, but I don't know if we're in a position to do that right now, so it doesn't matter," says Bazemore, who won in Gainesville with a 4.897 and in Vegas with a 4.976 E.T. His quickest E.T. of the year so far is a 4.780 in the season-opener in
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